“Candidate experience” is a widely known term within the recruiting industry. It refers to how candidates perceive and interact with the recruitment and hiring process – interaction with a career site, job application method, screening methods, interviewing, and any other touchpoint a candidate may have with the hiring organization. There are many activities that take place within the recruitment process but all of them can be grouped into 7 candidate journey touchpoints – awareness, consideration, interest, application, selection, hire, and onboarding.
Recruiting and hiring is labour intensive but worthwhile if you maximize the candidate experience by sharpening your focus.
- Do You Really Have a Hiring Need?
Don’t play games with candidates. If you’re not sure about whether or not you will hire someone, be transparent with them.
Let them know: “We really appreciate your time but we are currently exploring as we do not yet have a clear hiring need. However, we want to get to know you because we think you could be a really good fit here.”
Networking is beneficial and so is your honesty with candidates.
- Communicate, Communicate and Communicate Some More
There is nothing worse for a candidate than not knowing what’s going on in the recruiting process. The most common situation is where a candidate submits their application and then hears nothing; otherwise known as the dreaded “black hole”. People like information and expect it immediately so when there’s no communication, the candidate starts to worry and fill in the gaps with worst-case scenarios. The simple fix is to ensure candidates are kept in the loop and feel comfortable contacting the hiring organization to ask questions. This will contribute to a positive candidate experience.
- Be Organized and Prepared
While the majority of an interview process is conducted virtually over video, interviewers should be prepared with relevant questions, instead of just “winging it”. Candidates deserve to be respected for the time and effort they are committing to the hiring process.
- Engage with Prospective Candidates Even When You are Not Hiring
Recruitment platforms like Pinpoint offer rich tools for hiring managers and recruiters to engage with a community of interested candidates and job prospects. Organizations need to start thinking strategically about how and when they communicate with people – not just when they have a hiring need. It’s like the old network contact who you haven’t heard from in 5 years and they magically pop out of the trees and want you to help them. Optimize your recruiting tools so you can promote and cultivate a magnetic and attractive employer brand. This means keeping your network warm by engaging with them on an ongoing basis.
- Automate Where and When it Makes Sense
You will never be able to fully automate a people-related function like recruiting where the human element and a personal touch is paramount. However, you can take advantage of the benefits of automating critical tasks: job applications (leveraging chatbots), candidate screening (real-time video interviews), meeting and interview scheduling (A.I. powered calendars), updates to candidates on the hiring process and next steps (pre-built recruiting workflows), candidate feedback, reference checks, and offers management.
Delivering a positive candidate experience is accessible to any sized organization, regardless of budget. For job candidates, brand recognition and overall perception factor into their decision to take, or not take, a job offer. By understanding the psychology behind candidate behaviour and leveraging amazing technology tools, any organization can win the war for top talent.