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To understand what a good candidate experience (CX) looks like, let's take a look at some of the best candidate experience examples from top companies.
Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer that was started by the late Tony Hsieh and purchased by Amazon for almost a billion dollars, is known for its exceptional customer service but what most people don't know about the company is that they also have one of the best candidate experiences in tech. Employees tell tales of the "quitting bounty," purported to be a $4,000 payment to quit on the spot if a new hire doesn't choose to stay after their onboarding experience. They also have a unique recruitment process where they invite potential candidates to spend a day at the company, getting to know the culture and team before even being interviewed. This not only allows candidates to get a better understanding of the company but also gives them a chance to showcase their skills and personality in a more natural environment.
Another great example is Google, known for its innovative work culture, creative candidate experience, interview questions, and overall employee satisfaction. Google has a multi-step hiring process that includes an initial phone screening, followed by in-person interviews with multiple team members, and finally an on-site visit to experience the company culture firsthand. They also have "Googleyness" as one of their core values and incorporate this into their candidate evaluation, looking for individuals who align with their unique company culture.
Each of these tech giants has showcased the impact of creating an incredible candidate experience that attracts top talent. But, how can you do the same?
How to create a positive candidate experience:
Let's see if we can extrapolate some tips from the two examples above, and then put together a checklist to guide you in your own CX development. Here are a few things to consider:
- Build a brand that people aspire to work for: This is the key principle that many of us overlook. People want to work for brands that are admired and respected. Create a strong employer brand that people want to be associated with and use it to recruit the best people.
- Personalize the recruitment process: Make candidates feel like they are more than just a resume or number in a database. Take the time to personalize communication, address them by name, and provide feedback on their application. The beauty of today's AI-powered tech is that you can automate almost anything that doesn't require a human touch without losing personalization. Brands like Pillar build interview scheduling, interviewer introductions, AI candidate assessment, and interviewer coaching into their interview intelligence software to make your hiring workload lighter.
- Make the application process simple and easy: Avoid long, complicated job applications that require too much personal information. Instead, make it easy for candidates to apply by allowing them to upload their resume or connect through LinkedIn.
- Personalize the recruitment process: Make candidates feel like they are more than just a resume or number in a database. Take the time to personalize communication, address them by name, and provide feedback on their application.
- Communicate promptly and clearly: Be sure to keep candidates updated throughout the hiring process and provide clear instructions for each step. This shows respect for their time and also reflects positively on your organization's communication skills.
One of the most common questions asked by recruiters, hiring managers, and HR online today is, "What makes a good candidate experience?" I realize that some of you may be just getting into the field, so let's take a further step back and answer the question, "What is the candidate experience in recruitment?" before we show you how to create it.
The candidate experience (CX) is how a candidate feels about your organization during the recruitment process. It includes every interaction and touchpoint that a candidate has with your company, from the job application to their first day on the job. It's important to remember that both successful and unsuccessful candidates will form an opinion of your company based on their experience. This is what defines your CX.
One way to see if you have a poor CX rating or reviews is by looking at sites like Glassdoor.com. Glassdoor offers an anonymous review section for current and former employees to rate their employers. Sites like these can significantly impact your hiring success because job seekers are increasingly relying on this type of crowd-sourced information to determine whether or not they want to work with you.
How to create an incredible candidate experience, interview process, and onboarding:
Airbnb is known for having one of the best CXs on the planet. According to Glassdoor, the Airbnb HR team storyboards the entire hiring process, outlining what they want the candidate to feel and experience at each step. This is one of the best places to start because as the old saying goes, "What gets measured gets managed." If you can outline what you want the right candidates to feel at each stage, it's far easier to create what you want.
Next, automate everything you can. Take the guesswork, human error, and potential for miscommunication out of your hiring process. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if it doesn't require a person tough, let AI handle it. I know this sounds harsh, and you may be worried about taking the human element out of hiring. However, our goal here is to create objective hiring processes that attract the best people, and to accomplish this we must remove as much subjectivity as possible. Tools like Pillars interview intelligence software can give you the best of both worlds. AI-powered tools that don't lose the human element while still allowing you to stay effective and efficient.
So we've talked about some of the best candidate experience examples, how to improve the candidate experience, and what makes a great CX, let's shift our focus to why. Why is the candidate's experience important? Why should it be your number one focus in this quarter?
If you were to create a candidate experience survey, what do you think your applicants would say? Would they describe your recruitment experience as positive, efficient, and welcoming? Or would they use words like lengthy, impersonal, and frustrating? These are important questions to consider because the candidate's experience directly impacts your organization's recruiting success.
Let's look at some candidate experience statistics that drive this point home:
- 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience.
- 72% of those candidates shared their negative experiences online or with someone directly.
- 55% say lack of response from employers is the most frustrating aspect of the hiring process.
These numbers show that not only does an unpleasant candidate experience impact your brand and reputation, but it also directly affects your ability to attract and retain top talent. And in today's competitive market, with workforce shortages and increased job mobility, creating a positive candidate experience is more crucial than ever.
Now you know why candidate experience in the recruitment process is vital. But how can you ensure a positive experience for job seekers applying for roles within your company? Let's dive into some of the best candidate experience examples and tools to help improve your CX.
How to improve the candidate experience:
One of the most effective ways to enhance your candidate experience is by leveraging technology. Candidate experience tools, like Pillar, use AI-powered software to streamline and personalize the recruitment process. This not only saves time and resources but also creates a more positive and efficient experience for candidates. These solutions should also be integrated with your ATS and onboarding software to create a complete ecosystem.
Another key aspect of candidate experience is communication. Keeping candidates informed and providing timely feedback can significantly impact their perception of your organization and make them feel valued. Utilizing tools, such as automated email campaigns, can help you stay in touch with candidates at every stage of the recruitment process.
Additionally, creating a positive candidate experience also involves showcasing your company culture and values. Give candidates a glimpse into what it's like to work at your organization through virtual tours, employee testimonials, and social media presence.
When it comes to creating a great CX, consistency is key. Make sure that every candidate receives the same level of attention and communication throughout their journey with your company. This will not only improve their experience but also help build a positive employer brand.
Finally, remove bias anywhere it's found. This is a topic for another article, but bias in the hiring process is one of the fastest ways to lose top talent. Use tools like Harvard/ Project Implicit's Bias Tests and Pillar's interview intelligence platform to ensure objective and fair hiring practices.
In conclusion, candidate experience in recruitment is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. By focusing on creating a positive and efficient CX, utilizing technology, and showcasing company culture, you can improve your hiring success and overall reputation as an employer. So take the time to evaluate your current process, make necessary improvements, and prioritize the way applicants feel throughout their hiring journey.
If you're looking for a team to help you increase your CX, chat with someone from Pillar. We'd love to show you how our interview intelligence software is helping companies hire better for less. Book your demo today!