Five Tips for Improving the Candidate Experience

A job candidate smiles after a great job interview experience.

Candidate Experience Matters

When it comes to the topic of candidate experience, we often think about it from an employment relations perspective. But having a bad experience during the recruiting and hiring process can affect more than just whether or not a candidate would consider applying again. It could potentially cost you their business a potential customer, not to mention that today's job candidates share what they thought about the application and interview process. 

So, how can you ensure that even those individuals who you choose not to hire will walk away with a positive opinion of your brand? Here are five simple, yet highly effective things that you can do to up your candidate experience.

Five Tips for Improving the Candidate Experience 

1. Evaluate Your Current Approach

Before you can begin improving on your recruitment processes you have to have a clear idea of where you currently stand. Evaluate this process honestly by mapping the journey candidates currently have when they apply for a job. Follow every step, from how your listings are perceived to the application process to the interview and, most importantly, the follow-up. Identify any disconnects and address them accordingly to create a more seamless flow. If necessary, consider polling previous applicants to get additional feedback and insight.

2. Set Goals

Before redefining your candidate experience, it’s important to know exactly what you’d like to accomplish over both the short and long term. For instance, identify and set benchmarks for things like recruiter accountability, improved quality and increased number of applicants, more optimized applicant tracking and management and more. You cannot possibly know if you’re heading in the right direction with your candidate experience process if you don’t have quantifiable results to measure along the way.

3. Storyboard

You can improve your candidate experience by creating a new story for how you’d like the process to go. By storyboarding a new “scene” step by step as if you were watching a film, you can tap into more of the emotional side of how a candidate feels throughout the recruitment and hiring process. This will help you further identify better ways to do things. Some key areas to focus on when mapping out your new and improved process include efficiency, convenience, and enhanced communication.

4. Emphasize Authenticity and Transparency

One area where many recruiters fail to satisfy candidates is their perceived lack of transparency. Setting expectations on exactly what the process will entail is a great way to get things back on track, as is being open and honest about what the role in question entails, what you are looking for in the ideal candidate and what the competition looks like. Make sure that everyone who interacts with a candidate is on the same page with how information is shared and presented.

5. Master the Art of Follow Up

Finally, do not neglect the all-important step of follow-up. This is consistently where many candidates feel the experience most often takes a turn for the worse. Keep in mind that this last step will be what makes the most lasting impression. Do what you said you’d do and not only will you be able to maintain a relationship that could come to fruition in the future, but you’ll also be more likely to retain them as customers. Taking the time to follow up – even if the news isn’t what the person hoped for – will be respected, appreciated, and remembered.

Job Candidates Remember Positive Experiences

Nearly one-fourth of today’s job applicants say that a positive candidate experience with a potential employer makes them more likely to increase their relationships with that brand, including through future purchases and ongoing networking.

If you’re not knocking it out of the park with your recruiting and hiring process, the time to think about making a change is now. The five tips listed above should provide a good place to start.

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