positive candidate experience

The employee experience is one of 2018’s leading HR buzzwords, and the candidate experience isn’t far behind. Why is that? Companies are finding that providing their people with positive, meaningful experiences is both a good thing to do and good for the bottom line. When it comes to recruiting, candidate experience can be the key differentiator in convincing people to join you.

For instance, consider trying to recruit a candidate who has indicated that she is quite happy in her current role, but is open to exploring joining your company. In this situation the only way to convince her to leave a job she likes is if you offer her a great experience every step of the way. Furthermore, bad candidate experiences are downright expensive – Virgin Media found out it was costing them over $5 million annually, customers that feel mistreated as candidates won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere.

A positive candidate experience increases your ability to land top candidates while also retaining the business of the people you reject. If you want to ensure your company is doing the candidate experience right here are four things to focus on:

  • No Bullshit

Candidates hate being lied to just as much as recruiters do. Don’t make the mistake of pitching the job or company as something it’s not. Instead, set the right expectations with a clear, transparent explanation. What might make a job less attractive to one candidate could make it a dream job for someone else. Being clear and honest with candidates sets the right tone, builds trust, and earns respect.

  • A Clear, Sharable Process

After initial contact with a candidate tell them what the recruiting process will look like. Give them details about how long it is expected to take, how many interviews are required, how challenging various processes will be, etc. By sharing your recruitment process, you avoid causing people to feel like you left them hanging. Instead they’ll feel like they were being guided by someone who cares, even if they are rejected for the job.

  • Coaching and Feedback

Before each interview tell candidates what you expect from them. Do you want them to have stories ready to illustrate their experience? Is data a key factor? Just like a good test in school, interviews shouldn’t feel like a surprise, they should feel like something people can prepare for. By coaching candidates you’ll give them the feeling that they are getting a fair shot at the job.

After each interview round be sure to give your candidates feedback. Tell them what they did well and where they can improve. This has two advantages: 1) it helps you to filter out candidates who don’t respond well to feedback and 2) it provides people with the ability to learn and improve for their next interview, whether it is with you or someone else.

  • Prepare Your Hiring Managers

A lot of candidate horror stories come from bad experiences with hiring managers. The hiring manager may have been unprepared, or asked inappropriate questions, or simply made derogatory remarks. By preparing hiring managers you can prevent these horror stories from ever happening. Brief them on candidates in advance and provide them with a list of key questions to ask, or even give them a guide on how to give good interviews. This saves everyone time and ensures your hiring managers treat candidates correctly.

Taking care of your candidates and employees can feel like a challenge, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. If you are transparent, have clear processes, give people feedback, and keep your hiring managers prepared you’ll ensure candidates will feel positive about your company.