Recruitment has changed. While companies used to be able to just pick their favourite talent, it’s now candidates that hold most power over the wondrous world of the job market. It has become a serious war for talent. Now the job market has become mostly candidate driven, organisations are forced to act. The result: a rising importance of candidate experience.
In case you have never heard about candidate experience...
...we decided to give it a bit more context. Candidate experience refers to how a person experiences the recruitment process he or she goes through. In other words, candidate experience is a candidate’s overall perception of a company’s way of recruiting, from sending in their job application to their first day at work. In this case, a “candidate” is not just a job seeker. It’s every person that has ever been or will be in touch with a company’s recruiting process.
Research has shown that a negative candidate experience can have negative consequences for your recruitment process and ultimately, the success of your company. A bad candidate experience can lead to rejected job offers, candidates spreading the word about your poor recruitment process or a big decrease in job applications at your company. Studies have shown “46% of candidates would sever a business relationship due to a poor candidate experience" Ideal.
Basically, a bad candidate experience will put you on the black list of job seekers. “The research shows about 11 percent of candidates globally are willing to sever their relationship with a business based on their candidate experience.“ GQR. However, it’s known that a positive candidate experience will lead to the opposite. For example: candidates are more likely to accept offers and even act as “brand ambassadors” for your company - sharing the word on how great it is to get hired by, well, you.
So, how do you make sure your candidate experience is on point?

Recruitment isn’t just about connecting the dots. It’s a process. It starts with sourcing, ends with on boarding your new hire, and includes everything in between. Every part of the process includes steps that contribute to your candidate experience, which we’ll cover separately:
#1. Sourcing

One of the biggest mistakes made by companies is making it very difficult for candidates to apply for a role. Job descriptions that are full of typo’s, mobile unfriendly websites with terrible tools to upload a CV, or the need to fill in extensive forms full of irrelevant info - all these things make it extremely unattractive for a candidate to continue with their application, making them close the browser tab within seconds.
To improve your candidate experience in this phase of the process, make sure your vacancies are easy to find, well written and include only relevant information. Either work with third party employment sites who already figured out the best job application experience for you, or invest in software that makes your application process as smooth as possible.
In case you’re headhunting talent and calling people directly, make sure to have a killer conversation, as this is their first point of contact with your company.
#2. Screening

With tons of others things to do, continuing a recruitment process mostly ends up at the bottom of the to-do list, resulting in candidates having to wait for weeks (or even months!) to receive feedback on their application. As real talent is only on the market for a couple of days, this forms a huge problem. “Last year, 72% of candidates who withdrew from the recruiting process did so for one of two reasons:
  1. Time Disrespected During Interviews (46%)
  2. Process Took Too Long (26%)” Hire Vue.
Luckily, improving this is simple: as the hiring party, reply timely and accordingly
This doesn’t mean you have to provide a personalised answer to every single application. A simple automated email confirming you’ve received an application is an easy first step, and definitely make sure to apply quickly to those whose skills set is in line with what you’re looking for. This will show you take things seriously, making the candidate feel more confident about things moving forward.
It is important to ask candidates for feedback, “73% of candidates said they were never asked to provide feedback on the screening or interview process” (The Talent Board) Jibe. Feedback can assure a smoother process in the future.
#3. Interviewing

It’s mostly during the job interview that candidate decides if he or she will continue with the process, so make sure to become an interview pro. The best way to look at an interview, is to see it as a two-way process. It’s a conversation in which both the hiring organisation and candidate ask questions and give feedback.
The candidate is interviewing the interviewer as much as they are being interviewed as the candidate needs to ascertain if the role is a right fit for them. Be sure to let the candidate ask questions. To ensure the job ticks the right boxes for the candidate for their job satisfaction and ultimately leads to job retention.
As an interviewee it is important to ensure you give a detailed insight into the company culture. It is increasingly important for candidate retention that the culture fit is right. Give a glimpse into the company culture, give the candidate an insight as to what it is really like being a team member in the organisation.
In between and after interview: provide feedback - especially when you’re not continuing the process with a person. This is a really important step for the future success of the candidate and to best provide the development for future opportunities. “Job applicants who do not receive a job offer are 80 percent more likely to apply again if they already had a positive impression of the hiring organization” IBM.
Follow up quickly by providing transparent communication which is vital and be clear on the next steps.
Candidates with a 5 star experience “64% of the time, are willing to increase the business relationship with that company that they applied to” regardless of their success in the application process. Link Humans. 
#4. Hiring
Provide a reasonable offer to the successful candidate and allow room for negotiation. Maintain professionalism throughout the hiring process. Make sure to be aware what checks are needed, as they can be timely and delay the hiring process. Be sure to send and sign the contract quickly.
#5. On boarding
To ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for the new talent recruitment need to follow up with the candidate in an effort to address any areas of uncertainty. If there are any concerns from the follow up recruiters will address issues with management to ensure the happiness and longevity of both parties.

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