The days of leaving candidates waiting for a response to their application or their status in the hiring process are long gone. A poor candidate experience not only turns applicants away, it can spread, to deter even more job seekers away from your company. The best candidate experience considers every connection during the process, optimizing each step along the way.
Step 1: Before They Apply
Your online presence is critical to attracting candidates, but too often businesses neglect to keep it positive and current. A recent study revealed 83% of job seekers will research a company before applying. They’re evaluating what a company does, what it stands for, and how it has treated applicants in the past. It’s a sad commentary that the majority of job seekers, 60%, have had a negative candidate experience. It can be devastating to the hiring process to learn that of those 60%, 72% have posted negative comments on social networks and job sites like Glassdoor. Negative comments are costing you talent. Stay current with your online presence: encourage positive comments and work to correct any negative remarks to keep job seekers interested and excited about joining your ranks.
Step 2: During the Application Process
Job seekers are looking for an application process that’s fast, easy, and intuitive. In a recent survey, 55% of job seekers admit to abandoning up to five applications during their search. Length and complexity may add to their frustration: keep it short and simple. Mobile applications today are a must. Over 90% of applicants use their phones to find open positions. A website that’s mobile-friendly captures their attention and application immediately.
If your job application process directs candidates to a job page on your site, make sure it’s easy to use and puts your company in the best possible light. A short process is a must, but many companies don’t take the opportunity to market their recruitment and employer brand. The majority of sites, 59%, do not include content that explains why a job seeker would want to work for them. Every touchpoint in the application process is an opportunity to boost your brand. Including the plusses of working with you can net more applications and hires in the job description. Utilizing predictive hiring solutions ensure you make the right decision — the first time around.
Step 3: Scheduling the Interviews
Candidates are looking for an immediate response to their application and an HR professional who acts quickly to pre-screen and schedule moves ahead in the talent wars. Businesses shouldn’t play phone tag with applicants and department heads to put everyone in the same room. Scheduling software simplifies the hiring process, allowing applicants to pick a time that works for them when all the relevant shareholders are available. Scheduling platforms save time and emphasize your company is tech-savvy. Easy to schedule interviews aid in creating a positive candidate experience.
Step 4: Continuing Communication
Constant contact with prospects is key. A new trend, ghosting employers, has been on the rise. One study found 41% of applicants believed it was reasonable to simply stop communicating with an employer during the hiring process. 48% of applicants thought it was necessary to do so in the earliest stages. Establishing a relationship with a candidate translates that you’re interested and excited to have them meet with you. The more you connect with applicants during the hiring process the more opportunity you have to boost your employer brand and the less chance you have of being ghosted.
Step 5: Speak Their Language
When you know the traits and characteristics you’re looking for in a new team member, it’s easier to appeal to those strengths during the interview process. The candidates you’re interviewing are thoughtful and methodical: provide them with step-by-step details of your process, giving them the structure they need. If you’re interviewing for an outgoing, communicative role: make sure you include extra time to chat when you connect with them. Tech candidates may be more relaxed speaking virtually. Speaking to their strengths shows you understand who they are and what they bring to the table.
Step 6: Deliver on Promises
Once a candidate has begun the application/interview process, it’s important for a business to meet its deliverables: if you say you’re going to call, make sure you do. Job seekers who were given feedback on interview day were 52% more likely to continue their relationship with a potential employer. That included reapplying with the company, referring friends, or even making purchases from them. Let job seekers know how they’ve done. Also, let them know what the next step(s) will be and when they can expect to hear from you. Be sure to make good on all your promises.
Step 7: Fill in Lag Time
For some jobs and employers, a job offer on the spot is routine. For others, it’s just not possible to do so. But while you’re waiting for reference checks or other lags between interviews and offers, keep the lines of communication open. Stay in contact with the candidate by sending information about benefits and perks or arranging coffee with potential colleagues. If you believe they’re a strong candidate, keep reinforcing you’re excited about bringing them on board. Anything you can do to keep their interest and boost your brand can help convert a candidate to a new hire.
Candidate experience is critical to attract, recruit, and convert top talent. The best job seekers in today’s tight market are examining every point of contact along the recruitment process. They’re evaluating your company as much, if not more, than you’re evaluating them.
A positive candidate experience reflects a positive employee experience. Job seekers want to work for a company that responds to their needs and wants. If your experience for candidates reflects those core values, you’ll net top talent for every job you post.
Final Step: Beyond the Right Hire
Once you’ve found the best candidate for the job, work hard to keep them on board. Keeping new hires (and everyone) happy at work begins with respect. One study revealed encouraging employees to identify and build on their unique attributes and strengths was critical to employee satisfaction.