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Tips to Establish a Winning Candidate Experience – Part 2 in Candidate Experience Series

21 / 06 / 2012 | candidate experience, employer branding, recruiting funnel, social media, transparency

In our first post on the candidate experience, we discussed what it is and why it is necessary. Now we will delve deeper into the topic, and learn what steps you can take to create a good candidate experience.

Candidate experience is based on the quality of different elements, including continuous communication, touch points with the recruiter/company, easy application form, initial interview, and timeliness of the process.

Let’s discuss these elements in depth:

1) Always communicate. Every action that a candidate takes – from a visit to your website, an application submission, an interview, or a job offer – should be matched by a reply from your end. Even if a decision is taking longer than expected, be sure to inform them that you are still debating. Total transparency throughout is crucial. As Chris Brablc terms it, this coming full circle is the act of “closing the loop”.

Be sure to notify candidates if they don’t make the cut. Many times after it’s decided that certain candidates will not continue forward, the process moves on – but those candidates have no idea that they have been rejected. Just because they weren’t selected for the job does not mean that you can disregard the time and effort they took in applying and interviewing. Call or e-mail them to formally give the news, and be sure to provide feedback, letting them know why they were passed on for this specific position.

2) Create multiple social media touchpoints and make your presence virtually heard loud and clear. This will enable candidates to reach out to you directly (and vice versa!). Also, consider implementing mobile functionality for all of your social media pages so that they can be accessed on the go.

3) The application process should be intuitive. Present a clear, engaging and to-the-point job description which provides a balanced mix of relevant details about the job duties, requirements and short- and long-term benefits – and which spells out why candidates should apply. The online application form must be brief; request a resume, but stay away from requesting details that are included on said resume, such as educational and work experience. Once candidates click ‘apply,’ they should be immediately redirected to a confirmation landing page. And don’t forget to send them an e-mail thanking them for their time and providing a basic run-through of the next steps, including an estimated time frame.

We strongly recommend creating a talent community for those potential candidates who do not apply right away, but who want to be notified of different news, events and future job openings.

4) An efficient recruiting funnel is essential. The process should not drag on for three months – because, a) the open position is left unfilled, which hinders the department’s productivity capacity; and b) you cannot leave candidates in hiring limbo. As we discussed in the previous post, switching jobs is a big deal, and it is not right to abandon them in a state of unknowing for an extended period.

To help manage the funnel, determine your ideal processing time from the onset. Create a standard of objectives and corresponding due dates, and (try not to) let tasks spill over.

5) As the first face-to-face introduction to your organization, the initial interview is an opportunity to reinforce and advance the candidate experience. While the bulk of the conversation should focus on the position and candidates’ qualifications, encourage questions about other areas of the workplace. Time permitting, take them on a tour of the office, either before or after the interview. You don’t need to introduce them to individual employees at this point, but do what you can to give them a warm welcome.

By providing candidates with a good candidate experience you maintain a long-term interest in your open positions, and increase your reputation among their peers. But it doesn’t stop once a candidate is hired. Then is the time to really cement your relationship, and give credence to the messages you’ve been sending all along.

In our final post on the candidate experience, we’ll learn how to effectively measure and improve your candidate experience standard.

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