Is Your Candidate Experience Up to Scratch?
Providing a positive candidate experience is important; most businesses recognise this.
However, unless you have a dedicated in-house recruitment function, it can be difficult for HR professionals to find the time to provide updates and feedback to every single candidate who applies for a vacancy.
Delivering a positive candidate experience is crucial as it can dramatically influence whether someone chooses to work for your business or not. It can also have a huge effect on your employer brand.
In fact, 69% of candidates would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed, according to 50 HR and Recruitment Stats That Make You Think from Glassdoor.
Taking this into account, think about how your candidate experience measures up. We recommend asking yourself the following four questions to check if you’re providing the best possible experience for your candidates:
1. Is your application process simple, mobile-optimised and concise?
Let’s take this right back to the beginning of the candidate journey; how easy is it to actually apply for one of your roles? Are candidates forced to click through several pages to submit their application?
It’s important to keep your application process as short and simple as possible. If candidates discover a long-winded and frustrating process, they are more likely to abandon their application halfway through.
Keep mobile traffic in mind; is your application process mobile optimised? An increasing number of candidates are searching for their next role on the move, therefore the process should be easy to complete on a mobile device.
We advise that your online application form should contain no more than 5-7 questions; any more than this and candidates may start to get frustrated. It’s also important to limit the number of free text questions you ask. You should be able to gauge most of the information from the candidates’ CV and the questions should simply support their application.
2. Are candidates kept updated when you assess their application?
You’ve started to assess applications; consider the following scenarios:
– You deem someone’s CV as unsuccessful – do you notify them?
– You’re interested in someone’s CV but you know you won’t have time to call them over the next few days – do you send them an email advising them that you’re interested?
– You’ve only received a partially completed application – do you chase this up?
Candidate communications are absolutely vital when it comes to providing a good experience. In fact, lack of acknowledgment and feedback from applications is actually one of the biggest frustrations for candidates.
It’s completely understandable if you don’t have time to contact every single candidate who applies for one of your roles. However, this is where an applicant tracking system, such as Webrecruit’s Fusion can really help you out.
Fusion allows you to build email templates within the system, which can automatically be populated with candidates’ details to personalise them. When you mark a CV as ‘rejected’ or ‘shortlisted’, an email will automatically be sent out to candidates to make sure that they’re kept informed.
Not only is this an excellent tool from a candidate experience point of view, it will also help to reduce the number of calls that your HR team receives from candidates asking for feedback.
3. Is your interview process candidate friendly?
The interview stage is an important part of the hiring process as it’s likely to be the first face-to-face contact that the applicant has with you and your company.
Many applicant tracking systems (ATS) have an interview scheduling tool, where you’re able to simply populate a few fields on a form which will automatically send out interview invitations to your desired candidates. This also syncs with Outlook so, once confirmed, the appointment will appear on the calendars of everyone involved in the recruitment process (HR, hiring managers and candidates).
It’s important to provide the right level of information to candidates prior to their interview. For example, if you’re conducting a telephone interview, make sure that you let the candidate know the anticipated duration of the interview.
For face-to-face interviews, make sure that you give the candidate plenty of notice of any extra tasks to complete (asking for a presentation with 24 hours notice is slightly unfair when other candidates might be given a whole week).
4. Are you keeping candidates informed throughout the decision making process?
You’ve held your interviews and the time has come to make a decision. Depending on the calibre of candidates that you’ve interviewed, you might need a while to decide who you want to make an offer to.
If you do find that you need a bit of time, it’s important to not go silent and cold on candidates – send them an email, provide an idea of timescales and thank them for their time when interviewing them.