TODAY’S CANDIDATES ARE INCREASINGLY DIGITAL-FIRST AND DEMAND CONSUMER-LIKE ENGAGEMENT, LEAVING MANY COMPANIES’ HIRING PROCESSES FEELING OUTDATED TO THE MODERN JOB APPLICANT. IMPRESSING THESE CANDIDATES WITH A HIGH QUALITY  EXPERIENCE COULD BE YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AND HELP TO ENSURE YOU LIMIT THE POSSIBILITY OF REPUTATIONAL DAMAGE FROM DISAPPOINTED UNSUCCESSFUL APPLICANTS.

The candidate experience is how applicants  perceive and interact with a business’s hiring process, and it needs to be one of the most important considerations when hiring new talent. This experience goes all the way from an application through to a job offer or rejection. A positive journey can be tainted by a single misstep in the process, making it imperative that each interaction is positive. For instance, a good web-based chat conversation during the application can be wiped from memory by failure to send updates post interview. Now more than ever we’re seeing candidates transition from feeling empowered during a flourishing labor market, to those same individuals feeling defeated, or even hopeless, as we recover from significant levels of unemployment. Therefore, ensuring a high quality candidate experience is more essential now than ever.

The importance of a good candidate experience
How candidates feel about your company after experiencing your hiring procedure, from the job application process all the way through to the final interview stage, has an affect on their decision to apply for future positions within your company or accept your job offer. This is particularly pertinent for consumer facing brands, who are highly likely to lose disgruntled candidates as customers too. According to Talent Board, 50% of candidates who gave the lowest possible rating said they would break off their relationship as a customer with that company.

Having a good candidate experience not only helps to retain the loyalty of current customers but heightens the chances of bringing in new customers through trusted opinions and experiences. This in turn  leads to a richer pool of talent being attracted to your company, which will ultimately help land the best candidate.

Having a successful recruitment automation process puts companies at a competitive edge when looking for top talent. It can help find candidates faster while also helping to reach a more diverse and broader group of people. The ability to use mobile, text, chat, and other forms of automation will speed up the hiring process and drive better connections through frictionless communication, at scale. Using recruitment technology also helps eliminate tedious tasks such as interview scheduling, whilst simultaneously reducing the cost-per-hire through time saving.

So not only will it save you money in the long run, but it will also help to build your company’s reputation in the global marketplace. With Information spreading at a faster rate than ever before, it is important to make sure you are working in a way that makes people want to come back to your business, whether as a customer or an employee.

Creating promoters with each interaction
75% of candidates say that they never hear back from a company when they send an application and 22% will tell others not to apply for a job at the same company. This shows how drastically a bad candidate experience can negatively impact the employer’s brand in the long run. Therefore, companies need to prioritise the way they communicate with candidates and how quickly they do so, as every external interaction reflects on your business, and that includes the experience candidates have during your recruitment process.

Engaging every applicant, building a strong company culture, and simplifying your application process all work to improve the candidate experience. When you make candidates happy during the hiring process, employee retention increases considerably, which in turn will save thousands per person in employee replacement costs. And if a candidate has a great experience when applying for a job with your company, they are more likely to accept the position and turn down other offers that they may receive. Your candidate will be entering their new position with a positive view of the company from the outset which often leads to them being more engaged, more committed and producing better work than those who have a poor opinion.

Candidate experience impacts nearly all aspects of your business, including revenue. It will affect  how your new employee works, how others perceive your business, and how much time and money you will spend.

An engaging and effective experience
One of the most important aspects of an engaging and effective candidate experience is communication. When your company has clear and constant communication, candidates are reassured that no matter the outcome of their application, they will be aware of their progress. This gives the person confidence that their time is valued. Communication boils down to engagement and these days you should aim for 24/7 feedback in the process. Whether by having access to answers to their questions as quickly as possible or by setting reminders of when they need to complete the next stage of the hiring process – candidates must be engaged along the way.

Another important part of candidate communication is the ability to send out rejection emails promptly. As mentioned earlier, candidates are more likely to advise people against your company if they never hear back from you. So be sure to notify those that aren’t lucky enough to make it through the hiring process.

It may seem obvious, but another thing to consider is the structure of your interview process. In order for people to feel comfortable and confident, they need to be aware of what to expect. Not only will this help the candidate, it will also help you make decisions quickly. Another positive is that it helps avoid overlapping interview questions, and allows you to only have as many interviews as you need.

In short – it’s vitally important to ensure you have the best possible candidate experience, as this not only shows potential employees and customers how you run your organisation but it helps filter out the most qualified candidates. In this ever connected world, opinions and views are shared on a wider scale than ever before, and this can make or break your reputation.

A few missteps here and there can make your company look disorganised to the outside world, and once that opinion’s out there, it’s difficult to reverse. And it’s worth remembering that just because someone may not be the right fit for your company today, this does not mean they won’t be the right fit tomorrow.

 

Original article ‘Useful guide to improving candidate experience’ Written by James McGill Published The HR Director

 

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