The candidate experience is vital, because their experience during this time influences whether they choose to interview with your company and accept a position, and can determine what they choose to say about you online.
A staggering 72% of job seekers have revealed that they have shared a negative candidate experience online, and a further 55% confirmed they have avoided applying to a company as a direct result of reading these negative reviews. The impact of a single negative candidate experience could cost your business talented individuals.
So how can you create a better candidate experience that applicants will love?
1. Write clear and concise job descriptions
It’s important to focus on every aspect of your hiring process, right from the start. Your job descriptions are the first step in the hiring process, and if these are vague or poorly written, it could cost you talented candidates. Be sure to write clear and concise descriptions that lay out as many details as possible, such as salary, role responsibilities, qualifications and experience, and benefits. The more information you can give at this early stage, the better.
2. Improve your careers page
Before applying to your open roles, most candidates will check out your company’s website and careers page. In fact, 89% of candidates said that your careers page is your biggest recruiting asset - therefore it needs to be good. This page has to sell applicants on your company and make them want to apply for an open role, so it needs to be well-designed for both desktop & mobile and should be easy to navigate.
3. Make the application process as short and simple as possible
Almost two-thirds (60%) of job hunters have abandoned an application halfway through because of a lengthy process. If you have the option to use 1-click apply, this can be extremely beneficial. In general, it’s recommended to keep the initial application process as straightforward as possible by asking for a resume and cover letter.
4. Keep the lines of communication open
One of the best ways to create a strong candidate experience is to communicate with applicants early in the process and make sure you continue to keep in touch. No job seeker likes being left in the dark, so keep them informed at every stage of the hiring process, even if it’s to let them know you need more time to consider their application.
You should also avoid ‘ghosting’ candidates, which includes ignoring their application or never getting back to them after a stage of the interview has passed. This is a frustrating experience that most job seekers have gone through. Even when rejecting a candidate, send them an email to let them know. Provide detailed feedback if you can, but your ability to do this may depend on the number of applications you have received.
5. Prepare successful applicants for interview
Interviews can be nerve-wracking for candidates, so it can be a positive candidate experience for you to help them prepare. Give them an idea of any tasks they might be asked to complete, detailed directions to your office, the names of everyone they’ll be meeting, and check in the day before the interview to make sure you’ve answered any questions.
This helps candidates feel ready for the interview, and both sides will get more from the experience. They’ll be grateful for the support and likely to have a much better candidate experience - which they may share with other job seekers, even if they don’t land the role.
6. Maintain candidate relationships
Just because someone didn't get the job this time, doesn't mean they won’t be right for a future role. For this reason, it can be valuable to maintain relationships with strong candidates. Let them know that you’ll be keeping them in mind for future positions and reach out to them each time you advertise a new role they may be interested in.
7. Prepare a strong onboarding process
Once a candidate has accepted an offer, keep in mind that the hiring process is not over. New hires will often decide within the first few days if their new job is right for them. Many new hires continue to job hunt well into their first month at a new company.
The best way to keep your candidate onboard is to make them feel welcome! Create an itinerary for their first few days, set aside time for them to meet with different departments and senior team members, and plan tasks or introductory projects for them to begin working on.