Haven’t you heard? There is a war for talent raging and you, the employer, need to up your game. Just because you have an open job doesn’t mean you will fill it – certainly not with the calibre of individual you want – competition is fierce out there.
Salary, benefits, working environment are all still important but it scares me sometimes just how naïve organisations can be when hiring – very little attention is given to the Candidate Experience.
What is the Candidate Experience? There are scores of definitions out there but mine would be:
The impression a candidate has of your organisation, developed through all the interactions, throughout the recruitment process.
It is immensely powerful and has a lasting effect.
Research carried out by Talent Board for the Candidate Experience awards calculated..
33% of candidates that have a negative candidate experience will share this across social media
41% of candidates that have a negative candidate experience will take their brand loyalty elsewhere
So what can you do to improve the candidate experience?
How can you win the war?
Here are my top tips;
1. Work with the right partners – Yes I work within recruitment so I am bound to say work with the right partners, but it really is important. Recruitment organisations are representing your brand every day. The interactions they have with candidates are interactions you are having, if they are messing candidates around – you are messing them around.
The barriers to entry to the recruitment industry are low, therefore do your due diligence. Things to consider include..
- How many recruiters will be supporting the account, what is the structure?
- What is the short listing process?
- Do they use Video technology?
- When are references taken?
- Do they have a separate team to ensure compliance?
- Who else do they work with, get a selection of references and contact them. (Pay attention to the seniority, are they line managers or HR)
Make sure you work with the right partners
2. Make sure your website gives an impression of what it is like to work with you – Make an investment into your website to give prospective candidates an overview of what it is like to be part of your team. Include plenty of videos. Even better include some interviews about the recruitment process, what to expect etc to ensure candidates are comfortable when they come to see you.
Provide a window into your world
3. Make the application process simple – Almost a third of candidates have commented that in their experience it takes between 31 & 60 minutes to complete application forms. This is way too long. An application is an application, it isn’t an interview, it doesn’t need war & peace
Encourage applications by simplifying the application process.
4. Get it approved – First thing in your process is ensuring the job opening is approved. There is nothing worst for a candidate than going through the interview process only to be told at the very end that the role still needs approval. Be open and honest if the role isn’t approved tell people at the start, manage their expectations
Get it approved
5. Treat people with respect – Don’t be late to interviews, remember you need the candidate as much as they need you. Do you really need to know what animal they want to be? Is that a sensible interview question?
Treat people with respect
6. Give feedback – Feedback isn’t just about interview feedback. You need to communicate at every stage of the process including;
Don’t shy away from negative feedback. Candidates want to learn and the only way they can do so is to know where they can improve. Treat the candidate as you would want to be treated
There is plenty more you can do to improve the candidate experience and even small changes will have a positive effect. Once candidates are selected you need to think about on boarding and the first few weeks, but get the process right at the start and you will start winning the war for talent.