Written by Kimberley Startup | August 22, 2013
We’ve previously discussed the ‘candidate experience’ on the Webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk) blog, but the importance of treating candidates well as part of staff recruitment is worth revisiting, particularly with so many employers wrongly restricting their definitions of the candidate experience to the application and interview stages.
The truth is that the candidate experience starts so much earlier than this, when the candidate first interacts with your firm as part of the wider recruitment marketing and hiring process. It could be when they meet you at a career fair, see an online job advertisement or even visit your career website.
Your refinement of this experience therefore needs to far precede the point at which a candidate applies for a specific job. The candidate experience would be rightly defined as covering both the recruitment marketing and actual hiring process, because these processes involve interactions between the candidate and employer throughout.
When recruiting staff, you will therefore need to consider the various components of this wider candidate experience arc as intrinsic to each other. You might be sending out great messages about your company, for example, and your career site may also be highly informative. But the candidate is still likely to regard themselves as having had a bad experience if your application process is cumbersome and off-putting.
There are various places and stages in the offline and online recruitment process where the employer and candidates interact, and where you can therefore refine the candidate experience. Consider the first job attraction stage.
Have you clearly communicated your organisation’s values and why the opportunity that you are offering is one to appreciate? Can candidates only engage with you by directly applying, and are you looking in the right places to attract clients?
What about your targeted engagement of candidates? When you are using SMS and email to communicate with candidates, are they receiving generic emails or more targeted job opening emails? Are they receiving any emails that aren’t directly related to jobs, but that nonetheless give them an idea of your company culture, values and developments?
Candidates also tend to research organisations prior to applying for a role, making it important for you to have an SEO and mobile friendly career site that dispels misinformation and incorporates some more targeted content and/or landing pages – you may have a page dedicated to engineering recruitment, for instance.
It should go without saying – given the volume of candidate complaints that tend to relate to this area – that you also enhance your application process if required, considering such factors as the length of your application process compared to that of rivals, as well as making sure that candidates hear from you again after they have submitted their application.
You will also need to consider your interview process as part of your candidate experience, in addition to the role that can be played by existing employees in ensuring that the best candidates are attracted to your firm, when you work alongside recruitment companies like Webrecruit (http://www.webrecruit.co.uk).