Candidate experience is defined as how job applicants view a prospective employer’s entire recruitment and on-boarding process – from the initial contact with a recruitment manager, through the interview process, finding out if they have been successful or unsuccessful in their application and eventually commencing work.
In this blog, Stericycle GxP’s Recruitment Manager, Victoria Cummins, discusses the implications of good and bad candidate experience as well as sharing some best practice tips.
Why is candidate experience so important?
Candidate experience captures how candidates feel about your company once they experience your hiring process. ... But crafting a good candidate experience involves more than that. It involves a mind-set shift that focuses on respecting candidates' time and designing your candidate experience to be as positive as possible.
Providing a good experience for candidates is essential, should you identify a successful candidate, their acceptance of offer may come down to whether or not their experience was a positive one. I have spoken to candidates that have turned down offers or withdrawn from processes after a negative experience.
So when does the candidate experience start?
In my opinion the candidate experience starts before the potential applicant has clicked “apply now”.
Candidates invest a lot of time navigating through job boards and LinkedIn sourcing roles of interest to them. They read specifications evaluating and matching their own skill set and experience to those listed. Then there are application forms, another process that the candidate has to complete before submitting. 60% of applicants withdraw from the process due to the application form or process being to taxing.
It is here we as recruiters / hiring managers must ensure that the application process isn’t too lengthy, repetitive or difficult to fulfill. This is where the candidate’s impression of the company is established. Research suggests that when we meet someone for the first time we take 7 seconds before deciding on the impression. This is no different in the recruiting world.
Responding to candidates
In a nut shell this is essential. Candidates should receive acknowledgement of their application. With technology that helps make communication easier and faster, there is no excuse for this not to happen. We have auto respond emails, LinkedIn recruiter message templates etc. It is no longer a laborious task of trudging through paper CV's and responding to each applicant individually. It boils down to common courtesy.
So you submit your candidate to the client and an interview is arranged. The client is keen and stresses an urgent need to have the role filled - you have given this priority and spent time sourcing, screening and submitting. A few days pass after your candidate met with the client and you’ve no feedback. This can be very frustrating. It is now you need to engage with the candidate, ask them their feedback as this is just as important. How did they think it all went? Keep them in the loop. Even if you haven’t a decision for them, keep them engaged.
Why should we focus on candidate experience?
Job seekers today are essentially more demanding, they expect more and rightly so. With so many competing organisations it really is an employees’ market. People are also a lot more vocal and have no bothers in sharing experiences online, more often the negative ones. This has a huge effect on how others will react towards your company.
In a nutshell, acknowledge, respond and engage. Good manners cost us nothing.
Author: Victoria Cummins