The term 'candidate experience' is one that we've been hearing a lot of recently, but what does it mean and is it important?
This HR buzzword refers to a candidates experience throughout your hiring process. So yes, it's important. This is a HR trend that's here to stay because it has to. Recruiting is candidate driven now and if you want top talent it has to want you. This is why it's essential you provide a positive candidate experience.
A report run by 2014, 2015 and 2016 CandE Reports showed that companies who did not provide a positive candidate experience were more likely to encounter unfavorable effects. Candidates who had a negative experience were more likely to reject your job offering, never apply again and encourage others not to apply.
The same reports show that conversely, candidates who had a positive experience were more likely to accept your offer, reapply in future and refer others to your company.
You'll find that as a result of having a positive candidate experience you will receive more applications, more quality hires with a reduced cost and time to fill.
Have a transparent job description
Be clear about what the role will entail. Don't try to make the role sound flashy and exciting if it isn't. You might not get as many applications but the ones you do receive will be engaged quality candidates. Be transparent about the requirements and responsibilities but don't go overboard. If your job description lists anything more than the absolute essentials you're driving applicants away.
Trying to portray what life working at your company is like can be tough. Try delegating tasks like these to somebody on your marketing team who can put a creative spin on the job description.
If you can't do this, there's a tonne of resources online to help you give your job description more flair and receive more candidates.
Learn more: Create a Winning Job Description in Minutes
Make the application process easy
Nowadays, everything must be completed within the click of a button. That goes for job applications too. Make sure your application process is streamlined and has the minimal amount of stages to avoid candidate drop off.
Unsurprisingly, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of candidates applying with their mobile phones, with numbers to only increase. Be sure your process is mobile ready to avoid candidate drop off here too. A great way to grab these candidates attention is social media. Take a look at your social media recruiting strategy. If you don't have one it's probably a good time to start taking advantage of these platforms for passive candidates.
Having a streamlined mobile friendly application process will engage passive candidates too, who may be busy top talent working elsewhere.
Have a strong careers page
According to CareerBuilder, 89% of job seekers use an employer's career sites to get key information.
Your careers page is arguably one of the most influential pages on your website. Being one of your most useful recruiting tools and where many of your potential employees will come to learn about your company, it's important that these candidates can easily find the information they need.
Need help setting up the perfect careers page? Our blog Build a Strong Careers Page may help!
Be straightforward about your hiring process
A vital part in creating a positive candidate experience is to give a clear direction of the hiring process. Make sure your candidates understand each step of the application process and an estimate of how long it will take to progress to each step.
Research shows most candidates (83 percent) say it would greatly improve the overall experience if employers could set expectations by providing a clear timeline of the hiring process.
Keep candidates in the loop
No one wants to be kept in the dark, especially when it comes to their career. Once you have received an application ensure the candidate is getting a confirmation it has been received and what they should expect going forward.
Keep candidates in the loop throughout the entire process. A report by CareerBuilder found that 81% of jobseekers say employers continuously communicating status updates to them would greatly improve the overall experience.
Personalise your communications
Personalisation has become a big trend in all industries, not just recruiting. People, ~millennials, want to feel like they have a personal connection to companies they interface with.
It's important to consider this throughout your recruiting process. Even if you decide not to hire them.
The only way to do this is to send a personalised email to the candidate at every phase of the application. Generic one size fits all will not cut it.
Thankfully most of this can be automated. An ATS like ours can send candidates personalised emails at each stage from the moment they have applied.
Once you have brought this candidate in for an interview all major decisions should be discussed over the phone. If you have decided to not go ahead with hiring a candidate, tell them why. Be constructive in your feedback. They will appreciate this and will leave the process with a positive impression of your company.
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