August 28, 2015

It’s All About Candidate Experience

Has hiCandidate experiencering got you down? Are you struggling to find top talent in your field? Are you wondering why you lose great candidates to your competitors?

If you’re feeling the pains of recruiting, you may want to take a look at your candidate experience. Candidate experience has become a crucial driver of hiring success in recent times and a quantifiable metric that businesses are beginning to embrace in record numbers. If you’re not actively pursuing an excellent candidate experience, you may get left in the dust.

Enhancing Candidate Experience to Beat the Competition

According to a recent jobs report, more than 200,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month alone. Candidates are starting to feel good about pursuing new opportunities again. This has caused many who had previously stayed put during the economic downturn to get back out into the job market.

Increasingly, candidates are finding themselves in the driver’s seat. How do employers gain a competitive edge when it comes to hiring in a talent market that favors candidates over companies? They offer great candidate experiences — and it all begins with a click.

According to research from TheLadders, employers have exactly 49.7 seconds to attract candidates with their job postings. If candidates feel the job is not a good fit or that the role looks unappealing, they’ll move on quickly.

But interestingly enough, those same candidates will spend 76.7 seconds evaluating a job if it is appealing. What makes these candidate stick around? The answer is information.

Savvy candidates want to know if they’re going to be a good fit for the organization. They’re scanning not only the job posting itself, but also the company’s career page to determine whether or not they would thrive at the organization.

How can employers show candidates they’ll have a good experience at the organization? They can do this by providing a wealth of information about things like company culture, benefits, perks, realistic expectations for the job, and opportunities for leadership and development.

Great career sites take candidates on a journey. Poor career sites offer a paragraph and some bullet points of a vague job description.

Take Your Candidate on a Guided Tour

BridgeWhen candidates are looking for new positions, they’re not looking to boldly go into the unknown. Most candidates want guidance along the way. Employers struggling to find quality hires may be dropping the ball in this area. From application to offer letter, there are many opportunities for organizations to either engage or lose a quality candidate along the way.

Consider engaging candidates in the following ways:

  • Acceptance of Resume: It seems basic, but candidates want to know that someone has actually received their resumes. However, in many instances, candidates hear nothing but chirping crickets after they hit send. Did the resume disappear into a black hole, or is someone diligently reviewing it? The moment of resume submission provides a perfect point to begin engaging candidates. Here, a helpful recruiter can simply reach out, tell the candidate that they have their resume, and give the candidate a brief outline of what to expect next.
  • Candidate Screening: When it’s time to screen a candidate, do you ambush them over the telephone, or do you set the stage for some impressive employer branding? Increasingly, top employers are using branded video interviews to screen their candidates. These high-tech video interviews offer employers a unique opportunity to engage candidates and make them feel like a part of the brand. Isn’t that better than calling someone’s cell phone to quiz them about their resume when they may be at the gym?
  • Interview Prep: In the space between the initial screening and the first interview, recruiters have an excellent opportunity to further engage candidates. Here, they can continue the conversation and help candidates prepare for their interviews. Candidates will feel more prepared when their friendly recruiter calls up to tell them all about the nuances of the newly created position or what specific skills the hiring manager may be looking to assess.
  • Interview Follow-up: The candidate has had a great interview. They’ve decided they’d love to join the team, and not they’re just waiting with bated breath to find out if they made the cut. Don’t leave the candidate guessing about where they stand. Reach out and let the candidate know about how the process is going and when they should expect to hear a final decision. If the company chooses someone else, be sure to thank the candidate for their time and let them know. Don’t leave them hanging.

Candidate experience is a hot trend right now, but it’s really just common sense.  Job seekers want to be treated like the wonderful potential new employees they hope to be. If you keep that in mind, you, too, can enhance your organization’s candidate experience and attract more quality hires.

Read more in Employer Branding

Catherine Hess is the marketing manager for RightSourcing. In her position, she applies years of experience in HR to publicizing this leading healthcare managed services provider. Outside of HR, her passions extend to cheering on her alma mater, USC, and spending time at the beach.