What They Tell You to do about Candidate Experience

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talking about candidate experienceWhy is candidate experience everyone’s favorite subject? Because it’s easy to talk about and much harder to do. Here are some statements that busy recruiters hear all the time:

What they say: Go through your own application process.

Why they say it:? Because it helps. Once you realize what it’s like from a candidate’s perspective, you get a better feel for your tech, you more easily see holes in the application process and you gain some much needed empathy for why they mess it up.

Why it’s important to do:? Because you can’t truly understand your own technology, process and applicants unless you have walked in their shoes. Looking at it from the outside gives an organization perspective.

What makes it tough: Getting perspective is not the same as getting a check for a new ATS, time for a long term implementation or additional staff to extend your time so you can address whatever you find.

Bottom line: It may not change anything right away, but knowing is better than ignorance. While it may be frustrating to know about issues you can’t fix immediately, you’ll have a better candidate experience just for understanding your own systems.

What they say: Give your applicants as much time as they give you.

Why they say it: Because humans should treat each other kindly and gradually companies are becoming more aware that social can be their worst enemy when candidates feel mistreated.

Why it’s important: Candidates need to know that the time they’ve invested in applying and interviewing for your position meant something, even if they don’t get the job. Today’s rejected applicant could be tomorrow’s consumer.

What makes it tough: Not everyone has that kind of time and when you’re running a full desk, 15 minutes or 45 minutes for every candidates, even the unsuitable ones, just can’t happen every day.

Bottom line: You need to make candidates FEEL appreciated, but it doesn’t have to take all day. Implementing one key feature in your arsenal (a personalized auto-responder for example) can do wonders in letting candidates know they’ve been heard.

What they say: Build an FAQ or roadmap for your online applicants.

Why they say it: If this is a war for talent, we need some rules of engagement.

Why it’s important: One of the most common questions when I speak to jobseekers is ‘How do I get noticed in a pool of hundreds of resumes?’ YOUR candidates want to be able to cut through the noise and raise their hands and be counted, but they don’t know how.

What makes it tough: Not every recruiter or HR professional has the ability to monkey around with their website and unless you HAVE gone through your own application process, you’re not really qualified to write a roadmap.

Bottom line: Whether it’s in an email, on a landing page or you have to bring the IT guy an avocado wrap every day for two weeks, you should make this a priority. When jobseekers know how to approach you, they have a better chance of getting it right.

What they say: Set expectations early and often.

Why they say it: Because most often what candidates desire most (besides a job!) is to be acknowledged.

Why it’s important: If your interview process takes 60 days and you don’t tell applicants that, you may miss out on a great prospect because they didn’t know it would take that long.

What makes it tough: It’s in our nature to wait for the exact right fit to come along and letting people know precisely how you do it feels a bit like losing control.

Bottom line: Committing your expectations and agreement with the applicants to “paper” makes it more likely that you will ensure quality in your own recruiting standards and it gives candidates an idea of where they stand. Remember, yours isn’t the only job they’ve applied for!

By Maren Hogan