How To Promote A Winning Candidate Experience

Used - May 18, 2016

As summer approaches, many organizations are kicking into full-fledged recruitment gear. You’ve nailed down your job description,  come up with a strategic posting plan, and the resumes start to roll in. The hiring process can be stressful for everyone involved, and as a tidal wave of resumes descends, it can be all too easy to forget about the candidate’s experience.

But tying up all the loose ends and making sure every person who applies is left with a good impression is important. When you treat potential future employees well, they are likely to discuss their job search experience with you in a positive light, which enhances your employer brand and makes future recruitment (and business!) processes easier. After all, in many cases, your candidates are also your customers and clients, so it’s worth keeping them happy.

“Personalize the recruitment process by keeping candidates up-to-date.”

Not sure if you’re doing everything you should? Here are five simple tips to promote a positive candidate experience:

1. Set expectations. Create clarity around what applicants can expect during the recruitment process at the outset. Let them know well in advance what the steps will be if they move forward. If candidates will be required to provide samples of their work, complete assessments, or deliver a presentation during the process, tell them so they have ample time to prepare.

2. Communicate! Personalize the recruitment process by keeping candidates updated on their applications as much as is reasonable. Particularly if your hiring process is a long one, letting everyone know where you’re at as things develop only takes a few minutes, and can lower candidate anxiety levels significantly. By the same token, close the loop with those who aren’t shortlisted. Following up quickly ensures candidates who aren’t successful aren’t waiting around with false hope.

3. Get to know the person behind the resume. While it’s important to ensure your interview process is fair and avoids discrimination, that doesn’t mean you have to come across as a recruitment robot. Ditch your scripted approach and engage candidates in a conversation. Making an effort to be genuine and warm puts candidates at ease, and has the added bonus of encouraging more honest answers.

4. Let them see you. Hiring shouldn’t happen in a vacuum. Assuming you want to hire people who fit with your organizational culture, introduce them to your team during the interview process. Not only does seeking employee input encourage buy-in and provide you with a fresh perspective on candidates, but giving prospective employees an opportunity to see who they’ll be working with also gets them feeling involved and engaged with the team before they even start! (For more strategies to engage your staff when hiring, Click here)

5. Keep the door open. Regretted candidates may reach out with questions on their application or interview. Provide honest and constructive feedback when asked. It takes guts to follow up after being rejected, and demonstrates initiative, self-awareness, and a willingness to learn—all things every employer should encourage, even if the candidate’s not the right fit for that particular position!

Your Engaged Assignment: Recruiting? Don’t rush it! Remove some of the stress for both yourself and your applicants by setting reasonable timelines for each step in the process and sticking to them. Taking your time not only improves the candidate experience, but also helps ensure you’ll find the best fit for the role.

Not sure if you’re on the right track with your recruitment process? Drop us a line – we’re more than happy to give you some pointers!