Candidate experience touches all points of the recruitment process, from the job search all the way through to onboarding. How you manage it can make or break your talent acquisition efforts. That’s why it’s so important to make candidate experience a top priority as you grow your business, especially if you want to hire the best talent globally.
After all, a high-quality, smooth candidate experience can:
- Strengthen your employer brand.
- Help you hire top talent more quickly and cost-effectively.
- Increase job acceptance rate.
- And make existing or future customers more loyal.
As more and more candidates seek remote job opportunities, you must learn how to finetune your candidate experience accordingly.
Now you know why candidate experience matters so much, read on to discover our top tips and candidate experience best practices.
Build Trust Through Employer Branding
Candidate experience begins before you’ve posted the job advertisement; it starts with employer branding. This is how your candidates find out about your company and what it’s like to be part of the team, allowing them to make an informed decision before they apply.
Start off by working with your marketing and hiring department to create a comprehensive and engaging careers page. Talk about your company mission and values and how employees help bring them to life. Let candidates know why it’s an exciting place to work. Flexibility, work-life balance, and growth opportunities are all highly desirable in the current market.
Next, take ownership of your employer branding on external channels such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, jobs boards, etc. Add relevant information from your careers page, share employee stories, and positively engage with potential candidates. If you do receive negative reviews or feedback, respond professionally, honestly, and factually. If the feedback is merited, thank the reviewer and explain how you’ll improve.
Remember, you don’t have to portray your company as the perfect employer; demonstrating a well-rounded and honest overview of your company will put you in a much better position to attract and retain the right people.
Train Your Hiring Managers
Training your hiring managers is as important as training your recruiters. They’ll have just as much - or sometimes more - interaction with the potential candidate and ultimately make the final decision on who to hire.
So devise a training program that all current and future hiring managers can participate in. If your company is growing rapidly, it may be beneficial to do this asynchronously through on-demand video training or documentation. Here are some elements to consider for your training program:
- Unconscious bias training
- Remote interviewing skills and tips
- Global hiring training (e.g., differences in recruitment practices worldwide)
- Advice on writing effective job descriptions
- Mock or practice interviews
Equipped with the right skills, your hiring managers can boost candidate experience significantly, increasing your chances of securing the very best talent.
Simplify the Application Process
On average, candidates spend 11 hours a week searching for jobs, so the last thing they want is an arduous application process just to get past the first hurdle. In fact, 73% of applicants abandon their application if it takes longer than 15 minutes! To ensure the best candidate experience, simplify the application process as much as possible.
Start by optimizing your job advertisements. Ensure they contain all the information the applicant needs to decide if the role and company are right for them. Include a detailed job description, workplace location, required skills and experience, details on compensation and benefits, and important information about your company and culture. It can also be useful to give a brief outline of how the recruitment process works so your candidates can plan ahead.
Then make sure it’s easy to apply for the role. The key is to make the process as speedy as possible while still collecting enough information to screen your candidates effectively. Mobile applications outweigh those made via desktop, so your top priority should be creating a mobile-first experience. One-click applications, integrations with LinkedIn, text-to-apply, and chatbots are all mobile-first application methods that save time for candidates and your hiring team.
Always be sure to test the application process yourself. This will give you a much better understanding of what your candidates go through and how you can further optimize it.
Create a Fair, Streamlined Virtual Interview Process
When it comes to recruitment, speed and efficiency are crucial. So try to optimize your interview process accordingly. Can you reduce the number of stages required? Can you ensure quick, accurate feedback from hiring managers? Can you get an offer out to your chosen candidate before they accept one from another company? Take a look at your current process and optimize it for efficiency.
In the meantime, here are some other remote interview tips to help your hiring team create the best candidate experience:
- Prioritize clear, timely, and empathetic communication, keeping your candidates in the loop throughout the process. This will help you provide a personalized candidate experience.
- Use a global scheduling software to set up interviews across time zones.
- Set candidates up for success by preparing them ahead of the interview. Let them know the interview time, video conferencing software and link, who they’ll meet, and roughly what type of interview style they can expect.
- Prepare a list of conversational questions beforehand and use the same set of questions for each candidate to reduce bias.
- Reduce distractions during the interview by finding a quiet room and switching off notifications.
- Be considerate of cultural differences and your own biases. For example, some cultures are more tolerant of minor lateness than others.
- Use a standardized rating system to score candidates objectively and identify the frontrunners.
- Ensure your technical assessments are fair and reasonable. If they’re particularly time-consuming, consider paying for the candidate’s time.
- Be clear on next steps and timelines, giving candidates an idea of when they should hear back.
- Provide objective and constructive feedback for unsuccessful candidates.
- Give your successful candidate all the information they need to prepare for a smooth onboarding process.
Gather Feedback & Iterate
Your recruitment process will always be a work in progress. As trends evolve and best practices change, so must your approach to recruiting talent. That’s why it’s essential to gather feedback and continually improve and optimize your process.
Send candidate experience surveys to all applicants who reach the interview stage, whether they’re successful or not. Ask them what went well and what didn’t - and listen closely to their feedback. Glassdoor reviews can also be a useful tool for gauging candidate experience; as it’s anonymous, people tend to be more honest!
Finally, keep up with recruitment trends by reading industry magazines and news websites. Find out what candidates want so you can meet their expectations. If you take an iterative approach to recruiting, you’re well on your way to creating the best candidate experience possible.