3 Tips For A Great Candidate Experience

A great employer brand depends on a strong candidate experience. Understanding how your organisation is viewed both by clients and potential employees, and attempting to improve that image, is all part of employer branding. Candidate experience is a part of this. Ensuring that your organisation cares for its applicants and employees, from the very start of their interaction with your business is all part of ensuring a high quality experience.

An engaging and positive candidate experience can differentiate employers and recruiters from the crowd, helping them to attract, secure, and retain top-tier talent.

I recently read an interesting statistic on candidate experience.

“Nearly four in five candidates (78 percent) say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people” SOURCE

The candidate experience starts from the very first click. It starts at the company web site or job board. When recruiters are thoughtful about each step that the candidate goes through, it creates a positive experience. How you treat your applicants also says a great deal about your organisational culture; it is a window into your company.

Below are three tips that make for a great candidate experience.

Tip 1 - Prioritise Communication

First impressions are important. If the initial communication with an applicant isn’t satisfactory, it can hurt their overall candidate experience with your company. It is reasonable for candidates to expect to be well informed throughout the application and hiring process. It is no surprise that poor communication is a key for a negative candidate experience.

Candidates, especially quality ones, appreciate human contact. If you value those candidates on your shortlist reach out and let them know that you’ve received their application. You will also need to let candidates know what’s going on at each stage of the hiring process. Updating your candidate via email or text and setting realistic expectations throughout will help keep them informed about the next step forward.


Tip 2 - Provide Support Throughout

It’s important that you support each candidate throughout the process, so they know exactly what’s expected of them.

It is beneficial to let them know how long the role will be open for applications, when you’ll shortlist and when you will conduct interviews. Giving candidates some expectations about the timeline of the hiring process can help alleviate a lot of concerns. By informing your candidates about the structure of the interview, they’ll be better prepared, and more able to deliver their best on any task or presentation you put before them.


Tip 3 - Tell Them If They’re Unsuccessful.


Once you have your short-list, go back to those candidates not on it and let them know they’ve been unsuccessful. When letting your candidate know they are unsuccessful remember that you have the ability to influence their careers.

Therefore, candidate feedback is an essential part of the process. Explain where a candidate performed well, and where they fell short in the process. Feedback is like a gift and when delivered and received well is something that only improves the candidate’s chances of securing a role. When I started doing this, I was surprised by how many people really appreciated this gesture. How do I know that candidates appreciate this? Over 25% of unsuccessful candidates I have provided feedback to have sent me a “thank you” just for letting them know.

The hiring process itself is a major factor in how candidates form their impressions of most companies. When candidates are hired after a positive experience, they hit the ground running.

How you treat job applicants also says a great deal about your organisational culture; it is a window into your company. Great candidate experiences will also improve your hiring brand, making it easier to get good candidates.

James Foxall