6 ways recruiters can enhance the candidate experience

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Contributor: Guy Bryant-Fenn

We all know how we would like to be treated during a job application process.

We expect clear and regular communication about the progress of our application. We want to be provided with useful, relevant information about the employer and their assessment process. We want to be treated with courtesy and respect during interviews and face-to-face interactions. And, if we are rejected, we want to be told promptly and given feedback.

Yet for many candidates, the actual experience is far from this level of expectation. The majority of negative comments on the social job search platform,Glassdoor,are about companies that never contact a candidate or only send an automated rejection letter.

The results of Korn Ferry’s recent candidate experience survey show just how serious the issue is. Globally around three quarters of respondents said they would turn down a job offer if the interview process was poor. A similar number claimed they would likely stop buying products or services from a company where they had a bad interview experience. Nearly half would urge friends and family to stop being a customer as well. Ouch.

Experts say the problem isn’t so much turning down candidates, it’s the typical “ghosting” that has been endemic to the process. So, the best firms are revamping the whole approach, with speedy replies, better talent matching and more thoughtful interviews.

Here are 6 steps you can take to enhance your candidate experience:

  1. Choose the right digital tools: There are a number of new, technology-based tools available to TA professionals to streamline and improve the recruitment process and consequently, the candidate experience. These include: applicant tracking systems (ATS); video interviewing; online assessment tools; job posting aggregator; analytic tools and dashboards; electronic reference checking; and more.
  2. Think about all candidate touchpoints: With technology taking the brunt of the once-cumbersome work, recruiters have more time to create an outstanding experience. Identify all of your different candidate interactions to ensure that applicants are treated consistently in all touch points.
  3. Communicate, be welcoming and informative: Promptly advise candidates of the progress of their application, notify when they are no longer considered and always provide feedback. Make sure the tone of your communications is positive, and encouraging, not patronizing or overly formal.
  4. Attract the right candidates: Take the time to analyze what you’re looking for, then create a profile of the ideal candidate for the job. You won’t waste the time of candidates who weren’t right for the job in the first place, a common bugbear for applicants and hiring managers alike.
  5. Give a look inside your organization: Provide good insight into the role and organization culture so you attract only candidates that are more likely to succeed in the position. You will save time and will let down fewer candidates if you show them what it’s actually like to do that job in your organization.
  6. Advise and support your hiring managers: Managers aren’t always natural or experienced interviewers. Provide them with advice and support on how to treat candidates and make interviews a positive experience for everyone involved.

Job Hiring: A Broken System infographic