The race for talent is on. More than ever, companies are finding creative ways to attract the rare gem: a candidate as competent as they are motivated, and ready to commit. To this end, companies have understood that in order to recruit effectively, it’s absolutely essential to meet the expectations of new talent. A different organizational culture, attractive benefits and increased salaries are all measures that have been implemented to attract and retain qualified employees.
Once these measures are in place, you might think there’s nothing left to do. And yet, one aspect of talent attraction is all too often overlooked. You guessed it: the candidate experience.
If you neglect this dimension of your recruitment process, your chances of success will decrease, even before you’ve made your first call. As always, in this article we will provide our recommendations for preventing this from happening through a pragmatic, simple, but effective approach.
What is the candidate experience?
The candidate experience refers to the perceptions as well as all of the feelings that candidates have about the application process.
From the visual and content of your job posting, to your first contact, to the smooth application process, every step and detail counts when it comes to making a good impression.
The main reason why the experience of candidates is so important is that it determines how they will behave in the future as the recruitment process moves forward. Among other things, the dropout rate and response speed are strongly correlated with the quality of the candidate experience.
The candidate experience in numbers
A quality candidate experience allows you not only to hire great talent, but also to expand your pool of potential candidates and even future clients. Indeed:
95% of applicants with a positive experience are willing to reapply for the same company.
Better still, 97% of them will be willing to share the position with their network.
Unfortunately, many employers don’t care enough about the needs of their candidates and are therefore unable to recruit the best:
- 60% of candidates admit having once experienced a bad application and recruitment experience.
- 65% are unhappy that they never received a follow-up on an application and 72% report speaking to their network of contacts about it, online or in person.
An overly lengthy application process ranks number one when it comes to factors deterring a qualified candidate from submitting an application. And yet employers continue to impose procedures which, from drafting the CV to the final submission of applications, take an average of 4 hours to complete. This is due to, among other things, unclear job descriptions, long psychometric tests, and unclear or overly complex application submission instructions.
While these figures reflect the sad reality that some recruiters just don’t understand the new job market expectations, it can be an opportunity for you. In fact, by using a few simple techniques, you could stand out from your competitors and efficiently recruit the candidates that will make a difference in your company.
4 Tips to Improve the Candidate Experience
A human-centred approach
For a long time, many companies maintained the idea that they were doing a service to candidates by offering them a job, and that they should in return be willing to go through a long and complex hiring process. But times have changed, and the ball is now in the candidates’ court. More than ever, candidates can pick and choose the companies they want to apply and work for. And, it’s up to recruiters to adapt their processes.
To provide a premium candidate experience, the first thing to do is to perfect a human quality that can’t be matched by robots, machines and technologies: empathy. Take the time to think about how each step of the recruiting process will impact a potential candidate. What difficulties are they likely to encounter? What information might they need? If you were in their position, would you prefer to start with a call or an in-person meeting?
Your answers to these questions will allow you to build a smooth recruitment path for candidates who will thank you in return with complete applications and fruitful meetings.
A personalized approach
You are not hiring a list of skills, diplomas, and experiences, but someone with their own preferences and personalities. So, avoid one-size-fits-all recruiting approaches.
Get to know your candidates by reading their resume, and viewing their LinkedIn profile and social media. Knowing basic information about them can help you connect with them faster. This will allow you to get the most out of your meetings by exploring their expectations and experiences more deeply. On their end, they will feel listened to and valued. A winning combo!
A fast approach
Applicants spend an average of 4 hours completing their application. Recruiters, for their part, spend 15 minutes reading them. This difference is a real source of dissatisfaction for candidates who feel, and rightly so, that their efforts in such situations are going unrecognized.
Avoid these frustrations by creating a quick and easy process. Don’t ask for complex information in a first round if it’s not absolutely essential, and avoid steps repeating themselves. Your candidates will thank you and your job will also be easier, too.
An improved approach
Nothing is ever perfect on the first try. This is also true for the candidate experience you want to implement. You might need several tries in order to set up a smooth, pleasant process that reflects the image of your company. And, to help you in this objective, your best allies are the candidates, past and present. Don’t hesitate to ask them for their impressions of each step of the process. Online surveys are still a relatively easy way to get feedback. Whenever possible, ask them for feedback in person as well. Their opinions and suggestions are precious data.
So those are our tips for an improved candidate experience. What do you think? Which one do you think you’ll apply? We’d love to hear from you!