In today’s job market, candidates have so much information available to them that allows them to be more selective. Because of this, the experience a candidate has with your company has never been so important.
Having a positive candidate experience is essential for attracting and recruiting top talent. The statistics speak for themselves: 72% of candidates who had a negative experience report sharing their experience online or on employer review sites or with professional contacts. 83% of candidates said they would never apply to a company again if an application process was frustrating. All this means to say: candidate experience matters. Here’s how you can improve yours:
When it comes to attracting talent, poor communication reflects badly on your company brand. If you want to improve your candidate experience, ensure that you focus on improving communication throughout the entire application process.
Do you provide enough information about how a candidate should complete a job application? What about when they’ve completed it? Do you email them, thanking them and letting them know what comes next? You should do – and the standard “If you haven’t heard from us within 14 days, your application has been unsuccessful.” isn’t enough. Technology has progressed enough to the point that all your email communication should at least be personalized.
If they’re unsuccessful, it is essential that you tell them so! 65% of candidates (me included) say that they’ve applied for a job and haven’t received notice about their application. From personal experience, there is nothing more off-putting about a company than spending hours preparing and submitting an application to then receive nothing but radio silence. Candidates who are not informed about their application are 3.5x less likely to re-apply to that company in the future.
2. Keep it short and simple
Candidates don’t have a lot of time to navigate complex application processes and apply for your jobs. For this reason, the simpler the better. In fact, since 2014, 50% of all job searches were performed on a mobile device. So when it comes to online applications, make sure the process is easy, pain-free, and mobile-friendly.
3. Show them around
Office tours help you to improve candidate experience for three main reasons:
Firstly, they give you an insight into how the candidate might fit into your company culture. Walking them around the office and introducing them to their potential co-workers gives you chance to learn things you just wouldn’t find out inside the interview room. Things like how they interact with other people give you an insight into their personality that you wouldn’t see otherwise.
Secondly, they’re beneficial for the candidate. Candidates are increasingly advised to remember that the interview is a chance for them to scope out and interview the company, too. With that in mind, a tour helps them learn more about your atmosphere and company culture. Showing interviewees around will give them a clearer idea of their environment, which in turn helps them make an informed choice about whether to accept a position or not, effectively impacting your turnover rates.
Finally, tours can ultimately increase your candidate flow. Office tours have a positive effect on your candidate experience, which leads to happy candidates (regardless of whether they got the job or not), which eventually leads to referrals to friends and family, or even reapplications.
4. Provide feedback
Providing feedback (good and bad!) is one of the best ways to improve candidate experience.
Candidates often spend hours preparing for an interview, so the least you can do is to provide them with feedback afterwards. Try to make it as meaningful and specific as possible – was there anything in particular that made your decision not to hire them?
Kate Reilly acknowledges that giving specific feedback can be difficult. After all, it’s easier to say “You’re not a good fit” than “We were concerned with XYZ”. But, by giving candidates specific feedback, they can work to overcome the problem and will be better prepared in future – something they will probably be grateful for.
5. Request feedback
Like I mentioned at the start – it’s a candidate’s job market. Two-way communication is important when it comes to improving candidate experience, so make sure that you ask your candidate about theirs. Whether you do it via a questionnaire or through a quick email after you’ve met them is up to you, as long as you give the candidate chance to tell you their thoughts. Requesting feedback from your candidate is an opportunity for you to find out how your brand is really perceived. If they raise any negative points, take the chance to address the problem and work on it.
Improving candidate experience is one of the most beneficial things you can do to your hiring process. Just a few simple changes can positively impact your talent acquisition strategy. Think about it – if a candidate has the choice between two companies, they’re going to go for the one they had a better experience with.