Irrespective of the outcome, your candidates’ experience throughout the recruitment process can greatly impact your ability to attract top talent.
Candidate experience is how positively or negatively your applicants feel about your recruitment process. This includes everything from the initial application form to onboarding and training. Some of the factors that affect their experience include timeliness, communication, ease and organisation.
According to the Career Arc Candidate Experience report, nearly 60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience, and thanks to the increasing popularity of social media and review sites such as Glassdoor, 72% of those job seekers share their negative experience online or with another person. This means that a bad candidate experience can damage your company brand and discourage future talent professionals from applying.
Improving candidate experience is at the top of the list of this year’s recruitment trends, and companies are spending more time creating user-friendly applications and boosting their communication skills in order to help job seekers enjoy a more positive experience. Many employers have also started implementing recruitment software and hiring automation in order to improve their recruitment processes and, therefore, attract the best talent. Here are our go-to tips and tricks to improve candidate experience and attract the top talent.
To learn about how our recruitment software can help you improve candidate experience and hire top talent, click here.
Create a Simple and Quick Application Form
Career Arc’s Candidate Experience survey found that the average candidate spends three to four hours submitting a single application, yet 70% of employers think that it takes them less than an hour. Because of this, it’s not surprising that 60% of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out an online application because of its length or complexity.
With top talent in demand, your best candidates won’t spend the time to fill out repetitive application forms when other companies offer easier options. In fact, limiting the time it takes to complete an application process to five minutes or less can boost conversion rates by 365%, according to a study conducted by Appcast. This study also discovered that completion rates drop by almost 50% when an application asks 50 or more questions, as opposed to 25 or fewer.
Overly complicated job applications can not only increase the rate of job seekers abandoning applications, but they can also impact candidates’ attitude about your employer brand. Does the application process feel outdated, detached or unorganised? Here are some ways to improve candidate experience through applications:
• Make your application mobile-friendly so that candidates can apply from anywhere, on any device.
• Shorten completion time by cutting out any unnecessary steps, such as having to re-enter CV information or create an account for your careers page.
• Consider using platforms that offer single click apply buttons.
• Streamline your application form for every site you advertise with in order to illustrate a consistent company brand.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Even if your application process is quick and easy, your candidate experience could still be suffering because of how you treat job seekers after they’ve applied. According to Forbes, over 70% of online applicants never receive a reply -- even an automated one! While your hiring team may be getting hundreds of applications every day, they should still ensure that every candidate receives some sort of communication about their application.
The most standard way to do this is with an automated confirmation or thank you email. However, you can make your company brand stand out and create an even better candidate experience by personalising this email. Consider using their name, attaching their completed application form or providing some details about the next step in the recruitment process.
When Career Arc asked job seekers what employers should improve on most, the majority of respondents answered: “timely follow up on application status.” Even a respectful rejection email is better than nothing at all when it comes to improving candidate experience. You can make the rejection thoughtful and positive by wishing them well with their job search and offering to keep in contact with them if a role more suited to their skills opens up.
Perfect the Interview
If you do decide to move forward with a candidate, creating a positive experience becomes even more important. According to a 2015 LinkedIn Talent Trends report, 77% of candidates say that the interview is an extremely important factor in their final decision. In fact, 87% said that a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted, while 83% said that a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked.
In order to create a positive interviewing experience, you should fully prepare your candidate for what to expect. Before the interview, explain who they will be meeting, how long the interview is expected to take, what format the interview will be conducted in, what the office dress code is and how to find the interview location. On the day of the interview, be sure to offer the candidate water or coffee and take some time for small talk and pleasantries. For more information, check out our top tips for improving your interview skills when hiring.
After the interview, the most important factor for creating a positive candidate experience is feedback. Candidates are four times as likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback, but 60% of candidates never hear back from a company after an interview, according to Careerbuilder’s candidate survey. Combat this issue by sending a short thank you email after the interview, whether or not you decide to move forward with the candidate. If you do decide to reject the candidate, offer a respectful reason why and give them the option to ask for more feedback.
Automate and Streamline Your Recruitment Process
There’s a reason that recruitment software is one of the top recruitment trends in 2019: using technology to automate and streamline your recruitment process improves candidate experience and your employer brand, both of which are essential for attracting talent.
With a recruitment software system, personalised emails can be automatically sent to candidates during each stage of the hiring process. This keeps candidates happy and up-to-date, and also exhibits an organised and respectful company brand. Some companies are even opting for more advanced uses of this technology, from creating chatbots to scheduling interviews.
When the company Sutherland noticed that 80% of candidates were dropping out of their hiring process, they started implemented chatbots that answered candidates’ queries and followed up with them during each stage of their application. In just two months, their 80% dropout rate dropped to 62%.
In order to improve their candidate experience, PwC started using technology that sends a calendar to candidates showing the times interviewers are available for a virtual interview. Once candidates schedule their time on that same calendar, PwC’s software sends them information and tips for the interview. The result: 86% of candidates have responded positively.
Here are some more ways to use recruitment software and technology to create a positive candidate experience:
• Track metrics about application drop off rates, website conversion rates, offer acceptance rates and Glassdoor reviews.
• Send candidates a survey a few weeks after they conclude the recruitment process to analyse your average candidate experience.
• Streamline every job description, advertisement and email so they exhibit a cohesive company brand.
• Create and organise talent pools of past applicants that you can consider when a new opening surfaces.
Your hiring process should be ever-evolving so that your company can improve the candidate experience with the latest HR trends and analytics. This will allow your employer brand to grow and keep you ahead of the competition when it comes to attracting top talent. It’s no coincidence that 99% of employers believe that enhancing the candidate experience--both for those they hire and those they reject--will help protect and improve their employer brand, according to the Career Arc survey.
At the end of the day, however, the best candidate experience involves building relationships that feel authentic and human.
To focus more on connecting with your candidates, start automating the busy work of the recruitment process with BidRecruit. Our easy-to-use software can save you 4-5 hours a week by streamlining your application form across various recruitment channels and automatically sending customisable emails to candidates. Our A.I. technology also helps you source and narrow down CVs, so you can respond to candidates faster.
Check out our website to start improving your candidate experience today, and subscribe below to get more recruitment tips and tricks sent straight to your inbox!