How To Improve Candidate Experience

Rebecca F. Aug. 7, 2017

We’ve all been there before, on the receiving end of that email which details you’ve not gotten the job that you spent hours crafting your application for, which you took time out of your current job to have different interviews for, and then months later you finally find out they went with someone else. 

There is nothing potentially more harmful to your view of a company than the way you’re treated during the recruitment process, so companies it is time to sit up and pay really close attention to your candidate experience. Regardless of candidate’s getting the job or not, the feelings left with each person that has come into contact with your company makes all the difference when it comes to advocacy.

Every single candidate’s experience during pre-screening, initial stages, interviews and any HR automation processes needs to be carefully handled so that their experience is seamless and promotes positive feelings from start to finish.

Recently, Harris Interactive found that a bad candidate experience results in:

  • 42% of candidates saying they wouldn’t seek employment with that company again.
  • 22% of candidates indicated they would actively discourage other candidates to not apply or work for the company.
  • 9% of candidates advocated they would tell others to not use the services or products of that company.

Similar studies have also shown that 78% of candidates will share their negative experiences with friends and family, and 34% of candidates will share their bad candidate experience on social media. 

The statistics don’t lie when it comes to candidate experience; it can have a massive impact on how your company is viewed. To be able to understand how to improve your candidate experience, it is important to firstly know what contributes to bad candidate experience. 

A range of studies have been done into the main causes of negative candidate experience, with reasons ranging from unclear application instructions, no confirmation email, long hiring processes and no notice when the position was filled. Many of the causes that have been researched are mainly linked to a lack of communication from companies and recruiters. For more in-depth findings on your company, it would be a good step to set up a study using HR automation technologies to employ a candidate experience feedback survey to know where in particular your recruitment processes fall short in providing a positive candidate experience. 

However, there are a few simple things you can do to improve your candidate experience throughout all candidate screening, social recruiting and HR processes.

Be Transparent

Create a good basis for positive candidate experience throughout your recruitment process from candidate screening all the way to later stage interviews by being completely transparent and clear about your process for hiring. Detail exactly what will happen at each stage and let candidates know the expectation placed upon them in terms of length of application and recruitment process. This transparency will save time and cut down frustration in candidate experience.

Personalise and Brand 

Whilst a lot of your company’s responses will be automated - and where possible as much HR automation is really beneficial to your company - the response process should be personalised and branded. Turn the candidate experience into a more personalised affair with quirky and unique HR automation that adds branding to emails, links to events, blogs, videos and anything else the candidate may be interested in. 

Also, certain candidates may not be fully interested in the role or may not want to apply right away, in this case there should be a talent community option within your recruitment process. Again, employing HR automation software here would be beneficial to save time, however setting up a talent community enhances candidate experience, as they can stay connected to the company without being tied to a specific role that may not be quite right. It also allows an automated and more personalised email flow that will keep this candidate up to date on the latest news and cutomise job alerts via candidate screening and HR automation to categorise their skills and talents.

Frequent Contact

Getting in touch with candidates as much as possible really will create a positive candidate experience. There is nothing more harmful to a company than leaving a candidate in the dark about where they are in their application. Whilst it is difficult to manage a high volume of candidates in each of their stages of recruitment, employing a solid HR automation process, can allow for early stage candidates to get a set of regular emails within an email flow depending on different conditions. For example, even if there is no news for the candidate, getting an email to confirm the company is still thinking them of is a better than leaving the candidate to wonder. 

Whilst in the recruitment flow contact at least once a week with each candidate for a progress update will increase the candidate’s perceived value and will in turn improve candidate experience and their thoughts towards the company. The time taken to check-in regularly will pay off even on candidates who are unsuccessful as they will feel valued and more understanding as to why they gave their time to your company, as the company has reciprocated this investment. Furthermore, continuing this contact once a candidate has been rejected is important. Following up to let a candidate know they haven’t made the steps to either be considered for the role, or after interviewing are unsuitable for the role is a key follow up component that many candidates don’t receive and feel would improve their candidate experience massively. Feedback and follow up with candidates will not only improve their experience but will also be necessary in tracking how your company is performing within candidate experience and if your HR automation tools are effective. 

Tie Performance To Candidate Experience

To really improve your candidate experience, set aside time to make this portion of your recruitment process targetable. Make KPI’s based on how much you feel your candidate experience needs to improve and set up processes for how you will achieve your targets. Creating a concrete strategy with targets will help employee’s know the value of candidate experience and be more thoughtful in implementing it throughout the recruitment process.

Improving your candidate experience can lead to stronger talent pools in the future, better recommendations and stronger company advocacy. Whilst it is apparent that stronger communication and transparency of processes is deeply linked to positive candidate experience, this shouldn’t put you off implementing it within your company. Using HR automation can save time and the costs of increasing your communication and transparency, jobpal can help create a better candidate experience from day one, with a personalized experience and ability to set communication levels your candidate will feel important and informed at every step of their recruitment journey with your company. To find out more about what jobpal can do for you visit:

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