How can you improve candidate experience as a recruiter?
Updated: Feb 8
Article by Caroline Fast
Candidate experience is the only recruiting strategy that worked in the past and will continue to work in the future - as long as we recruit people and not robots. As such it is one of the most important factors for attracting talent.
Candidate experience is how candidates feel about the company once they experience the hiring process. These feelings, whether good or bad, influence candidates in their decision to apply to positions at a company and in their decision on whether to accept a job offer. The candidate experience is important for many reasons, for example, happier candidates make for happier employees or customers, but mainly because you want your reputation as an employer to stand out.
So, a positive candidate experience will make candidates feel good about your company, a very positive candidate experience might make them eager to share their good feelings with others, in so, helping build up the company's reputation. On the other hand, a negative candidate experience will make candidates lose respect for you, both as an employer and as a brand, and once again might make them eager to share their bad feelings with others, in so damaging the company’s reputation. Knowing how important the candidate's experience is, how can we improve it throughout the different stages of the hiring process?
Starting with writing clear job descriptions:
List must-haves and not nice-to-haves as requirements. Job descriptions with endless lists of requirements scare off candidates who don’t meet every single requirement. That way you will not discourage strong candidates from applying.
Structure the job description to be easy to read. Job posts are easier to read if they list the most important information first and are full of bullet points, active verbs, and short sentences.
Make management responsibilities obvious. If the role you’re hiring for has management responsibilities, make them explicit. If your manager-level employees actually have to manage people, let your candidates know.
Follow-up early and often:
Send an interview invite or a rejection email as soon as you can. The overwhelming majority of candidates who end up accepting interviews and jobs are those who had a response from the employer within two days of applying. Getting back to candidates promptly, with either good news or bad, will set you apart and demonstrate that you value your candidates’ time - which is one of the best ways to improve candidate experience.
Be clear and communicative:
Tell candidates what to expect - Send a calendar invite with as much information as possible. Candidates think better of employers that empower them to do well and have a clear job application process.
Tell candidates if you’re no longer considering them, as soon as you can - sending a clear rejection message is much better than giving candidates the silent treatment. The best rejection messages end things on a positive note and offer to provide more specific feedback to candidates, who are often interested in learning from their interview experience with you. Wish candidates well, offer to keep in contact and, if you think they would be a good candidate for future roles, tell them that you will consider them in the future.
When it comes to crafting a positive candidate experience, little things can make a big difference.
In addition to embracing these suggestions, try to be thoughtful, considerate, and attentive to details, this will ensure a good candidate experience and a positive impression of your company.
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