Recruiters and employers evaluate candidates based on several factors, including the quality of their resume, their interview performance, and their technical, analytical, and behavioral skills. Simultaneously, candidates are also evaluating and forming opinions about the company as they move through the interview process.
Did you know that candidates who have a positive interview experience are 38% more likely to accept a job offer from the company? In today’s competitive job market, hiring process expenses can be steep, costing companies an average of $4,700 per hire, with a time cost average of 36-42 days to fill a single position. This is why employers need to focus on cultivating a positive candidate experience from the very beginning.
For recruiters and businesses examining how to improve candidate experience, there are numerous talent acquisition strategies to help create a more positive experience for job seekers. Check out these four tips to help your company improve employer branding and create a better candidate experience for your job candidates.
Simple tips for cultivating a positive candidate experience
The interview gives each job applicant a glimpse into what the employee experience will be like at your company. When businesses prioritize strong hiring methods, they have a greater chance of both finding and keeping the best contender for the job.
Remember, your job applicants are very likely also your customers. Candidates who have bad experiences with a brand are not only likely to stop using the company’s product or service (64%), but they’re also likely to share their negative candidate experience with friends and family (72%). The ripple effects of candidate resentment can influence a company’s reputation for years.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few helpful techniques that businesses can use to boost the overall candidate experience for prospective employees.
1. Be transparent and communicate clearly with job applicants.
A whopping 63% of candidates say that most employers do not communicate adequately during the recruiting process, leading to applicant frustration and damaging employer branding. Clear communication is a key part of a strong interview process, and there are many actions that a company can take to help foster a great candidate experience through proper communication:
- Set clear expectations right from the start.
Be straightforward in the job posting and make sure that the job description uses inclusive language, provides clear details about salary and benefits, and only includes the specific requirements needed for the position. Clearly present the details of the interview process to your candidates, clarifying the number of rounds, interview types, and overall timeline of the recruitment process. Providing clarifying information on hiring expectations helps candidates to better prepare for the process while simultaneously mitigating stress and uncertainty.
- Ensure that your recruiter is both organized and attentive.
A prospective candidate will feel more at ease when the hiring manager is prepared and practicing active listening to make the applicant feel their time is valued. Additionally, take the time to create and send calendar invites for all scheduled phone interviews, video interviews, or in-person interviews to keep the process orderly.
- Provide immediate feedback during each step of the hiring process.
That includes after the candidate applies, after the initial phone screen, and after the full interview. Candidates put a lot of time and effort into creating resumes, writing cover letters, and preparing for interviews, so this extra bit of communication goes a long way in boosting morale, even if the feedback isn’t all positive. A constructive response is far more welcome than no response at all.
2. Establish an authentic connection with prospective candidates and be consistent.
More than half of job seekers say employers either rarely or never informed them about the status of their application. And 53% of candidates report not receiving a response from employers until three months after applying. Why is this such a common experience in today’s job market? It’s because hiring processes have become so impersonal that an individual is turned into a number that gets quickly buried in a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS).
With technology advancing daily, recruiting and hiring processes have become more automated than ever before. Candidates are put through automatic evaluations like online assessments and one-way video interviews, monitored by artificial intelligence that is tasked with matching profiles to job positions. This application method spells a complete lack of human jurisdiction during the initial hiring steps. So, how can we amend this to bring more humanity to the hiring process?
First, create personalized messages for your candidates. While most recruiting practices use automated systems to save time and money, it’s still possible to utilize these tools to show up authentically for your candidates throughout their interview journey. Employ automation to create personalized fields for candidate names, skill sets, qualifications, and references. Make sure your writing is conversational and genuine in tone and set up automated responses for common inquiries. Plus, ensure that applicants have a way to reach a hiring manager outside any automated messaging. It’s important to strike the right balance between efficiency and authenticity.
Second, cultivate a relationship with the job seeker and stay connected. Show enthusiasm about their application and take time throughout the process to express gratitude for their interest in the company. Whether or not your candidate lands the job, it can be beneficial to maintain a relationship with them, because you might be looking for someone with their specific skill set in the future. Connect with them on LinkedIn, offer to sign them up for any job alerts and/or email newsletters, and make an effort to keep them in your network.
3. Respect candidate time by streamlining the application process.
According to SHRM, 60% of job seekers have quit an application in the middle due to its length or complexity. Nowadays, application processes can be highly time-consuming. With an endless stream of incoming online assessments, candidates can be more particular about which jobs they apply for, which could mean that you’re losing out on valuable, high-performing job contenders.
The #1 negative reason that candidates remove themselves from job consideration is that they felt their time was disrespected. One of the best ways to remedy this issue is by implementing a short and simple application process:
- Ensure that your applications are user-friendly and include mobile accessibility.
- Make pre-screens quick and seamless.
- Verify that application instructions are straightforward and precise.
- Set up automated processes for steps like reference checking and pre-screening.
- Add more creativity to your application questions with interesting question sets that boost candidate engagement.
Utilizing these methods can lessen the workloads of your hiring managers while making the application process more efficient and effective for the candidate.
4. Ask for post-application feedback.
Talentegy reports that 75% of candidates are never or rarely asked for feedback after applying for a job. A bad candidate experience can leave a candidate feeling belittled and undervalued. By asking for feedback, companies emphasize that they value candidates’ opinions and create room for gaining insight into their current recruitment strategies.
Businesses can now start generating feedback immediately by implementing feedback tools that initiate post-application surveys, post-interview surveys, recruiter feedback surveys, NPS surveys, and more. Companies that use a feedback strategy throughout the hiring process have a better chance of improving their net promoter score while increasing candidate referrals and brand awareness.
Though there are many ways a company can boost candidate engagement, these four tips are practical and actionable for businesses of all sizes. Not only do they provide a more dignified candidate experience for each job seeker, but they’ll also end up saving money and time for your business over and over again.
When you take a closer look at your company’s typical candidate journey, it may surprise you how quickly you’ll be able to make simple changes that can significantly improve your hiring processes. Start by making minor changes, like editing email templates, job descriptions, and candidate questionnaires. Then, take some time to look at your recruitment team’s interview styles, so you can better determine how to build a common practice for everyone to follow.
By adopting clear communication and engagement styles, encouraging authenticity in feedback, and bringing ease to the candidate journey, you can ensure that the talent you’re looking for will feel equally as passionate about joining your company once they’ve cleared the interview process.
Make your candidate experience stand out in a competitive field, so you can find, land, and retain top-quality candidates for years to come. Learn more about candidate experience here.
Want to learn more about how you can utilize VITAY to improve candidate experience? Chat with one of our Account Managers today!