Five Ways To Boost Your Candidate Experience

By: Ben White


When looking at the buzzwords today around hiring, candidate experience falls right in between millennial and culture.  Organizations talk about improving their candidate experience, but how many companies get it right?  Many of them don’t place candidate experience as a top priority, ultimately hurting their hiring success and their brand.

A recent article stated that candidates who had a bad experience interviewing with a company are far more likely to tell their peers not to apply for positions at that organization.

With candidate experience becoming more important, it may be time to look at your recruiting process to see if there is room for improvement.

Learn these five easy tips to help your company improve their candidate experience. If you can successfully implement these tips, you’ll most likely see a decrease in candidate turndowns as well as an improved reputation in the market place.

  1. Seamless Handoff

The first thing to master is the handoff.  Whether it’s an external recruiter handing off to an internal stakeholder or a corporate recruiter handing a candidate off to a hiring manager, this step is easy to get wrong. Too often this step takes way too long, leaving the candidate in the dark.

In the handoff, consistent communication is the key. One of the complaints I hear all the time from candidates is they aren’t sure where they stand or what is next. Letting them know what the next steps are, how long they will need to wait and giving accurate timelines, can eliminate so much candidate angst.

To accomplish this, try these two things.  One, send an email introduction with the candidate and hiring manager copied.  Being proactive can eliminate uncertainty.

Two, make sure to set up calendar invites with all the information a candidate might need in the invite as well as the appropriate contact information. These things take only a few minutes but can make a significant difference.

  1. Setting Expectations

Sometimes the solution to a problem is as simple as setting expectations. If timelines are not communicated to candidates, they will make assumptions on what is reasonable. The problem with this is they don’t have visibility to anything that’s going on within your organization. They don’t know about your largest customer visit or inspection and assume that getting the position filled is your top priority.

When they end up waiting longer than they thought is reasonable, they assume the cause of this delay is lack of interest. Often this isn’t the case at all, but from the candidate’s perspective, it’s a reasonable assumption to make.

To solve this problem, be transparent, communicate an accurate timeline, and encourage them to reach out when they have questions or would like an update.

  1. Consistent Communication

One of the biggest mistake’s recruiters make is handing off great candidates to hiring managers and assuming their work is complete. You screened the candidate, introduced them to the hiring manager, and have moved on to other pressing matters.

What’s the problem? You’ve assumed the communication will be consistent, and that’s not always the case.

As the recruiter, touch base with the candidate after every phase of the interview process to keep track of their interest level.  Touching base often allows you to address any potential issues and critical changes. A phone call only takes a few minutes and, it worth the effort.

  1. Reviewing Salary Requirements

How many times have you reached the offer stage to have the candidate say they require a different salary than they told you when you first spoke? If you only ask them at the beginning and at the very end, it’s as much your fault as it is theirs. The average interview process can be longer than a month, and a lot can change during that time.

For one, the balance of power shifts dramatically when a candidate of many becomes “the chosen one.”  In the beginning, they may not have wanted to price themselves out of a job, but now realize they have a lot more leverage than thought.

Also, they may have other opportunities they are considering or things have changed with their current employer. The variables are endless, but the conclusion is the same; it’s important to talk about salary expectations often.

  1. Future Forward

The largest waste of talent in recruiting is not fostering a relationship with the second and third-place candidates. So often we hire the perfect candidate and proceed to burn bridges with great candidates who came up short. The decent thing to do is to communicate the outcome to every candidate.  Treat people how you would like to be treated.

There are plenty of reasons why great organizations don’t end up hiring great people. The candidate gets a compelling offer to go elsewhere, they receive an internal promotion, or maybe you can’t come to terms on the compensation package. The reason should never be your organization dropped the ball during the hiring process.

To learn more about why a candidate call back is a great recruiting strategy, read this blog.

Candidate experience is becoming more important as the talent market tightens.  Creating a great candidate experience not only retains top talent, it also builds a positive brand in the marketplace.

If you’d like help creating a better candidate experience for your organization, connect with us.  We’d love to start a conversation.


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