“The company I always aspired to work for put up a vacancy post. Filled with excitement I quickly applied for the role, got called for an interview, nailed the interview, and was told that the decision will be communicated. This was a month back!
All the while I eagerly waited for their response, neglecting an opportunity or two simply because I loved this particular brand. Now, I no longer feel the same way about the brand.” – An Employee
A perfect example of candidate experience, that surely many hiring managers and leaders have been through. In fact, research shows that 60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience and 72% have shared their experience on digital employer review platforms. Studies also show that 78% candidates say that the way they are treated is an indicator of how a company values its employees. And, 80% – 90% of talent say that candidate experience can change their mind about a role or company.
Today is a talent-driven market, where candidates choose who they want to work for. In a market where attracting top talent is already a big challenge faced by business leaders (74%), overlooking candidate experience is not an option. After all, a bad candidate experience can lead to serious consequences that range from negative reviews about the company on public platforms to abandoning your brand altogether. There are various measures that when implemented can help organisations leave a positive impression on candidates.
Hire in time of ‘actual’ need
In most cases, companies put up the ‘we’re hiring’ post on job portals and social media pages and later realise that they can train their current employees to fill in the role. This can leave a negative impression on candidates who have already been interviewed. This can be avoided by conducting a skills gap analysis on an individual or a team.
It helps find the gap between existing and required skills, and whether or not you can fill it by training current employees. If not, then there is an actual need to hire. Skills-first provides an insight into real business needs, thus leading to a better candidate experience. It is recommended to loop in all decision makers to ensure that no surprises stall the process later.
Describing the role ‘clearly’
Words like passionate, guru, and ninjas create confusion and turn off candidates. As they say, simple is beautiful and better, sticking to simple words is key. In addition to that, filtering out the must-haves and listing only those requisite skills in the description brings clarity. Another aspect about a job description that may put off the candidate is the structure. Following the rule of important first makes it easy for them to understand. A clear description lets candidates make an informed decision and forms a good image of your company in their mind.
‘Easing’ the application process
No one likes a complicated job application process! Research shows that 60% of job seekers quit in the middle of the application process because of its length or complexity. This is quite true of top talent and passive candidates; the difficult to target from the lot. Enabling easy application by making the careers page easy to navigate and keeping the process short and mobile-friendly is recommended. For instance, a one-page application process or offering the LinkedIn ‘easy apply’ feature can be quite helpful.
‘Informing’ candidates about the interview process
Ease the shortlisted candidates’ nervousness and confusion by providing them with information about the interview process helps build a trustworthy relationship with them. From the number of people who are going to interview and what is expected of them to assisting them with commuting options, empowering them with information makes them feel valued.
During the interview, it is best to avoid multi-tasking and give them full attention. Comfort them by offering tea or coffee and give them a chance to ask questions. Respecting them and their time will only gain you as a company bonus points. Make them meet the team to acquaint them with the kind of people they can expect to work with if selected. This will allow them to make an informed decision and save you from a bad hire!
Communicating, communicating, and ‘communicating’
You would be surprised to know that only 2% of Fortune 500 companies update candidates about the status of their application as per a research conducted by The Phenom People in 2018! Lack of communication is a vital factor that leads to bad candidate experience and is the biggest obstacle in between top talent and organisations. As per a LinkedIn survey, it takes 2-3 months for potential candidates to convert to employees, which is quite an issue as top talent stays on the market for 10 days before they get picked. You may want to follow a two-day rule to follow up with the candidate throughout the period of recruitment. Above all this, make sure to personalise your communications, which means messaging them from a human mail address. Last but not the least, thank them and be available to answer their queries. After all, being polite never hurts.
Remember that at the end of the day these candidates are humans who could serve as an invaluable asset for your company someday. So, take a close look at your recruitment process and get rid of loopholes to create an engaging candidate experience and bridge the gap between you and top talent.