Employers often talk about the candidate experience. Candidates, even ones you plan to reject, matter; and if you ignore them, they remember. Results from a CareerBuilder study show candidates say they are less likely to buy products from companies with bad candidate experiences. So it’s important to conduct a friendly recruiting process, even if the candidates aren’t qualified. The good news: robust onboarding offers few ways to directly improve your candidate experience.
Stay in Touch
Keep reminding the candidate you’re there and on their side, whether that’s through occasional check-in phone calls or regular email updates on the status of the position. After they’ve accepted your job offer and signed paperwork, you should communicate with them like they’re a part of the team. Because they are.This means engaging them throughout their first day (and beyond).
Unfortunately, fewer than half of all new hires receive a phone call from hiring managers during the onboarding process, and less than 20% have had a social media connection with future team members. Even if your hiring process is slick, fast and paperless, if you’re not guiding them through it, or at least keeping them posted about how their first day might go, you’re leaving them in the dark and hindering their candidate experience. Talk with them beyond the paper formalities and you should see a happier, more loyal employee on day one.
Get Everyone Involved
No one department is entirely responsible for the candidate experience. The most popular thought is that hiring managers (23%) are responsible for the experience; but closer examination reveals that it’s only 5% higher than the least popular choice, “no one” (at 18%). While this could be a sign of a disorganized hiring process, it’s actually a testament to how difficult and involved it can be from all perspectives.
That shared accountability should spread to onboarding. Sure, HR bears a large part of the responsibility of making sure all the paperwork is in place, but every department should pitch in when it comes to familiarizing a new hire to their workplace. The more people a candidate meets the better, and when everyone pitches in, those tours don’t seem as daunting or time-consuming.
Ask for Feedback
Perhaps the easiest and most direct way to improve the candidate experience through onboarding is using the input from people you’ve just hired. Employers rarely give candidates feedback on what they could do better next time, but they also don’t flip the conversation, either. Only 31% of employers in a recent poll said they solicit feedback about the candidate experience from candidates themselves (less than half do so regularly), and it’s a lost opportunity. It could serve as an additional point of contact between you and the candidate and it will go a long way towards improving your recruiting process the next time around.
Onboarding is an easy avenue to solicit feedback. As part of their initial forms, you can have a survey that lets them identify what their favorite (and least favorite) parts of the recruiting process were. This survey is also valuable because it comes from a rare person at a rare time: they’ve gone through the process and actually succeeded, but haven’t yet entered the company, so are still in “candidate” mode. Their results could be a bit skewed, but no more than any other candidates’ would be by rejection.
Onboarding is a bigger part of the candidate experience, and there’s several ways you can use it to improve the way candidates get recruited at your company. By keeping regular contact, getting more than one department involved, and soliciting their feedback, you’ll create a better candidate experience for everyone you hire, now and in the future.
Bio: Christine Marino
Christine is the Chief Revenue Officer of Click Boarding, LLC, a company that offers employee onboarding software and solutions. She is responsible for the sales, marketing and business development strategies. Leveraging her 18+ years of experience in the Human Capital Management space, Christine drives company growth through strategic partner relationships as well new customer acquisitions across the small to large enterprise markets.