What is candidate experience and why is it important?
Author: Kim Draper
Candidate experience is ultimately how a candidate feels they have been treated throughout the recruitment process.
Similar to the act of buying a product or service, candidates applying for jobs expect this to be a positive experience, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case.
Candidate experience can often slip if you:
1. Don’t have a dedicated in-house team and are juggling recruitment around your own job role.
2. Are dealing with an agency who are simply there to ‘fill a vacant position’.
3. Don’t have a clear recruitment process in place.
What classes as ‘candidate experience’?
Candidate experience starts at their very first touchpoint, which is usually the job advert. This continues through every point of the hiring process, until their first day on the job (if hired).
Throughout the hiring process candidate experience can be affected by communication or lack of in some cases, approach of the people involved, what information is (and isn’t) given and how long it takes.
How to improve candidate experience
The experience a candidate receives throughout your hiring process should be an accurate reflection of your company culture and values.
Here are a few examples of things you can do to improve candidate experience:
Outsource your recruitment
Let’s get this one out there first. If you don’t have the time or resource in-house then your candidates won’t be receiving the highest standard of candidate experience.
Recruitment companies (like ourselves) have tools at their disposal to assist with enhancing candidate experience, such as Applicant Tracker Systems.
Here at The Outsourced Recruitment Company, we use an ATS system to manage our recruitment process. This helps to ensure we know exactly what stage each candidate is at and can set up communication triggers to keep them updated at all times.
Ensure there is an actual need to recruit
This isn’t as common, but it’s not unheard of. Sometimes companies put up job adverts to see what the interest is like.
The last thing a candidate wants is to be led on, it’s a complete waste of their time and your time and resource if at the end of the process you decide you can’t fulfil the role.
Make sure they are aware of the process
Applying for a new job can be daunting, especially for those who may have not opted to enter that search voluntarily, such as those who have been made redundant or have experienced a change in circumstance.
It’s good practice to let your candidates know what the process looks like, particularly if it’s made up of multiple stages. Include details like:
- Who they will be meeting/speaking with.
- How long you expect it take.
- If any practical tests or presentations are involved.
- If in-person, share clear instructions on how to find your business, where to park and any entry details they need to be aware of.
Don’t ghost them! 👻
We can’t say this enough, stop ghosting!
It only takes a matter of minutes to give a candidate an update or provide them with feedback, but the impact it can have is crucial to their overall experience.
Remember, even if you are rejecting someone for the position, they will leave with an impression, and you want that to be a positive one.
Ask for feedback
One of the best ways to assess candidate experience is to ask those who have experienced it first-hand. We suggest making this part of your onboarding process.
Remember, candidate experience forms part of your employer brand. To understand more about employer branding check out our blog.