Three Simple Hiring Ideas That Can Transform Your Candidate Experience
Candidate experience is a term that has many implications in today’s hiring process. Not getting the right candidates to apply? Blame candidate experience. Experiencing a lot of churn in your talent pipeline? Blame candidate experience.
However, one big problem that most companies face is an inability to quantify what their candidate experience really is. Beyond exit interviews and monitoring sites like Glassdoor, it’s hard to really know what applicants are saying about your hiring process.
We work with a lot of companies with internal hiring processes in place, but who can’t figure out why they aren’t bringing in the right people. If you suspect that you are missing out on perfectly qualified candidates and can’t put your finger on why then it might be time to rethink how you approach your hiring process as a whole. In our experience, there are three major things that might be missing from your process: research, branding, and duration of search:
Do your Research
Before you post a job description that could attract the wrong people to your role, research exactly what you want in an employee (aka market map). Market maps are a tool that helps organize the kind of research you should do on the front end to create the best job description for your role.
Start by looking at your competitors and their employees in similar positions to the one you’re hiring. Try to figure out what qualifications are the most vital to their success (and take note of any rock stars to engage with later in the recruiting process). Similarly, look at the top competing job ads in the area and figure out how to differentiate yourselves from the herd. Take the time on the front end to research common salary benchmarks, benefits, and other expectations a candidate might have about your company and be up-front about what you can and can’t offer.
Check Your Branding
Candidate experience and employer branding feed off of each other. You can’t excel at one without paying attention to the other. Make sure you’re doing the right things to maintain your employer brand and regularly evaluate your messaging tone and target audience to make sure it speaks directly to the types of people you’re gearing up to hire.
Brandon Hall’s 2017 Candidate Experience Study found that among small and mid-size companies, only about 50% believe their candidate communications are branded well with compelling content. This can be a huge problem because inconsistent or misleading branding is often related to poor candidate experience. If you suspect that your candidate communications aren’t benefiting the hiring process, then take action. Use your careers page/site to discuss mission, vision, and culture, and make sure that your culture is easy to understand- that will help weed out people who are likely to churn.
Wait it out
A consistent concern among companies of all sizes is the impact that a lengthy time to hire has on candidate experience. However, CandE’s recent report found that candidates that withdraw from the recruiting process and give companies low experience scores are almost twice as likely to do so because they felt “disrespected during the interview process” not because it took too long.
The best way to make sure that you’re treating a candidate with respect is to keep open lines of communication throughout the entire hiring process. Don’t waste your time worrying that it’s taking too long to move people into the next stage of the process, instead use that time to keep candidates informed about what the hold-ups are and when you’d expect the next touch-point to be.
Don’t forget that candidates are interviewing you just as you are interviewing them. Open lines of communication with further help inject a human element into the hiring process so that their only interaction with the team is not a time-constrained interview. What if candidates were invited to text or email the interviewer to follow up with questions or thoughts? It would keep candidates engaged in the process between interviews, and it also shows them you are genuinely interested in hiring the right person.