What is candidate experience and why is it important in today’s competitive recruitment process?
Today, recruitment is highly competitive and fast-paced for both recruiters and candidates. No longer is it a matter of simply finding the right candidate–it’s also a matter of making a good impression towards the candidate. This is where candidate experience comes in.
Learn more about candidate experience and how it can help in recruiting young millennials and Gen Z candidates:
What is candidate experience in recruitment?
Candidate experience refers to the overall interactions between a company and candidates. These interactions happen at any part of the recruitment process. As a basic rule, any form of communication that relates to the recruitment process is counted as part of the candidate experience.
Creating a great candidate experience depends on a lot of factors, including but not limited to:
- Your company site and/or career portal
- Job postings and advertisements
- Your online application process
- Your interview process, including scheduling
- Emails and any other form of communication with the company, including hiring managers, present employees, and senior members
- Notifications and updates regarding the application process
- Candidate rejection or job offer and contract
Why is candidate experience important?
Candidate experience is extremely important, especially at the beginning stages of the hiring process. After all, first impressions matter. If you’re not an industry pillar, ensuring that your potential recruits have a smooth start can make a huge difference in their professional decisions.
Think of it this way: when you choose a phone, you’re more inclined to buy a model that delivers a positive experience. This also translates into the job market. Talents are more likely to apply and accept jobs at companies that make the hiring process clear and easy to understand.
Companies that take the time to streamline and enhance their recruitment process are more likely to deliver a great experience for applicants. In turn, these companies will have a good reputation in the job market. More importantly, these companies will have a higher chance of hiring quality employees.
What makes a good candidate experience?
A good candidate experience is generally characterized by clear, constant, and consistent communication from a company. Nothing sours the hiring experience more than confusing and unsure communication. Remember, a candidate is bound to be frustrated if your correspondence with them is unstable and unclear.
If you find yourself at a loss when asked how to create a good candidate experience, review your candidate journey map and cover the following bases:
The key to creating a great candidate experience is effective communication.
A company that can’t communicate during the hiring process is a massive red flag. During the hiring process, communication should always be clear and easy to understand. This shows that a company is open, stable, and dependable.
An important thing to remember when it comes to communication is goal and expectation setting. This crucial first step sets a foundation and baseline for future interactions. When you create a clear boundary of what each party can expect, the flow of communication becomes much easier.
When it comes to communication, it’s not only a matter of what you say–it’s also how and when you say it.
Timeliness is an important factor in the candidate experience. After all, no one wants to be kept waiting for a long time. If you’re recruiting, make sure that you’re timely in your responses.
Much like you hate waiting for candidate responses, applicants also dislike sitting around for an update. Slow communication gives you zero benefit and an absolute disadvantage when it comes to talent acquisition. Each minute a response is delayed is time lost–and that crucial minute might just be when the perfect candidate gets hired–by another company.
The hiring process should never be difficult–not for the company, nor for the candidates.
Accessibility is a huge thing nowadays, especially with an increasingly fast-paced and competitive environment. If your hiring process is locked behind a bunch of complex processes, then your HR department and potential applicants will have a hard time. Needless to say, the candidate experience won’t be good in any way.
There are a ton of ways to streamline your hiring process. One of the easiest ways to simplify your recruitment is through a free recruitment CRM software. With a recruitment software, your team can automate manual tasks, such as tracking and scheduling interviews, and focus on other parts of the hiring process.
How to Create and Ensure a Great Candidate Experience
Sure, you can answer why candidate experience matters–but whether you deliver a good experience is another matter altogether.
Creating a good experience for applicants can be a daunting task. After all, with each individual and industry different, streamlining a process to please a majority requires a lot of consideration. So how can your company create ensure a great candidate experience?
No matter what industry you’re in, the following considerations contribute to your hiring process and the candidate experience:
Nobody wants to be caught unprepared. Make sure that you prepare your candidates with all the necessary information they’ll need in the hiring process. From the job description to the proper training, supply the important and vital information needed to your applicants in a timely manner.
Neglecting to tell important information is extremely detrimental to you and the candidate’s relationship. Incomplete–or worse, erroneous–information gives your company a bad reputation. This is why it’s vital to have a functional candidate management system in place, as well as clear and understandable instructions about your hiring process.
Respect and Courtesy
Let’s go back to the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Show your candidates the same respect and courtesy you want to receive from them. The way HR personnel, hiring manager, or any other member of the company communicates with an applicant professionally is a huge factor in the candidate’s journey. A company that treats its candidates with respect and courtesy will always be a great experience.
Simple details such as the time you send emails and messages, the way you talk to them, punctuality and professionalism can make a huge difference. Treating your applicants with respect simply means putting your best foot forward and giving them the same amount of effort and attention they give your company during the hiring process.
More often than not, a bad interview is going to turn off a brilliant candidate from accepting a job offer.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re going to focus on interviews. Generally speaking, there are three things that a company should do in relation to interviews:
- Always follow up post-interview;
- Be honest and upfront about the job’s description and expectations, as well as compensation and benefits;
- Have a short, streamlined, and straightforward interview process
The third point is especially crucial when it comes to refining your recruitment process and creating a good candidate experience. After all, no one wants to have more than five interviews with the same company–only to find out that they didn’t make it. An efficient interview process with consistent updates and follow-ups is key and achievable with a recruiting interview schedule tool.
Start Creating a Great Candidate Experience and Get Top Talent for Your Company!
Talent acquisition has greatly transformed over the past years. With the addition of millennials and Gen Z to the workforce, it’s no surprise that changes need to be made. Now more than ever, candidate experience has become an important part of decision-making for applicants.
Ensure that your company gets the cream of the crop with simple yet significant key points in your recruitment process. Efficiency, politeness, and clarity–these three are the most important factors of your hiring journey. Exercise the three generously and see how your company easily becomes a prized choice for the best talents.