Today’s hiring landscape and workforce are changing. Anyone who’s been in a hiring, interviewing, or an onboarding role for any period of time will tell you just how different today’s candidate marketplace is. Everything about the application process is shifting. From how candidates apply for jobs to how today’s companies successfully attract top talent. One important aspect businesses can take steps to improve their hiring process is the candidate experience.
If you’re exploring new methods for improving your hiring process, continue reading. Today, we’ll share insights about creating a positive candidate experience. The benefits of such methods can be game-changing in how you attract and retain top talent. Consider these candidate experience-related strategies and find your path to onboarding success, increased retention, and bottom-line company growth.
Defining a Positive Candidate Experience
Before you can improve a candidate’s experience, you should first understand what that experience entails. When an applicant reaches out to your company intending to submit for a position, every engagement that person has with your brand throughout the recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding process is considered the candidate experience. These interactions might include direct and non-direct communication, software and digital forms, and brand messaging.
Based on the definitions and candidate experience interactions, here are a few examples of areas of engagement:
- Your company’s career website or landing page
- Your company’s job postings and job descriptions
- Your company’s online application submission process
- Your company’s communication through any applicant tracking systems
- Your company’s direct communication with internal hiring managers and staff
- Your company’s candidate acceptance and rejection notices
However when you strategize to make improvements to create a positive candidate experience, you’ll aim to impact these interactions in a way that provides convenience and value. Start your enhancement efforts by analyzing each aspect of your current recruiting process. Begin outlining the next steps through the lens of an applicant to better understand what their experience is like.
Why the Candidate Experience Matters
In today’s recruiting landscape, ignoring the candidate experience can be detrimental to your hiring success. And creating a positive candidate experience matters, especially if your goals include finding, hiring, and retaining top talent quickly. Companies not addressing this aspect of the process will soon begin experiencing:
- Difficulties in filling open positions, thus hindering company growth and stability
- Lower application rates due to the word getting out about one or more poor candidate experiences
- Business loss due to poor candidate experiences affecting consumer purchasing decisions
Here are some alarming stats to consider. One study outlined these metrics, demonstrating how detrimental a poor candidate experience can really be for a business:
- 60% of candidates never hear back from a company after an interview
- 42% of dissatisfied applicants say they will never apply with that unresponsive company again
- 22% of those disgruntled candidates will advise others to avoid applying
- 9% of dissatisfied applicants would ask their networks to boycott a company’s products and services
Your company’s success is directly correlated to the skills and dedication of your employees. Focusing on how you attract and retain those critical roles will ensure you continue to create the most positive candidate experiences with the best-fit applicants for every position you need to fill.
The Framework for a Positive Candidate Experience
Consider developing a positive candidate experience framework, from the initial job description posting through to the final onboarding steps. Be sure to include these objectives in your outline, ensuring every improvement you make supports the overall company objective and the candidate experience.
- Clearly defined job descriptions outlining realistic expectations for the role
- Clearly defined employee-level value propositions (what’s in it for them)
- Clearly defined details and resources they need to make their decisions
- Easy-to-use interfaces for both online and mobile-friendly application processes
- Respect at every level of communication and engagement, including thank you and courtesy correspondence
- Pleasant and seamless interviewing experiences
- Simplified transitions for applicants onboarding into new roles
- Professional and respectful job applicant rejection communications
- Robust and thorough training for all onboarded new employees
How Companies Can Improve Engagement in Recruitment
What today’s hiring managers really want to know is how to improve the candidate experience in the recruiting process. Start by exploring these solutions. They involve actionable steps you can take right now to impact a more positive result within your recruitment efforts.
Use all the available innovations and software solutions you can to improve your candidate experience. This might include the use of video for interviews, or maybe applicant-facing dashboards where candidates can find real-time updates and information. Right now, Jobvite says the average recruiter fills a position within 30 days. These tech and software enhancements can speed up the hiring process and offer more robust communication and transparency for applicants.
Simplify the Application Process
Look for complicated steps in your current application process and strategize ways to simplify them. Every step a candidate takes should be straightforward and easy. For example, don’t ask for them to upload a resume AND fill out a lengthy internal application. Instead, offer one or the other. And any online forms you do require, make sure you have an auto-save feature that allows candidates to save their progress as they go. However today’s recruiters should also make sure to offer assistance with online application processes, including closed-captioned videos and alternative assistance features.
While automations make the application process more transparent and efficient, there’s still a need for personalization and customization with your candidate communications. Explore ways to incorporate more tailored messaging to applicants at various stages of their recruitment process, including addressing them by name.
Ask for and Provide Valuable Feedback from Candidates
LinkedIn recently shared its Talent Solutions report, indicating that 94% of today’s job seekers want feedback from their interviews. It also suggests that only 41% of applicants actually receive feedback. Look for opportunities to send feedback with every engagement. And tap into the value of post-interview surveys to obtain candidates’ sentiments about their experiences, as well.
Make a Positive Impression
Apply for your own job as a candidate. Be mindful as you navigate your process to look for what kind of impression your company makes. Is your brand message incorporated throughout? Does your application web page take too long to load? Are there images or pages with broken links? Are there typos in your job description? All of these details, which may seem minor, could be making a negative impression on candidates.
Tighten Up Communication Timelines
Don’t leave candidates hanging about final hiring determinations. If your evaluation process is going to take two weeks, communicate those timelines to the applicants. They’ll wait two or three weeks if you set the expectation accordingly. They will not wait if you don’t follow up at all and will likely venture elsewhere for employment.
Today’s companies are learning to prioritize the candidate experience. Consider these insights and improvements as you evaluate your processes. And remember, the ExactHire team can help! Contact us to explore better ways you can create positive candidate experiences with your recruiting efforts. You can’t change the job market. But we can certainly help you change your approach to it.
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