The Candidate Experience is about Communication

With just less than 2 weeks until this year’s HR Technology Conference, one of the sessions that I’m most looking forward to is The 2nd Annual Candidate Experience Awards.  This session should provide some great insights on what some of the more forward thinking companies are doing with their recruiting processes to foster a better candidate experience (it should have a great reception afterwards as well!)  I’ll also be attending the conference and tweeting out all the candidate experience insights from the session.

From last year’s session and hearing about how companies are tackling this problem, the main constant I’ve heard is all about communication.  From the initial job ad messaging that garner interest in the job to communicating with candidates about the process and their status in the screening process, consistent communication is paramount to an improved candidate experience.

Communicating with Candidates

As you begin to think about improving your candidate experience, it’s important to start taking a look at your process from a communication standpoint.  And the key is to determine when, where and how you communicate with your candidates.

When you look at your process there are a number of areas where the way you communicate will effect your overall candidate experience.  Here’s a few areas of interest:

Attraction:  From the start, you need to focus on the messaging and values you communicate with candidates when you are attracting them to your organization.  That means making sure that the messaging and the value proposition you use in your job ads and on your Career Site are consistent throughout.

Applying:  With the application process, you need to be able to set realistic expectations for candidates from the onset.  That means acknowledging resume receipt and letting a candidate know when they should hear back in your process.  For many larger organizations, it may not be possible to get back to every candidate but at the very least, that is something you should mention in your receipt response.

Interviewing:  When you interact and begin interviewing candidates it’s important to keep in touch with them during the entire process.  This includes setting expectations for the interview process, follow-up messages on their status and if you can providing interview feedback.  The key is to make sure this communication is happening consistently with all candidates that enter your process and they are never lost in the process.

These are a few parts of your process where communication is important but you will also need to focus on other areas of communication within your recruitment marketing strategy.

The Candidate Experience

In order to improve your candidate experience, you need to make it an integral aspect of your recruiting process.  You need to truly understand your interactions with candidates and how you communicate with them in these interactions.  It will be a continual process of evaluating and measuring candidate experience in your recruiting strategy and in the end can have a positive impact on your apply rates and the quality of your hires.

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