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The Importance of an Incredible Candidate Experience

Why is candidate experience an important part of the recruitment process?

What is a candidate experience?

In the simplest of terms, a candidate experience is what an individual encounters during the recruitment process, from when they first encounter a job advert, right through to after they have completed their first few weeks in their new role.

Why is an incredible candidate experience important?

Most candidates believe that a company’s hiring process reflects how it treats its employees and an incredible candidate experience can be hugely important in a person’s recruitment journey. According to an article on Recruiting Brief, 80-90% of talent say a positive or negative candidate experience could change their minds about a role or company. Therefore in a highly competitive talent market the candidate experience could be what differentiates you from your competition and helps you in securing the best talent.

The recruitment process itself offers many touch points between you as a company and potential future employees with each interaction shaping their opinions of your brand and your organisation as a whole.

The reality is word travels fast and word of mouth is still incredibly powerful in determining the reputation of your brand as an employer. People talk about their candidate experiences within their social circles, whether that is in person or virtually. Stats suggest that over 70% of job seekers will share their candidate experience on review sites like Glassdoor. It is becoming easier and easier for future candidates to find out more and more information on what the candidate experience is like with Careerarc suggesting that upwards of 80% of Jobseekers will consider employer brand and reputation before applying for a job. As a direct result of this, a poor candidate experience will have a detrimental effect on future recruitment campaigns. On the other hand; a top-level candidate experience will make you a more attractive employer and will help you to be able to attract the best talent available.

How do we guarantee an incredible candidate experience?

To fully look at how to make a job seekers’ candidate experience as positive as possible, and to allow you both to benefit from it, it is important to break the process down into 5 key touchpoints.

These are, Attraction, Interview, Offer, Notice Period, and Induction & Onboarding.

 - The Attraction.

This is the first stage of the process and is where potential talent will first start to interact with your brand. The key at this stage is storytelling, it is your opportunity to introduce your company and role to them and establish why this is the right job for them. It is important to be honest at this stage about what the role involves, with clear and easy to understand job descriptions to ensure there isn’t disappointment further into the process if it isn’t quite what they are after. 

The application process needs to be as smooth as possible, so make the jobs easy to find and the application process as simple and easy as possible. More and more job seekers are now using their mobile phones when looking for new opportunities, so the application process needs to be mobile friendly.

Once a candidate has applied for the role it is important to follow up quickly. Candidates who don’t receive a prompt reply generally feel like they have wasted their time and a quick response can demonstrate to the individual that you value their application. According to an article on HR News 75% of applicants say that they never hear back from a company after sending an application, and 22% will actively discourage others from applying for a job at that company.

 - The Interview

So, you liked a candidate’s application and have decided to take them through to interview stage, however, it’s no longer OK to just book them in for a time and date. Take the time to provide them with information about what to expect in the interview, will it be in person or remote? Who will the interview be with? What format will the interview take? How many interview stages are their likely to be? For some, an interview can be a nerve-wracking experience, and giving them information prior to the start of an interview will allow them to be as prepared as possible, reduce any anxiety that they may have and allow you to see the best version of them on the day.

Remember that interviews are a two-way street, it is as much an opportunity for you to sell the role and the company to the candidate as it is for them to sell their talent to you. Speak passionately about the organisation and be clear and honest about what is expected of the person for the role. People like the opportunity to demonstrate their know-how, so be sure to give them that platform, be present in the room, listen and give them your full attention.

 - The Offer

Following on from the interview it is important that you act quickly, candidates expect the process from first interview to offer to take a couple of weeks and the longer the process drags out the more a candidate could believe you’re not interested or you aren’t sure they are right for the role. They may also be involved in the recruitment process for other roles, and they may already have offers on the table.

If a candidate has been unsuccessful then be sure to make the time to provide them with feedback on why they didn’t get the job, this gives them the opportunity to improve their approach when going through recruitment processes in the future and may help to ensure that, despite them not getting the job, their overall candidate experience was still a positive one.

 - The Notice Period

You offered your top candidate the job and they accepted, great news! However, the candidate experience doesn’t end there and unfortunately this phase can often be overlooked by hiring managers. Studies suggest that less than half of new hires receive a call from their hiring manager prior to their start date. 

This period can be incredibly important in the candidate’s experience, to make them feel part of the team before they even start, reducing any risk of them backing out and enabling them to really hit the ground running from day one. Be sure to reach out to new hires during their notice periods to check how they are getting on, if possible, look to invite them to any social events you may have, or where appropriate, team meetings to help to embed them into your organisation. You could offer them the opportunity to go for a coffee with a few members of the team, so there are a few friendly faces on their first day. This open chain of communication will also allow you to let them know about what the process will be when arriving on their first day and what their induction process will be. This will help with any first day nerves that they might have.

 - The Induction

Be ready for your new hires first day. Have their desk and IT set up ready for them to start and put together a detailed induction for them to get to know the business and enable them to do their new role. Take the time to introduce them to the team that they will be working in and any wider teams that they may have to interact with on a regular basis. It is important that you make those first few weeks as smooth as possible the last thing that you want would be to lose the best talent because the settling in period didn’t go well, resulting in a negative candidate experience and a drop in your reputation as an employer, making it more difficult to attract the best talent in the future.

So what does this mean…

In today’s highly competitive job market, it is vital that you give yourself as big an opportunity as possible to secure the best available talent. Employer brand can be pivotal in helping you to secure the best talent and an incredible candidate experience can be an important cog, both in securing top level talent entering the recruitment process, as well as ensuring you are an attractive employer to future talent.

I hope this information helps! At Synchro we are story tellers, specialising in delivering your story to the marketplace and delivering you access to the best, high-performing technology talent available. 

Get in touch today to discuss how we could help you to deliver an incredible candidate experience.

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