February 2, 2018
February 9, 2018
There’s been a lot of talk lately in human resources and recruitment blogs about improving the candidate experience – but what does that really mean? The candidate experience is the job applicant’s perspective of the end-to-end job application to onboarding process. At each stage, the candidate may have feelings and impressions about the process that positively or negatively affect his or her opinion of the potential employer. Ultimately, those factors can influence whether the candidate continues with the application or decides to look elsewhere. Let’s take a closer look at the individual phases of the candidate experience to better understand the process from the applicant’s point of view:
The candidate experience begins before s/he applies for a job, when they first are introduced to a company. That might happen through a job board or on a corporate careers webpage, or via a 3rd party recruiter who then directs the candidate to more information. Everything the candidate sees on these pages influences his or her opinion of the company, from the UX of the careers portal to the language used in job postings.
Tips for capturing the candidate:
The candidate will submit required materials such as a resume, cover letter or writing samples. Companies may have the submission process driven by a simple email, or through an applicant tracking system, or possibly using “apply with” functionality, where an applicant applies via a job board login such as LinkedIn, Monster, or Indeed.
Tips for ensuring an easy application experience:
After the candidate submits materials, he or she awaits a response. The candidate may receive an auto-reply thank-you email from the company with instructions to be on the lookout for a follow-up. However, candidate communication does not end here, and the longer an employer takes to get back to a candidate, the more likely it is that the candidate will form a negative impression of the company.
Tips for keeping your candidate’s interest:
The employer contacts candidates to inform them that they have been chosen for interviews. Ideally, the interview should take place in the next 1-2 weeks. The employer should clearly communicate the time of the interview, its expected duration and the name of the employee who will be conducting the interview. When the candidate sits down for the interview, the questions should be thoughtful, targeted and clearly developed with the unique demands of that specific vacancy in mind. Stakeholders should coordinate their line of query, from HR to the hiring manager. Following the interview, the candidate should be given a clear and honest timeline for when a decision should be made. If the process is going to be slower than is ideal, the candidate should be given regular updates on the progress of the decision-making process.
Tips for a positive interview experience:
Your team submits the offer to the candidate, often first via phone and then paperwork is sent for signature. The candidate may then counter offer, ask questions, decline, or accept.
Tips for converting the candidate:
The candidate experience does not end when the individual accepts a job offer. The onboarding process is an important period that continues to shape the candidate’s impression of his or her suitability for the role. Comprehensive new employee training is critical to their success.
Tips for a successful onboarding:
Looking at the candidate experience from the applicant’s point of view can help employers design application processes that increase their odds of attracting and retaining top talent.