How to Boost Your Candidate Experience

The candidate experience is no longer being overlooked by companies big and small.

In the past the common conception was something along the lines of “why do we care about what the candidates think if we’re not hiring them?”

With the rise of technology, pervasive interconnectedness, and social media, that idea has been turned on its head.

The candidate experience is a vital component of your employer brand. If you’re seen as a company that disregards candidates, lacks transparency and isn’t willing to engage in communication with potential employees, it’s going to become known on a wider scale and the really top-quality talent isn’t going to want to be involved with your organization.

So how do you create a positive candidate experience?

Put Yourself in the Shoes of the Job Seeker

This first tip really goes back to the good old “treat others as you’d like to be treated” mentality. Rather than treating candidates like they’re irrelevant or disposable, understand that they’ve likely gone through a long job search and it’s probably involved a lot of anxiety.

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Whether you’re making a job simpler to apply for online, or simply treating a candidate with respect during the interview process, it’s really important to think from their perspective.

Along with this concept comes the idea of treating candidates as if they’re people. It sounds so simple but often the recruitment and candidate processes become so automatic and robotic that everyone forgets real people are involved. Keep this in mind during your interactions with potential candidates.

Continuous Communication

Constant communication and transparency is vital to managing your company’s candidate experience. We’ve all probably been in that position where we submit a resume only to never get a reply, or we go to an interview and are promised a call either way, yet it never comes.

When you’re creating a candidate management strategy, communication needs to be an inherent part of the process. Don’t leave candidates hanging during any step of that process, or it’s going to lead people to have a negative perception of your organization.

Focus on Feedback

Feedback becomes a two-way street in the candidate experience, and it’s important on multiple fronts.

First, don’t be afraid to offer honest feedback to candidates. If you’re not planning to hire someone, let them know why so it will strengthen them in their job search. Candidates are usually grateful when you take the time to offer feedback, as long as it’s constructive and valuable.

Also important is gathering feedback from candidates about your organization’s performance. Many companies with the best candidate experience and employer brand are able to constantly work to gather feedback from their candidates and really use it to make changes when necessary.

It’s beneficial to get feedback from both individuals that are hired and the ones who aren’t, in order to gain the broadest perspective about your candidate experience.

Build a Robust Recruiting Operation

When you’re facing a candidate who is just completely unqualified and is most certainly the wrong person for a position, it can be challenging to not be dismissive, and then the result is often that everyone feels as if their time has been wasted—both you and the candidate will probably feel frustrated.

An important part of a good candidate experience relies on ensuring you also have a good recruitment strategy in place, so you’re really only working with qualified candidates.

This is what’s going to allow you to give constructive feedback and communicate on a regular basis, as opposed to having to do these things with candidates that were never an option to begin with.

October 17, 2014   Updated :March 25, 2015      

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