Effective recruitment is a two-way street. As much as you’re looking for a strong candidate that fits seamlessly into your company, these candidates are looking for organisations that fulfil their own goals and match their values.
Nearly four out of five job applicants believe that the candidate experience serves as a reliable indicator as to how a company values its people. Not only that, 83% of talent say that a negative interview experience can destroy their perception about a role or company they once liked. In comparison, 87% of candidates say that a positive experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.
It poses an important question: what does your hiring process say about how you value employees? Would you be happy with this representation reflecting on your entire company or brand?
To unearth top talent while helping your brand shine, here are five of my top tips for creating a best-in-class candidate experience. To see the full list along with some bonus hints and tools to implement them, you can check out my ebook; The Hiring Manager’s Guide to Mastering the Candidate Experience.
Tighten up your job descriptions
You want to provide enough detail about what’s required to fulfil a specific role. Focus on including the nuts and bolts things that candidates need to know — including the job title, location, primary responsibilities, or a day in the life of, and a bit about your culture and the work environment. Anything more than that will likely get glossed over anyway.
Treat your candidates more like customers?
We’re in a time when the job market has an abundance of active candidates, but you should never assume that this will make it easier to recruit top talent. In many ways it can be much, much harder. In addition to a high volume of candidates to work through, you will have to contend with a lot more requests from candidates to connect with you on LinkedIn and more direct enquires via email, calls, messages, and referrals.
At FT Executive we spend a lot of time talking about treating your candidates like customers of your business. Just as you would never ignore contact from a customer, a good candidate experience will require you to keep good records of your interactions with each applicant. When you’re being hit with multiple sources of communication, this, of course, can be easier said than done.
One way to manage this effectively is to track all enquiries from multiple candidate entry points in one source of truth. This could be something as simple as an excel spreadsheet or inputting the data through an Applicant Tracking Tool (ATS) such as breezy.hr.
Be honest (and realistic!) about your timeline
Applicants who are eager to land their next job typically understand that you don’t share their same sense of urgency. However, that doesn’t mean that you can leave them hanging with no idea of when they can expect to hear from you next.
Get on the same page and set expectations from the beginning by explaining your anticipated timeline. For example, when you’ll be calling people in for interviews and when you hope to have that position filled.
You might be in a hurry, but I always caution against saying “we are hiring ASAP” in job ads. Effective recruitment takes time. At best, you may be able to hire someone in 2-6 weeks. At worst it could take upwards of 8 weeks+ and the right talent will drop off if you don’t get this right from the start.
Communicate well and often to manage expectations
The biggest complaint that job seekers share is how often they’re left wondering about an application for a job they are excited about. They compulsively refresh their inboxes waiting for any news about that open position.
This is why communicating well and often can be a tremendous asset to you as an employer. Especially in today’s information age and with all the tools available to be in contact at any moment with anyone, radio silence is a no-go.
There are some simple ways to cut down the time it takes to communicate with candidates. Establishing some basic email and/or text message templates for each stage of the process will go a long way in reducing your workload. And by sending regular updates, you’ll further reduce the demands on your time from anxious candidates calling and emailing for news.
Here are the five templates I recommend creating to save time when responding to candidates:
- Initial thank you email
- Meeting request email
- Interview confirmation email
- Application rejection email
- Follow up email after an interview
You can see an example of this in the full version of my ebook here.
Be accommodating with schedules
One reliable way to improve your candidate experience is to openly ask applicants about convenient timing for various interviews and meetings. With that information under your belt, you’re better able to work around those times — even if it means scheduling those conversations for later in the day (or even outside of business hours).
The more comfortable you make it to find a time that works for both of you, the better the candidate experience.
To make this process easier, you can use a scheduling tool such as Calendly, which lets the candidate select a convenient time from your chosen availability. These apps can usually integrate with video meeting tools such as Zoom, further streamlining your screening or interview calls.
Leaving a lasting impression on top talent
In today’s competitive hiring landscape, having a top-notch candidate experience isn’t negotiable. It’s something that you need to actively work on in order to land the best talent for your organisation.
Not sure where to start? Put these tips to good use, and you’re bound to make a positive impression on every candidate that interacts with your company. You can also check out the full ebook here, which includes some extra advice on how to create an inclusive candidate experience.
Where to get help
FT Executive is a full-service talent and customer consultancy who enable businesses to transform and grow. Whether it’s people, process or technology change you can count on our expertise in giving you the competitive edge to attract the right talent.
If you need help redefining your hiring practises, sourcing quality candidates, or transforming your business — we’re here to help.
Phone: 0432 605 199