What is “Candidate Experience”?
Gone are the days when candidates posted their resume to the company they desired to work in and hoped to hear from them. With increasing competition among several industries across the market, the demand to hire the right candidate for the right job has also increased. Companies across the globe search for a ‘perfect fit’ rather than hire a candidate right out of the market.
To ensure that they get the best, they run the candidates across a series of processes, and, in the end, choose the one they find to be ‘fit’ for the job. But did you know that this process works in two ways? Everyone you interview is going to talk about you, how the interview process went, what were the flaws, and so on. Everything you perceive about a candidate works for your benefit, and everything a candidate experiences can change a lot about how other candidates perceive the company to be.
What exactly is “candidate experience?”
As a company, when you run your candidate hiring process, the candidate learns a lot about the company as well. The learning process starts from the moment the candidate looks up your company online and talks to others to understand the role, growth opportunities, as well as the potential risks. The candidate’s job application experience that starts from the moment they apply for a job until the end of the whole process is called the ‘Candidate Experience.’ In short, it is the perception of a job seeker about an employer.
A candidate’s experience includes interaction through:
- A company’s career site, job advertisement
- The company’s online application process
- Communication from the applicant tracking system
- The interview processes
- Communication with the HR team
- The feedback given to the candidate
- A job offer or rejection letter
It includes all the points of communication during the recruitment process, from job search to offer letter or rejection letter, as well as the onboarding process.
With TalenX.io’s talent acquisition service by your side, you can be assured that you get the best candidate for the role you seek to hire.
What are the components of the candidate experience?
As an employer, you would want to improve the candidate experience to ensure that you remain among the best employers in the market. Before you can look for ways to improve your hiring process to offer excellent candidate experience, you must understand its components first.
The components of ‘candidate experience’ include the following:
Job search is the first interaction that a candidate will have with you. It can either be done using job sites, social media, or via the company website. It is vital to ensure that a candidate’s first experience with you is easy and takes less time and effort. If the first step turns out to be positive, the candidate will continue to develop a positive attitude towards the whole process.
Your job requirement may reach the candidate through the sources mentioned above, but the application process defines how the candidate would start to perceive the company to be. You must ensure that the information that a candidate needs to fill out are clear and concise. It is vital to provide the job description, especially for the candidates who have landed on your page through job boards.
Lack of communication can cause a lot of misunderstanding in our personal lives. The hiring process does not fall short of miscommunication and misunderstanding either. Lack of communication can cause frustration in a candidate who has applied for a job; “Will they call me for an interview?” “Have they received my application or not?” and many such doubts make them anxious while waiting for an answer. A simple text or an email from the recruiter would suffice as it would put the candidate at ease, even if the candidate fails the screening process.
The interview process
An interview is an opportunity for both the company as well as the candidate to clearly understand whether they belong there. As a company, it is an opportunity for you to evaluate the candidate, and as a candidate, it is a good way to know the organisation a little more. A structured interview process will help get a lot of information about the candidate and whether they are a ‘perfect fit’ for the role applied for.
It is important to note that multiple interviews can not only confuse a candidate but also give the impression that the hiring process is a little flawed. Additionally, to ensure that the interview process is coordinated smoothly, the candidate has to be informed about the type of interview that is going to be held, as well as what they can expect.
The onboarding process
It is a great feeling to have found the right person for the right job, and the feeling is mutual when a candidate is offered a role that they like and want. The onboarding process is an opportunity for a company to deliver everything that has been promised to the candidate during the interview process. Remember, if a candidate is burdened with a mountain of paperwork without proper support during this process, it can turn out to be a bad candidate experience.
Every candidate who has been through a round of interview with a company would be waiting for feedback. Irrespective of whether the candidate is shortlisted or not, informing them with regular status updates will keep them engaged, as well as draw a fine perception of the company.
The most vital component of the hiring process is the analysis of the candidate’s journey through the hiring process. It helps to optimise the recruiting efforts, as well as improve candidate experience.
What are the benefits of providing a positive candidate experience?
Positive candidate experience is vital to ensure that the candidate has a clear, consistent and honest opinion about the employer. It offers several other benefits, such as the following:
You can attract more applicants
A short application process is more attractive than a lengthy one. If you offer a good candidate experience through a short one, you can attract more applicants for the role offered. A lengthy, cumbersome and time-consuming application process can be a demotivating factor to many talented candidates who would rather look for opportunities elsewhere.
You can attract top talent
An application process that offers a positive candidate experience attracts several other job seekers. With increased applications, your database of the candidate will offer you top talent among a pool of job seekers. It also helps you to make a great first impression on the best talent, which can increase their willingness to work for your company.
You will improve your quality of hire
Did you know that offering a good candidate experience is as good as investing in advertising? When a candidate is happy about the recruitment experience, through word of mouth, it spreads among family and friends. It attracts more talent and the number of applications increase. With a wide choice of applicants for the role, the company has an opportunity to improve the quality of talent that is hired.
With TalenX.io’s service, you can ensure that you get the top talent available and that the candidate experience remains optimal. We offer I/O Psychology using which we provide insights on the available resources or jobseekers to enhance candidate selection and talent management decisions.
You can increase brand awareness
What is the first name that would come to mind if you were asked which company you would want to work for? Ask a hundred people, and you will understand how certain companies have managed to build brand awareness. A positive candidate experience helps you improve brand awareness of your company, and negative candidate experience will push your company to the end of the list. Word of mouth is a great advertiser, and potential candidates willingly or unwillingly can promote your brand.
How to improve the candidate experience?
A few missteps here and there can make you look unprofessional to the outside world, and negative remarks always spread easily. Can you imagine a candidate painting a negative picture of your company? If you want to ensure that your company continues to be one among the top employers that job seekers pursue, then you have to ensure that you provide great candidate experience to every candidate, irrespective of whether they are suitable or not.
You can ensure a great candidate experience with the following practices:
Hire for the real role!
Be well-organised and plan your hiring strategy as per the needs of the company. Identify the gaps rather than predict it, and ensure that your strategy benefits the candidate, as well as the company.
Offer a detailed job description
Most often, companies fail to hire the right person for the right job as they fail to provide a detailed job description. They fail to provide several responsibilities that the candidate has to fulfil, which leads to bad candidate experience. Additionally, make sure that the job description is easy to read and understand.
Set realistic expectations
Make sure that you set realistic expectations of the job, as well as the work environment, and not paint beautiful and unrealistic pictures of the job. Do not make false promises about the job or about how the company works or what it offers to the employees, in order to attract more applicants.
Do not complicate the application process
Make sure that your career page is easy to find and includes clear application instructions. A long and complicated application can confuse a candidate, and a good candidate may decide to drop-out. Additionally, do not make the candidates log-in to the system to apply for better candidate experience. Keep it short, simple, and mobile-friendly.
Keep the communication flowing
A candidate who is eager to work for your company would be waiting to hear from you. Make sure that you send a rejection email or an interview invite to the applicant without fail. While the interview process is still active, communicate with the candidate at each step to keep them updated. Make sure to follow-up on any feedback given by the candidate without fail.
Provide a seamless and pleasant interview process
Make sure that you offer a good candidate experience to every candidate by –
- Keeping them informed about what to expect in the following interview
- Giving full attention to candidates during the interview
- Accepting candidate feedback of any kind and responding to it professionally
- Sending out a gentle and respectable rejection letter
- Offering an informative and innovative onboarding process to new hire
It is wise to remember that candidate experience affects a company more than it does a candidate. It plays a vital role in altering the perception of a potential employee.