Optimising the Candidate Experience…

By Andrew Groves

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In a recent survey of 4000 job seekers, almost 60% said they’ve had never heard back from an employer after making a job application or attending an interview.

An optimised recruitment process should be centred on the candidate at every stage; for instance each and every applicant should, as a minimum, receive a communication to confirm their application has been received and they should then have direct contact from a recruiter, where possible within 24/48hrs.

Every candidate should be treated as an individual with the recruitment process structured to understand if your company is right for the candidate, as well as the candidate being right for your company. It’s about working together to ensure mutually beneficial relationships where values and objectives are aligned, only then will you begin to hire talent that will thrive in your company.

Line Managers should be competent recruiters and trained in and understand your processes, from ensuring the candidates are treated well and feel comfortable prior to the interview commencing to enjoying & contributing to the interview and leaving with a good impression of your company.

There should be a significant amount of pride involved in ensuring each and every candidate has the best candidate journey possible and everything has been done to ensure whether hired or not any potential employees have a positive experience and ultimately see your company as an employer of choice passing on their positive experience to friends and colleagues.

The 2013 CareerBuilder survey found that the effects of a candidate’s negative experience can lead to a broader impact on the employer’s business or its ability to recruit top talent.

Across your business, in every department, the recruitment processes should evolve with the candidate in mind. You should refine and enhance the tools and methods used in your process, you should be re-designing your careers pages to include up to date content and videos showcasing current employees, you should also be thinking about introducing an “On-Boarding” portal to ensure the experience is optimal to the very end of the recruitment process thus eliminating all paper contracts and contact; this is especially true if you are recruiting grads who are used to doing everything online and expect to be able to do everything online.

Do you monitor your recruitment process and seek feedback wherever possible? This is crucial if you are to get your process ship-shape and ensure it is continually evolving to suit your candidate’s needs and wants. Without feedback how do you know where to make changes and enhancements? If you are in competition with other companies for the same talent have you reviewed their processes and compared them to yours? There are companies out there, such a Mystery Applicant, who provide tools to measure the candidate experience and there is also Glassdoor.com a company review site that may be able to tell you what candidates really think of your company and interview process; take ownership of your Glassdoor site and make it work for you by adopting the “OpenCompany” philosophy and showing your embrace transparency.

Finally, do you continue to monitor your candidate’s experiences in the first 3 months? Is it living up to what you told them? If you don’t and the experience is a poor one you could just be undermining all the hard work you have done in getting your recruitment process right.

The candidate experience is one of the main foundations of your employer brand so do everything you can to get it right by making it a priority!

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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