4 Ways to Audit Your Candidate Experience

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PenLet’s be honest: the hiring process is stressful for everyone involved. However, the candidate experience goes especially overlooked too often, and strong candidates are deterred by negative experiences during the hiring process. Positive candidate and new-hire experiences are essential, not only to attracting and retaining top talent, but also to a company’s overall brand.

According toresearch from Talent Board, nearly all candidates (96.9 percent) who had a positive experience during the hiring process would either apply for the job again or refer someone else, further proving that a positive experience for candidates creates a stronger network for employers.

While a good candidate experience serves as great marketing for an organization, a bad one can discourage future applicants and referrals. With that in mind, here are a few ways to audit your candidate experience to better serve your organization and candidates alike:

Social Recruitment

Just as recruiters learn a lot about a potential candidate via their social media presence, the candidate does the same with companies. Take a good look at your social platforms and review your profile, past posts, comments, and the like.

First and foremost, your social profile should be an accurate reflection of your company and showcase your unique brand. Can candidates easily navigate back to your career site? Include links to your company website on all social platforms. Additionally, don’t forget about the “social” aspect of social media, and set aside time to respond to comments and requests.

Finally, posting job openings, career updates, and relevant industry information on a regular basis is an effective way to engage candidates on social media.

Reevaluate Your Career Site

You’ll never get a second chance to make a good first impression, and a company’s career site is likely to be a candidate’s first impression of the company and job position. It only takes seconds to form a first impression online, so having a user-friendly career site is a fundamental part of the candidate experience.

Take a look at your website and evaluate it for the following:

  • Attractive Design: A website’s design plays an important role in a candidate’s first impression of a company. A cluttered, complicated design will give the impression of an equally cluttered, complicated company. Sometimes, less is more.

  • Ease of Use: A site that is easy to use is crucial. To maintain a positive candidate experience, make sure candidates can easily navigate your career site and be sure to link to your social platforms. This is also where having a mobile-friendly website comes into play.

  • Quality of Content: Content — or rather, quality content — is the heart of your career site. Your content should be relevant and updated on a regular basis to keep visitors informed and interested. Aim to reevaluate your website content at least annually. As industries evolve, so should your content.

  • Quantity of Content: You can, in fact, have too much content. Avoid overwhelming candidates with too much website content by organizing that content into easy-to-read bulleted lists, subsections, and visuals.

Go Mobile

According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, 89 percent of employees who say they’ll look for a new job in the next year also say their mobile device is an important tool and resource for the job search. Looking to the future, 84 percent believe mobile devices will be the most common way people search for jobs within the next five years. Of those, many say it will happen even sooner.

Did you know one in four candidates would not apply to a job if a company’s career site was not mobile optimized? Unfortunately, 40 percent of job seekers say currently applying for jobs on mobile devices is difficult or very difficult. Attract and retain candidates by making your career site mobile-friendly so candidates can easily view your site on their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

Continue the Conversation

What better way to improve your candidate experience than to ask candidates what they liked or did not like about your organization’s hiring process? You can learn just as much from a candidate as they can learn from you. Consider asking applicants and new hires to take a quick survey after the application or orientation process — anonymously, of course!

Just as you should request feedback on how to better improve your hiring process, it’s not a bad idea to also give feedback to the candidate. According to research from Integrity Search, Inc., 37.7 percent of candidate frustrations during the hiring process are the result of not receiving any sort of feedback from employers.

As the search for top talent becomes more competitive, companies can’t afford to lose out on that talent because of a poor candidate experience. Companies that truly care about the candidate experience will make these audit items a priority. While they will take some time and effort, these steps will help your organization create the positive candidate experience it needs to attract and retain ideal candidates.

By Hugo Pereira