With each passing day, the competition for top-notch candidates gets fiercer. Recruiters and HR managers want to recruit stellar contenders, but first, they must know how to communicate with them effectively.
First impressions are important, and those first impressions are irreversible. Hence, if the initial communication with a candidate isn’t satisfactory, it can hurt their overall candidate experience with your company.
A lot of questions come to mind. For example, what kind of experiences do top candidates respond to best? Technology-driven experiences (which tend to ease the process for applicants and HR teams alike) usually come to mind.
Companies need to be progressive enough to align their communication practices with usable technology. HR leaders and recruiters need to take the initiative to improve their candidate experiences — and avoid some common communication missteps along the way.
In this comprehensive article, we will talk about:
- How negative candidate experiences can destroy your business.
- Benefits of a positive candidate experience.
- Excellent 8 strategies to improve candidate experience.
- And finally, best ats for enhancing the candidate experience.
A negative candidate experience can have a catastrophic effect on your recruiting process and on your company’s overall success. According to other research (Harris Interactive 2013, CareerBuilder Survey, 2015, 2014, 2015, and 2016 CandE Reports, etc.), companies who fail to deliver a quality candidate experience may likely suffer some severe consequences.
Disgruntled candidates are more likely to reject your job offering, will not reapply for your job openings, and encourage others to do the same, thus defeating the purpose of your hiring process.
But a negative candidate experience can cost you more than a few candidates – it can even lose your company big bucks! Moreover, these unhappy candidates are also more likely to boycott your company’s products and even tell others not to purchase your products or services. The most famous example of this is the case of Virgin Media, a company that calculated that a bad candidate experience costs them a shocking $5.4 million annually!
There are plenty of benefits of a positive candidate experience. Let’s name a few before we delve into detail:
- Attracting more applicants.
- Competing for top talent.
- Improving the quality of hire.
- Increasing brand awareness.
If your application process is simple and precise, more job seekers will finish applying to your jobs. Appcast found that if you reduce the length of your application process to five minutes or less, you can boost your application conversion rates by up to 365 percent. Our data also shows that a mobile-optimized career site can help you attract more mobile applicants.
If you streamline your candidate experience correctly, you might win over the best job seekers before your competitors do. According to Top Echelon Network, 40 percent of candidates reject offers because another employer gave them an offer faster. Furthermore, providing a superior candidate experience will also enable you to make a great first impression on top talent, increasing their desire to work for you.
Your candidate experience is more than just a part of the recruiting process; it’s also a sales tool that can help you win over top talent. As per reports when employers strengthen their communication with candidates, their quality of hire improves. In addition, giving candidates what they want and need throughout the hiring process motivates even the best ones to accept your job offers.
When a firm offers an exceptional candidate experience, job seekers talk about it with others and write about it online. This generates positive awareness for both the employer and consumer brand, leading to more job applicants and even more customers. In fact, studies found that almost 72 percent of the candidates are more likely to buy from a company that treated them with respect throughout the recruiting process.
Given below are different strategies that you may deploy to improve the candidate experience:
- Give a precise explanation in your job description.
- Set the right expectations about the recruitment process.
- Do not leave candidates wondering.
- Using social media.
- Use good experiences to create brand advocates.
- Ask for feedback.
- Continuous communication during the recruiting phase is critical.
- Give appropriate feedback to the candidate after the interview enabling them to grow from the experience.
Give a clear and accurate explanation of your job-related content, including job responsibilities, perks, salary range, company values, and benefits. This way, you will have the opportunity to pass on the right message to the candidate. Writing job descriptions that attract candidates will go a long way in providing a positive experience.
According to the research conducted on candidate experience, about 83 percent of candidates say it would significantly improve their overall experience if employers could set expectations about the recruiting process.
One way to do that is by clearly stating what your hiring process will be in a very transparent manner. Then, provide resources and tips to the candidates so that they can understand your hiring process beforehand.
For example, Google has a designated career web page that highlights their hiring process, FAQs, and how the organization believes in providing equal opportunities to each candidate.
75% of candidates who apply for a job never hear back. This is leaving value on the table. For any role that you post, there will inevitably be an influx of candidates, many of whom may not be a good fit for the position they are applying for.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the best route is to ignore them.
These candidates may be a good fit for future open positions. Therefore, it’s important to have built a relationship with these candidates should the right opportunity arise. But how do you create personal relationships with high volumes of candidates?
There is a simple way to do this without eating up your time.
First, make sure that communication flows two ways when the candidate applies and when the position gets filled. This simple exchange may seem menial, but it’s enough to establish a relationship and connection that be utilized in the long term. Meanwhile, their resume remains in your ATS and, should the opportunity arise, you can rely on the work you already put in to fill the job right away.
In today’s world, where every millisecond wasted is millions wasted, it is advised to make the application process easier and faster, spread the word about job vacancies, and allow candidates the ability to apply using mobile technology.
A survey found that about 90 percent of job seekers will use mobile devices during their job search process. So if you want to attract top talent before your competitors, ensure that your website and career portals are optimized for mobile users.
There is an added benefit in adding social media to the hiring strategy. It gives current employees a route to share vacancies with their network. This advocacy is a real asset as employee referrals are an important source of high-quality applicants (that will more often than not turn out culturally fit for your company) and a very cost-effective recruitment strategy.
On the flip side, a good candidate experience has benefits beyond making happy applicants. When met with a positive experience, the chances are that nearly all your job seekers will be more likely to accept a job offer or apply to your company again.
Even better, 88 percent say they’d be more likely to tell others to apply, while 71 percent would be more likely to buy the company’s products or services.
A major advantage is that even if a candidate doesn’t ultimately get the job, they can still favorably impact your company if they have a positive experience that turns them into a “brand advocate”—meaning they encourage others to apply and champion your company’s image and products.
Orler says that a positive candidate experience could be the thing that swings the battle for talent in your favor.
According to Orler, “The recruiting landscape is particularly competitive right now, and providing positive experiences can give a company a competitive advantage.”
Through questioning at the end of the interview process or a follow-up survey, ask applicants for feedback on their recruitment experiences with your organization. Not only does this show you care about them, but it shines a light on your strengths as well as where improvements should be made in your recruitment channel.
According to the research conducted on candidate experience, the number one frustration during the overall job search is the lack of response from employers. 81% of candidates believe that continuous communication of status updates can positively affect their overall experience.
The best way to counter this situation is by creating email campaigns to keep the candidates interested and engaged during the recruiting phase. Develop customized campaigns based on different stages of the hiring phase.
8. Give appropriate feedback to the candidate after the interview enabling them to grow from the experience
Feedback is a way for a candidate to learn about their weak points so that they can improve on the points and ace the interview next time. According to a LinkedIn survey, 94% of the candidates want to receive interview feedback.
The best way to deal with this situation is by ensuring that you provide appropriate feedback to the candidate, even if you decide not to hire them. Give them constructive feedback for their rejection. It will make them associate a positive experience with your organization, and in all likelihood, they will reconsider your organization for future opportunities.
Recruiteze is the best applicant tracking system for small companies. It can significantly help you manage your jobs, vendors, candidates, scheduling, notes, and communications in one place. With our online recruiting systems, your hiring metrics are accessible from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection.