10 Easy Tips to Elevate Your Candidate Experience

To many hiring managers, the words “Candidate Experience” are just buzzwords that only relate to Talent Acquisition. However, the reality remains that the recruitment process has changed dramatically in recent years, and it seems like this rising trend in Human Resources and company branding isn’t about to pass anytime soon. For a long time, hiring managers chose their incoming talent, but in this current job market, talent seems to be choosing the company.

This paradigm shift in hiring means that for companies to remain competitive, prioritizing the Candidate Experience has to be at the forefront of their recruitment strategy. For this post, I present my top tips for easily improving your Candidate Experience. If you strategically need to elevate your Candidate Experience and get your talent acquisition mojo back- keep reading!

1. Elevate Your Job Description

In my personal experience, the more accurate the job description is in relating the technical skills and requirements the candidate needs to be a successful applicant, the easier the overall recruitment process is. By utilizing your top technical skills throughout the job description, you are not only setting appropriate expectations, you are also creating keywords for mediums such as Google, social media and job boards; ensuring that you drive your search results and get your job orders seen.

If you need an efficient way to identify your technical skills, I have a favorite HR life hack for that! Create a Company Technical Skills Preference Sheet for each department manager. By creating a universal, short answer sheet, you can easily request and assess what technical skills should be included when you create your job descriptions and eliminate the need for lengthy meetings.

Finally, get creative with your job descriptions and elevate your Candidate Experience by engaging potential candidates through multi-media platforms. Ann Wyatt Recruiting creates a Company Analysis by incorporating video, labor market information, mission statements and other Company details all within one document. By utilizing this multi-dimensional document, we give our interested candidates the information that they need to make a long lasting decision.

Elevated Candidates

 2. Be Transparent About Your Selection Process

The right Candidate Experience begins with company transparency. Setting expectations about the whole hiring process is a must. Set up communication checkpoints to establish a point of contact for every phase of the hiring process during your initial conversation. In doing so, you are actually elevating your Candidate Experience by making your candidates feel valued.

Additionally, understanding all that is expected helps in erasing confusion and nervousness for them. While every organization mostly likely has a straightforward selection process, in the interest of delivering the best Candidate Experience, it is imperative to communicate your process with your candidates.

3. Improve Your Career Site

Career sites represent a company’s best recruiting tool, and often, they are the first element in delivering a top rated Candidate Experience. Even with the rise of social media sites and third party career sites, your company’s career site is probably your most used asset. Ways to ensure that your career site stands out include:

  • Easy access to information
  • FAQs section about the company, company culture and the hiring process
  • Organized links for your job openings (by location, department, or product)

When developing, or updating your career site, take advantage of updated technology to assist with these items. Never underestimate the power of a good company career site when it comes to elevating the Candidate Experience!

 4. Simplify Your Application Process

Most companies have adopted long online application processes. According to research, it takes candidates between 3-4 hours to fill in online forms. As a result, a large percentage of the candidates quit midway through the process. This is a true recruiting (and candidate) buzz kill!

I always suggest testing your application process before making it available for candidates to utilize it. That way, you have a firsthand account of your application process as it relates to the Candidate Experience. In fact, the number one comment that I receive when I am following up with a candidate that has applied through my website is, “that was really easy!”

 5. Respect A Candidate’s Time

Any Recruiter will tell you that “time kills all deals,” In fact, according to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, it takes top talent ten days to find another job. Ten! This information should indicate that a company should make sure to incorporate a brief process if they are to stand any chances of landing these highly coveted individuals. Failure to do so will almost always result in a lost opportunity with your ideal Candidate.

Our best tips to making your hiring process shorter?

  • Delegate Most of the Hiring Process to HR
  • Utilize A Point or Rating Based Interviewing System
  • Preplan Your Availability For Interviews

Remember, in most cases, candidates opt to grab the first chance that comes their way to avoid the unfortunate event that might see them miss both opportunities.

6. Practice Responsive Communication

The most frustrating thing most candidates (and Recruiters) face is a lack of response. Most candidates feel that it’s necessary to be kept in the loop when it comes to their submitted job application. And, in all fairness, I think most of us would agree with them. If you are searching for ways to elevate your Candidate Experience, constant communication is vital.

The single biggest tool that I have found helpful on this quest was adopting an email campaign. While this is technically a form of automation, most templates can be personalized and can look and feel like an actual email. From my point of view, I would rather utilize this type of tool, in order to keep my candidates engaged and up-to-date on where they are in the process, than let them down, or make them feel unappreciated.

 7. Elevate Your Interviews

While I touched on utilizing a point or Rating Based Interview structure earlier, I did want to reiterate that interviews are an essential part of an applicant’s journey to employment. Most candidates perceive interviews as a two lane street, and according to a survey conducted by LinkedIn, a negative interview experience can jeopardize the interview process while a positive experience can help convince a candidate about a role.

Simple ideas to elevate your interviews can include offering to take the candidate on a plant tour, introducing them to other company employees and even providing lunch. Or, use video interviews to fully elevate the Candidate Experience and save valuable time while trimming Talent Acquisition costs.

Video Interview

8. Give Specific Feedback

Delivering feedback to applicants who didn’t make the cut helps them grow professionally. This also helps them develop a liking towards your organization, thus increasing the chances of them applying again in the future. Additionally, the interviewer should ask for feedback which can be used to enhance the overall Candidate Experience for future candidates.

By providing specific feedback, about which skills that they needed more experience in for that designated role, you’re helping the candidate understand why they were disqualified from the hiring process. Additionally, you’re also giving them direction for considering future training or related experience-based opportunities that you may require in the future.

9. Maintain Your Relationship

Most people presume that a Candidate’s experience ends when you decide not to have them as part of your team. If you really felt as though they were a good candidate, but maybe not for your current role, maintaining a relationship is actually advised. Keeping close contact with top talent actually opens up potential for future recruiting opportunities that may arise.

An easy and effective way of doing this is by connecting with them on LinkedIn. This will also allow you to keep updated on their future career moves and extended experience that the candidate gains. As a Talent Acquisition Consultant, I know that as a person grows with a company, they will develop and hone their skillsets and eventually be interested in making a change. As their experience matures, they will be ready for their next career adventure and, if I am lucky, I will get to be a part of their journey.

10. Develop Recruitment Content

Last but not least, develop effective recruiting content. Marketing content should be a big component to any company’s recruitment strategy. Inbound marketing is the strategy that is employed by many companies in a bid to have job seekers choose them. If utilized correctly, inbound marketing can help a company attract and connect with passive job seekers. This strategy also ensures the company develops a positive Candidate Experience at the forefront of their Talent Acquistiion cycle. Learn how to incorporate inbound marketing to diversify your Talent Acquisition strategy and develop content that keeps potential candidates up to date on potential openings with your organization.

Developing an elevated Candidate Experience has been one of Ann Wyatt Recruiting’s main focal points over the years and I believe that it is one of the biggest reasons for our continued business success. If your Company could use some help with delivering a quality Candidate Experience to your potential new hires, check out our website for more information on how we can partner with you to make that happen!

If you have been on the Candidate side of the hiring process that has had a positive experience with a Company to share, leave your comments on why your experience stood out!