Candidate Experience. When does it start? Most companies believe candidate experience starts after the selection process, but they miss out on the crucial part of marketing and the application process itself. Every piece of communication that you send out in terms of social media posts, emails, brochures etc. are part of candidate experience. As per the study conducted by Hay Group, only 75% of candidates complete the application process because 25% get disinterested with complex procedures or an application that is too long.
Now, a piecemeal con of unorganised candidate experience comes in if you have a long, tedious, complex interview process and most of the candidates look at it as a negative pointer. They assume that an organisation that has a disorganised interview process cannot be the right place for them. In such situations, two things can happen; one is the candidate gets disinterested and spreads it through word of mouth. Secondly, there are high chances of you losing a potentially great candidate.
Talent Board conducted a survey that clearly showed a significant number of candidates who had a bad experience with an organisation shared their experience through social media or decided to apply elsewhere. While the candidates that had an excellent experience helped in increasing their relationship with the brand’s products and networks; gave referrals and if rejected, applied again to the same company. So, how can you develop a good candidate experience?
Improve your initial communication. As mentioned earlier, every piece of communication matters. So before getting into the hiring spree, make sure all your websites and social media pages are aligned with the company goals. Even the posters that you design for putting out your hiring posts should reflect good company value. Companies have experimented with everything from putting out minimalistic posters to thought-provoking offensive content to get eyeballs.
Train recruiters to maintain uniformity. “Recruiters make the company’s talent brand come to life through the candidate’s experience and interaction with them1” Jennifer McClure, Talent Strategist. Your communication is right, you have done all virtual follow-up, but if the first phone call received by the candidate is cold and dry, the previous experience won’t count. Recruiters are the first ones the candidates get in touch with. Whether you hire a recruitment agency or do it in-house, always train them as per company vision. Ensure that they are well trained for handling candidate doubts, ready to answer basic questions asked by candidates regarding the Job profile. If this is managed well, your half job is done.
Don’t leave the candidate on a cliff-hanger. So many companies fall in the trap of not replying to candidates that apply and risk losing good candidates. Often candidates receive a lousy email from employers after filing in the application form or receive nothing at all. This portrays that the application has gone in the black hole and may or may not be reviewed. Make sure to send across well-crafted confirmation emails and follow-up at regular intervals to ensure that the candidate remains interested in your company irrespective of the final result.
Know the limits of experimentation. While experimentation in the interview process is good, please don’t push the candidate to do things they are incredibly uncomfortable with. Video interviews are a fun idea but always keep an additional option since not everyone is comfortable being in front of the camera.
Keep up with the rejected candidates. Just because a candidate isn’t right for you this time, does not mean they never will be. Create a database of all the rejected candidates and send them timely communication pieces. This will help them stay updated with your company news. Also, let them know every time there is a job opening so they can apply or refer someone in their network.
Candidate experience is a crucial part of your hiring process for your company’s image. Even candidates that are hired through a lousy process don’t become loyal followers of your brand. Thus, ensure a good candidate experience strategy.