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5 Steps to a Better Candidate Experience

A little less than a year ago, we wrote a post about the customer experience in recruiting. It looked at the fact that businesses need to consider the overall customer experience when conducting a transaction, and explained how the candidate application process is no different. In that particular post, we focused on the application experience on a job board but, the truth is, a candidate's entire experience is crucial to whether or not you win over your top applicant.

Has your team taken the opportunity to think through your candidate experience? Here are a few considerations:

  1. Map Out Your Recruiting Process Sit with your team and identify every step of the candidate application process when applying for a job at your company. Then, put yourself in their shoes and honestly ask yourself what you would think ? Is it too complicated? Too lengthy? Too intimidating? A long, lengthy, intimidating process may be part of your overall strategy, and that's fine, but you need to be consciously aware of it and the impact that it might have on your recruitment process. Then, ask yourself is it necessary for all jobs? Could you make it a more positive experience?

  2. First Impressions Count Whether it's your website, your job board, or an external job board, if candidates don't like what they see immediately, they may not apply. If they do apply, you may need to work harder to sell them at the later stages. Make sure that you are offering an easy-to-use application process, a great job description, a company overview and a visually appealing page.

  3. Communication In some instances your recruitment process may be unfavourable to an applicant but it's important and necessary for your company. Candidates will generally accept this, but will be happier about it if you're up-front. Set expectations early on and be transparent about the process. You could explain this at the very start of the process when you acknowledge receipt of their application (you do acknowledge all applications, right?)

  4. Keep it Human Yes, you may go through the hiring process every day, but don't let it make a robot out of you. Add a few personal elements to the process -- introduce them to potential co-workers, send a thank you note after meeting them, and provide specific feedback.

  5. Treat Your Candidates Like Customers A great candidate is also weighing offers from your competitors so you need to sell them your company the same way you would sell it to a client. Consider going to visit them for the interview, leaving behind a small promo item, providing some company marketing material and making sure they feel valued all the time -- even if you don't end up working together.

The same way a positive customer experience lands you more business, a great candidate experience will increase applicants, keep them engaged throughout the process, and increase the chances they'll accept a job offer. This begs the question, have you really looked at your candidate experience? How do you score? Could you do better?