“Recruiting is hard”. We all know the feeling. When you don’t find the right candidate, or when you lose a candidate to a competitor. But it is also one of the most important parts of any business. Building a team is the first step to achieving your business goals.
To succeed in recruitment, you need to create a better candidate experience, and that starts with your initial contact with them.
In this article, we want to help you improve your candidate experience and provide an overview of the necessary processes and procedures.
1. What is meant by Candidate Experience?
Candidate experience is how your candidates perceive the process you use to find new employees. In other words, it is the experience of candidates who are applying to your company. A good candidate experience can help you attract and retain the best talent(s). A bad candidate experience can hinder the hiring process and even cause a drop in your employee’s productivity. This is the reason why it is important to improve your candidate experience.
How can you make sure that your candidates are well taken care of from start to finish?
The process starts with a good job description and a powerful job ad.
You need to attract interesting and interested candidates. This is the reason why it is important to have a good career site. This is the place where potential candidates can find the resources they need to apply. Once they are in your funnel, you can start filtering them.
Candidate Experience also includes communication with the candidate, the atmosphere during interviews and the time the company takes to respond to the candidate.
The application process has different phases that are stressful for candidates, like the research phase, the application, the interviews, the decision, and feedback. Many mistakes can occur in these phases and candidates can be lost. This is the reason why you need to optimize your application process and your candidate experience.
It is important to improve your candidate experience and optimise this process as it can enhance the external image of the company and represents an important factor in corporate management.
2. What makes a good candidate experience?
Often, the candidate’s experience during the recruiting process is not positive due to an outdated application process. Nowadays, the name of the company or its reputation is not enough anymore to inspire candidates.
Thinking that the candidate is lucky to get a response from you or that she/he needs to adapt to you is wrong. Actually, for a few years, this is the opposite.
Indeed, the shortage of talents and skilled workers increased the demand and the competition between companies. They now need to adapt to the candidates to be able to keep long-term contact, not the opposite.
A good presentation of your company and the job on all channels
The first point of contact between candidates and companies is usually the career site. It must be informative and accessible.
Candidates can only engage and have an interest in a company if they can have a clear understanding of it, its goals, and its values. Your website must have all the important information to discover what you do, where and how. Have a modern website with videos, pictures of your team and very importantly a career page where it is easy to apply.
Social Media are also important sources of information for candidates. Many companies post their job offers on LinkedIn and most of the candidates have a profile. Instagram is also a good medium to promote your employer branding.
These different channels must give a positive first impression to candidates but also an understanding of you and your team.
A fast application process
To improve your candidate experience you also need a fast application process. If the online application takes too long to be submitted or if the candidate cannot contact you, she/he can abandon the process.
To limit such problems, avoid any unnecessary formalities. Make it easy and simple. The candidate should be able to easily know what type of documents to send you and where.
Nowadays, applications happen online, via your website or social media and more and more via mobile.
You can also have a questionnaire, but don’t make a long or too complicated one. If you want more information about a candidate, ask for a cover letter or an interview. Let also the possibility for the candidates to upload other documents like a portfolio.
Once the candidate has applied, you need to confirm it fast. It is important to keep constant contact with her/him. Some tools exist to send automatic replies for every application. If a candidate must wait for a long time before having any news from you, she/he will lose interest and will continue applying for other companies.
Showing interest in the candidate from the first point of contact (the application) shows that you have an interest, and this matters a lot for candidates to build trust.
Candidates need care, respect, and transparency during the whole recruitment process.
During an interview, you want to know as much as you can about the candidate, and she/he needs to convince you that she/he is a good fit for your team.
But it also goes the other way around. You need to convince her/him that your company is the good one for her/him. Show the candidate your common values. Present an interesting job and a nice team. Share with them your different social engagements.
Don’t hide any details about the job because if it is different from the description when the candidate will start the job, you might lose her/him, but also time and money.
Be open about the salary, the benefits, and the type of contract from the beginning of the process. Both of you don’t want to lose time.
How to deal with refusals?
Even if you decided not to hire a candidate, you need to think about the way you will tell her/him. It is important for your employer banding. Indeed, if the candidate feels badly treated or found you rude, she/he can easily write a negative review on Google or Kununu for example. And nowadays, many candidates check reviews before applying for a company.
A refusal is never nice, but you have better ways than others to do it, to avoid hurting a candidate. Be honest and quickly inform the refused candidates. The best is also to call them, mostly if they had several interviews with you.
A refusal can also be complicated to handle for candidates, mostly if they don’t understand the reason why you didn’t select them. Therefore, for candidates who went far during the recruitment process, try to always give them feedback. Explain your reason to them. It will help them to understand it better and get better for the next interviews.
Have a good pre-onboarding
Companies understood the importance of good onboarding for new employees but often forget about the pre-onboarding.
As explained above, it is important to never lose contact with the candidate. Pre-onboarding is the phase between the moment when the candidate accepted the offer and her/his first day at work.
A candidate rarely only applies for one single company but has several recruitment processes at the same time. She/he can easily change her/his choice and decide to start in another company if she/he finds the benefits or the relationship better somewhere else. Avoid a last-minute refusal, stay in contact the whole time with the candidate, help her/him with any specific documentation and give her/him already information about her/his future tasks.
If you have a team event, it is also great to invite future employees to the gathering to meet the team.
As a recruitment agency, we don’t only help candidates to find the perfect team.
Our consultants are also in contact with clients looking for the best match for their team(s). We know how important it is to improve your candidate experience and we help our clients to optimise it to attract the best talents.
Are you looking for new employees? Contact us, our consultant will call you to discuss your needs and advise you.