How to Improve Your Candidate Experience

How to Improve Your Candidate Experience
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By: Tricia Lucas

In today’s competitive business climate, the recruitment and retention of talented employees is a priority for most organizations. It makes perfect sense that a creative and productive workforce leads to higher profits but it also contributes to the overall health of your employer brand.

While most companies don’t deny that having a strong base of employees is important, many employers tend to focus more on talent management with their current staff and less on providing a quality recruitment process for potential employees. Unfortunately, this lack of attention to your candidate experience could cost your company in the long run.

Paying attention to your candidate experience will save your company valuable time and money. A report by CareerBuilder states that "41% of companies say that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least $25,000, and 25% of companies say that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least $50,000.” A more efficient and effective process will not only reduce the amount of time it will take to fill a role but will also ensure you choose a hire who is able to quickly catch on to their new role and stay.

In today’s digital age people are quick to take to social media if they have had a bad company experience and that includes job seekers. SparkHire refers to a study of over 5,000 surveyed workers. The results revealed 58 percent of candidates are less likely to buy from a company they applied to if they didn’t get a response to their application; 69 percent are less likely if they had a bad experience during the interview, as are 65 percent if they didn’t hear back after an interview.

Here are a few simple ways you can improve the recruitment and hiring process, protect your employer brand, and ensure you are snagging the best talent in the business.

Get the Job Description Right

Recruiterbox sourced a study done by the Society of Human Resource Management says that, on average, it takes about 37 days to fill a position. You can reduce this timeline by simply creating a more effective job posting. Be very strategic about how much detail you include on the description. Your future candidates will appreciate the balance of detail and openness when it comes time to interview.

Don’t Leave Them Hanging

All too often, once a job seeker starts the process they are left in the dark if they didn’t land the job. This only hurts your employer brand and leaves a bad taste in the mouth of your once interested candidates who may now take to social media.

Be sure to craft an automated thank you message that is sent directly to anyone who completes the application process. The message should include your hiring timeline and what to expect in terms of next steps. Your message can also contain a link to frequently asked questions about the company or other important branding items that will get the candidate interested and excited about the company. This simple gesture shows the applicant that you care about the time it took to apply for the position and keeps them in the loop about what to expect.

Conduct A Quality Interview

The interview process can be extremely intimidating. Once you’ve selected who you want to interview it is critical that your staff is trained on conducting an effective and unbiased interview to ensure your candidates are at ease and able to put their best face forward.

Interviews should be consistent from candidate to candidate and should contain a high level of organization. If your staff appears flustered or unprepared, this could be a turn-off for your potential new hires. A bad hire can cost the company lots of money so completing a thorough interview and getting to know the candidate is crucial.

The Interview is a Two Way Street

Be sure your candidate has ample time to ask questions. Good candidates have done their homework and will have additional questions in regards to work-life balance, career development, and company culture.

A recent article by the Huffington Post expressed that Millennials desire meaningful work and career development opportunities. If possible, allow your applicant to interview a panel of your current employees and encourage them to ask questions about life at your company. This gesture will show a genuine concern for your candidate and will increase your chances of landing the new hire.

Get the Offer and On-boarding Process Down

Last but not least, when you have selected your new hire you’ll want to take the necessary steps to secure a commitment from them and ensure they have a high level of comfortability with your organization. This means being prompt in delivering the contract, returning any phone calls, and answering any outstanding questions.

Additionally, the first few months with a new hire are crucial to your brand and retention. It’s critical you invest your time and energy making sure they feel welcome and have the necessary tools to be a productive member of the team.

Clearly, talent management is an important component of any business cycle. Ensuring your recruits have a welcoming and positive experience throughout your hiring process will increase your chances of recruiting and retaining the best talent possible and elevate your employer brand.

Tricia Lucas, Co-Founder of Lucas Select has over 25 years of demonstrated success in recruiting, marketing communications, social media, technical sales, business development, and project management. Tricia has been involved in 9 start up technology companies as well as sales and marketing roles at IBM, QMS-Minolta, SAS, and most recently Lucas Select, a sales and IT recruiting and consulting company to help organizations recruit more efficiently by focusing on: Recruiting Efficiencies, Employer Branding, and Social Media.

Ellevate Network is a global women’s network: the essential resource for professional women who create, inspire and lead. Together, we #InvestInWomen.

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