Candidate experience is an integral part of the hiring process, and it has a massive impact on your employer brand. Having bad reviews on websites such as Glassdoor or negative feedback from candidates can adversely affect your brand value.
For this reason, we have decided to create a comprehensive guide on candidate experience, in which we have included the following points:
- What is candidate experience?
- How to create a fantastic candidate experience?
- How can technology help you better the candidate experience?
- Benefits of a great candidate experience.
- How to effectively measure candidate experience?
- Expert’s opinion on candidate experience.
What is candidate experience?
Candidate experience is the reaction or feedback that a job seeker/applicant has about the organization’s job application process.
“Candidate experience” has become a high priority for HR managers these days. A well-designed recruitment process provides candidates with a fast, smooth, and pleasant candidate journey.
How to create a fantastic candidate experience?
Having candidates feel empowered and confident throughout the hiring process is a tremendous competitive advantage for every company. Creating a positive experience, even if you reject the candidate is a skill that can be mastered.
In the following sections, we have discussed all the factors that play into creating amazing candidate experience, such as:
- Frictionless mobile-first application processes
- Writing a clear job description
- Providing the accurate information
- Effective communication
Frictionless mobile-first application processes
Certain factors act as a turn-off for candidates, such as complicated job applications, counterintuitive career sites, and requests for multiple onsite interviews.
Again, it’s time to go with the flow, i.e., make your complete recruitment drive painless by powering it with the smartphone. Give the candidates an opportunity to apply, interview, and engage via smartphone with your organization.
This is no surprise because 94% of job seekers have used their phones to browse for jobs online. 87% of them have used their smartphones to call the potential employer, and 74% have emailed about the job they are applying for via smartphone.
Further data discloses that 50% of job seekers fill job applications on their smartphones, and 23% even create a resume or cover letter.
Now, how do you feel about losing literally half of your potential candidates just because your smartphone UX isn’t optimized? It is a terrible feeling, we know.
And not only do you lose them, but you also create loads of friction and negative candidate experience from the very start of the recruitment process.
When talking about smartphones, mentioning speed and complexity is important too. 60% of candidates quit filling out the job applications since they are too complex or lengthy. Ensure that your forms are sweet and short.
Using chatbots on the application and career pages has also been shown to be effective. Companies that have used chatbots were three times more likely to create a positive candidate experience.
Providing relevant information on your career page, LinkedIn company page, and different social media channels is an essential part of the candidate experience.
The most important page for a candidate is the company career page.
The career page should:
- Have brief details about the company history.
- Explain the company benefits clearly.
- Show employee pictures with testimonials or videos of employees describing why you are a great company to work for.
This will form a very positive impression of the company for the applicant.
Write clear job descriptions
A job description should be crisp and clear. It can also be fun and exciting.
The job description should communicate the following details:
- A brief company history.
- A link to the company career page.
- Describe the essential parts of the job.
- Specify the job duties.
- Education requirements.
- Skills requirement.
- Detail any relevant experience required.
If you want more detailed information on this matter, take a peek at tips from experts on how to write amazing job descriptions.
Communication is a crucial aspect of providing a great candidate experience. Candidates love when they are in the loop throughout the recruitment process.
When we say that communication is essential, here is what we mean by that:
- Giving precise information in job descriptions.
- Setting the right expectations about the whole recruitment process and the job.
- Giving candidates feedback.
The last one is essential. 75% of candidates never hear back from the employers. This is a terrible practice since you come across as unprofessional and provoke negative emotions in candidates.
You don’t want them to feel hopeless, unimportant, and rejected. Instead, give them feedback constantly:
- Let them know that you have received their job application. A simple “Thank you” email is enough.
- If they have gone through the interview but didn’t pass, let them know why. Give them honest, constructive feedback. It can serve as a great learning process for candidates, and they might feel as if they have still gained something from the whole experience. Simply put, create a positive experience from a negative situation.
- Once you have hired the candidate, don’t leave them hanging. Make sure to reach out and see how they are doing in their new job position.
- At the very end, remember to ask for feedback on the whole hiring process. Ask candidates what was good and what wasn’t. Here are some questions you can ask.
If you want to make the most out of this part, check out our guide on effective communication with candidates.
The interview and the onboarding experience decide the fate of the company. As per a report by the Talent Board, it was found that around 74% of the candidates plan to join the company when they have a satisfactory and positive interview experience.
Interviews are the best in determining whether the applicant is the right fit for the company and job role, but it is also a candidate’s best way of finding out more about the company. The latter one is what a lot of recruiters often forget about.
Ensure that you answer all of the candidate’s questions and never leave them confused throughout the whole process. Make sure to provide them with what they can expect from the interview and how it looks like.
Interviews can be stressful and provoke anxiety in many candidates. Therefore, providing them with structured information on potential questions, precise time, whether the interview is online or in-person, and who will be the interviewer can help them be more relaxed and confident.
Every candidate wished to show themselves in the best light during the interview, so let them feel encouraged and empowered.
After all, if they feel that way during the interview, they will be more inclined to become the employee since the positive experience from interviews often translates into what they can expect to feel like on the job.
This is a step at which you prove that everything you have been promising was true. Ensure to have a strategic and structured onboarding process to provide a positive candidate experience in this stage.
Introduce them with their teammates and workload at the right pace, provide them with all the necessary process docs and data. Sometimes assigning a mentor for the first few weeks is needed, too, depending on the job position.
Here, you can read more on the effective onboarding processes.
How can an ATS help with candidate experience?
ATS or Application Tracking System also boosts the candidate experience by automating many aspects of recruiting and helping recruiters create even better candidate experience. Here are a few ways ATS can help with candidate experience:
- Job portal management.
- Customizable screener questions.
- Application acknowledgment.
- Candidate workflow.
- Email templates.
Job portal management
Your career portal will be disconnected from your recruitment process without an online ATS. It will result in expired jobs showing on your career portal. This leads to a bad candidate experience if candidates apply for dead jobs and they do not hear a response.
A modern online application tracking system usually comes with a highly customizable job portal management system. It allows you to create a custom job portal with your brand colors and logo.
You will also be able to embed the job widget on your career page. Online ATS allows you to easily manage your career portal to always show active jobs only on the career portal.
Customizable screener questions
ATS allows you to create screener questions for each job position and filter candidates. This way, you can quickly assess whether the candidate is the right fit for the job role or not.
This makes your hiring and recruiting processes faster, ensuring the candidates get feedback promptly and thus enhance the overall experience.
As stated above, most applicants still do not receive an acknowledgment when they apply for a position, leading to awful candidate experience.
An online applicant tracking system can automatically send out a personalized application acknowledgment when a candidate applies either through the career portal or other job portals.
The application acknowledgment should clearly state that the application has been received and the next steps.
A modern online application tracking system will allow you to set up a customized candidate workflow for your organization. Generally, each company’s workflow is different; you should follow your steps to recruitment.
Notifying the candidate at each step of the candidate workflow offers the best candidate experience.
Email templates are an essential feature of an online applicant tracking system. Using customizable email templates, you can streamline all your candidate communications at each step of the recruitment process.
The ideal way of using email templates is to add a personal touch with a relevant sentence to the candidate. That shows you care about the candidate.
Recruiteze is an online applicant tracking system that offers all these features in order to help you create a fantastic candidate experience. If you are an SMB or staffing agency, you should give it a try.
Benefits of a great candidate experience
There certainly is a lot of benefits to creating a great candidate experience. Some of them are:
- Attracting more applicants – The easier and simpler your job application, the more candidates will finish filling it out. And not only in that way, but if candidates are genuinely happy, they will go around and share their positive experiences with the company, just like they would share the negative ones.
- Top talent – Great candidate experience allows you to compete for top talent. It will allow you to create an outstanding first impression and close the highly talented candidates much faster than the competition would.
- Improved quality of hire – Giving candidates what they need and want throughout the recruiting process will make them more inclined to accept your offer.
- Increased brand awareness – As stated above, people share their experiences. And when it comes to your company, you want them to be positive. This can lead to even more high-quality applicants coming in.