The talent market may be temporarily back in the control of the employer, but that does not mean candidates will stick around for the ride if felt undervalued.
Candidate experience is still just as important as it was in the fight for their attention, if not more so.
They know what they want, and that they can get it, and will generally not settle for any less.
So, how do we ensure a first-class candidate experience? With these 10 simple steps…
The job description is important as the first bit of material the candidate is likely to digest. In an easy to read format, market your company. Provide all the relevant information the candidate may want to know, including benefits, company values and salary information, as well as a clear and concise explanation of what the job entails, the opportunities you have available and the requirements you would like to have met. This is the opportunity to sell yourself, encourage the candidate to find out more and entice them into applying.
Now you have written a great job description, candidates will want to find out more about your company through your careers site. Most candidates will do this, so it is imperative you make a good first impression. First of all, your careers site needs to be user friendly. Ensure that it is mobile optimised as more and more candidates are applying for roles through their tablet or mobile device. It also needs to have informative content, showcase your company values and truly represent what it is like to work for you. Using your existing workforce is a great way to demonstrate this.
You need to create interesting content not only to be used on your careers site but on your social media, during the onboarding process and so on. This content needs to be captivating to your market and represent your employment brand. This is a great way to target both active and passive candidates, those who may not be looking for a new role but might now well consider you for their next position. You also want to ensure you create appealing material during the whole recruitment process to keep candidates engaged throughout.
Being attentive in your communication is a crucial aspect that seriously impacts the candidate experience as many job seekers share it as one of their biggest frustrations. So, keep them updated throughout, from the moment they apply to your vacancy through to the hiring stage. You can easily set up both automated and personalised campaigns to communicate with candidates at various stages in the recruitment process, with plenty of technology and resources on the market to help.
With great communication comes honesty. As the saying goes, honesty is always the best policy! Provide the road map from the very start of the hiring process, so candidates are aware of what is to be expected. Candidates have taken the time to apply, so the least you can do is show the value in their commitment by being organised in your approach. If you make the process as easy as possible for the candidate, they will feel considerably less stressed, nervous, and confused. Ensuring they never become doubtful of your offering and feel continuously valued throughout.
Like the whole of the recruitment process, the initial application needs to be simple to complete to avoid candidate drop-offs. A whopping 80% of candidates will quit an application if it is too lengthy, time consuming or unfriendly to complete. And it is understandable. An active job seeker will apply for multiple vacancies at a time to improve their chances of attaining an interview, so they do not want to commit hours just on yours. And for the passive candidate who may have initially been interested, will no longer see the value in the loss of time.
The interview process is a pivotal moment in the hiring process which allows the employer and the candidate to really get to know each other, making it a make or break scenario. Because of this, it can often be daunting for the candidate as the organisation makes their suitability decision. Alike, this is the same for the employer if they fail to win over top talent. A positive or negative experience can instantly change the decision of both parties, as they decide to no longer pursue the relationship any further. To avoid this, set the candidate up for success. Incorporate your corporate culture, prepare them with the necessary materials and be unique and engaging in your approach. Maybe that is inviting employees in to meet the candidate or by showing them around their potential work environment.
As we said earlier, respect the candidates time but not just during the application stage but at every opportunity in the recruitment process. Passive candidates may give up on the process if it is taking too long to progress, and active candidates will put their energy into a more responsive employer. They do not want to have to wait weeks just to find out the success of their application or to organise an interview. You risk losing out on top talent! Talent which is said to only be available on the market for ten days.
Candidates always value feedback, making it one of the best ways to improve candidate experience. It also improves your reputation and future recommendations, as many employers do not put the time aside to do so. In fact, according to LinkedIn, 94% of candidates would like feedback. So, let them know whether they were successful or not and why, and be open to asking them for some feedback in return. This shows the candidate you value their experience and opinion and demonstrates the commitment you have to do better by them in the future.
Remembering that the relationship does not end with the final result is what’s sets many businesses apart. You want to continue to nurture your relationship beyond their unsuccess. They might well become the perfect candidate for a role in the future. Allow them to sign up for job alerts and to be added into your talent pool so you can contact them should another suitable position arise. This not only helps in improving candidate experience but by growing your talent pools and reducing your future recruitment cost and time to hire.
Because candidates will not stick around if you do not. They will get a bad perception of your employer brand and make this known to their network, damaging your reputation, and affecting future hires. Instead, creating a positive candidate experience will create more job offer acceptance, gain candidate loyalty and encourage those to refer you as a highly valued employer. Intern, improving your employment brand, helping to grow your future talent pools.
If you need any support, either as a candidate or an employer, feel free to contact Rikin Suchak directly on 0115 786 0443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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