Why the Candidate Experience is Important and How to Get it Right
Candidates and companies. These two sides are the critical elements that make up the recruitment process. Companies want good people and candidates want to belong to good companies. Of course, there are other pieces involved — like us recruiters — but the two key sides have remained the same and will continue to for as long as recruitment is a function.
While the basics are immovable, the industry is undeniably going through some drastic change. In the last decade, we have seen great strides in recruitment technology, adoption of structured HR processes and, most interestingly, the shifting power dynamic between the two core sides.
For decades it was the companies that held the power. They controlled the processes, they kept the keys to prosperity and opportunity, and the candidates just had to play by their rules and hope to be selected.
Today, however, candidates are scarce, values are shifting, and people care far more about working for an organisation that treats people well, both inside and outside of their employment.
Providing a positive experience for candidates throughout the recruitment process is now a critical factor in how a company will be judged and whether or not a candidate will accept a role. To secure the best people, companies need to figure out how to combine their thorough (occasionally slow-moving) recruitment processes with a candidate experience that is second to none.
After all, good candidates know good candidates — your employer brand matters.
How to get the Candidate Experience Right
Prepare Candidates for What’s to Come
When you first speak to a candidate and enter them into the recruitment process, it’s essential to prepare them for what they can expect moving forward. What is the first step, who will they meet, what should they be prepared for, what are the expected timelines of the process?
Preparing candidates with this information not only helps them to prepare, but it also gives you a break. Prepared candidates are less likely to be calling and emailing asking for this information.
One simple and effective way to do this well is to create an email template that welcomes them to the process and lets them know what to expect. This should include how many steps there are, what they need to prepare, and how long the whole process is expected to take.
Give Valuable Feedback
This goes for recruitment agencies and companies alike. If you interview someone and they have given their time to come and open up to you, it is only fair that you provide them with feedback on their interview.
If they do not match the technical skill level, let them know, so they know what the standard is for your organisation. If they come across in a particular way in the interview, let them know, so they know to be mindful of this in future interviews.
Giving feedback is a minimal gesture that can mean so much to the candidate. Even if you aren’t looking to progress with them, offering feedback leaves a positive impression, and this can turn even unsuccessful candidates into company advocates.
Keep Candidates in the Loop
Again, whether you’re a recruitment agency, an organisation recruiting yourself, or an organisation recruiting via an agency, you must keep candidates in the loop throughout the entire recruitment process.
If you, like most, are at the mercy of others who tend to drag things on, let the candidate or the agency you’re working with know this. The best way to remedy this is to tell them that you hope to get back in XYZ amount of time, and if you don’t, they should feel comfortable to email you a reminder. This way, the candidate is aware that you care about their experience but have some decisions out of your control.
Transparency creates trust and leaves a great experience, even if they don’t get the job.
Implementing these steps is an easy and effective way to make your employer brand stand out. But if you don’t have the time to manage these steps, you can always outsource to Launch; your tech recruitment partner committed to keeping your employer brand a top priority.