Candidate Experience Best Practices

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Candidate Experience Best Practices

Hiring managers, what makes a good candidate experience? If you can’t answer that question definitively then you may need to reconsider some of your current approaches to hiring. In order to ensure that you’re keeping your candidates happy and providing them with a clear path from application to hire, you should be using the current candidate experience best practices in your hiring process. So what is a good candidate experience in recruitment

From start to finish, candidates have specific desires from the recruitment process. During this phase, you are learning about your candidate and determining whether the person you’re interviewing is a good fit for your team. At the same time, your candidates are considering you and your team to figure out whether they want to join your team and work with you daily. It’s important for everyone involved in the process to feel valued and heard, but also to remove some aspects of their feelings from the equation, remembering instead that the goal is to find the right person for the role, first and foremost. 

What are some specifics that you can consider when ensuring that you’re providing a good candidate experience in your hiring process? These are some of the main tips:

- Provide consistent and ongoing communication throughout the process so the candidates feel informed and, most of all, respected. No one wants to feel that their time is being wasted and the longer your interview process takes, the longer people who are not going to get the job are left on hold. Consider this as you manage your time and respectfully remove people from the process when your team has decided not to move forward with them. 

- Also show respect for your candidates’ time by not dragging out the hiring process for an unnecessarily long time and ensuring that you’re not asking the candidate to jump through hoops that another company would not require. Especially if you are going to hire the person, they need to have respect for your company’s methods of handling time. Remember, the way your company handles the interview is showing your candidates what it would be like to work with you. 

- Be organized in your interview process and allow the candidate to see that. Interview intelligence software like Pillar’s can help, as well as other recruiting technology that keeps the process flowing smoothly and efficiently. Keeping everything organized can also help you to remember which candidates are which: a very important step when hiring!  

Of course, there is more nuance to a good candidate experience than just these points, but we consider these to be a good start. As you embark on your recruitment journey, be sure to consider the most important aspects of your hiring intentions. Know the role you need to fill and the skills the right candidate needs to possess and organize your process so that these goals are streamlined and flow smoothly. 

Candidate Experience Checklist

Developing a candidate experience checklist is a great start to your recruitment process as it helps you ensure that you’re hitting all the main points that make your interview process successful. Providing a good candidate experience, meaning one that causes candidates to leave feeling satisfied, is essential to your recruitment reputation as well as finding the right candidates for the job. Here are some of the most important items to include on your candidate experience checklist:

- Start with your agenda and make sure that each candidate knows what to expect in terms of timelines and processes. Knowledge upfront can prevent candidate frustration. 

- Use recruitment technology that helps you to organize or automate aspects of the process. This can make the recruitment process more fair but can also help you keep candidates from falling through the cracks. For example, if you’ve decided not to go with a candidate, having an automatic process step for telling them so is extremely helpful. If you fail to communicate this with the candidate, they may be waiting “on hold” for weeks or months and not realize what happened. This is a huge oversight when it comes to keeping your candidates happy!

- Survey candidates after the process has ended to get their feedback on your processes. You may discover strengths or weaknesses in your company that you didn’t know about before. This knowledge can help you move forward armed with better tools, or provide you with growth areas where you need to do more research or use better tools. 

Why Is Candidate Experience Important

If you are a hiring manager or member of a hiring team, you’ve probably heard a lot about positive candidate experience and how that can reflect positively or negatively on your company as a whole. So what is candidate experience and why is candidate experience important? In recruitment, how your candidates feel about their experience with your company can have a major effect on how your brand is received in the marketplace and how you staff your company in the future. 

Positive candidate experiences will be talked about by candidates and shared publicly in online hiring forums, but the bigger concern is that negative candidate experiences will also be shared publicly. When it comes to reviews, it’s been shown that people are two to three times more likely to publicly review a company or experience when their experience has been negative. Companies have been aware of this phenomenon where their products and services are concerned, but it applies to recruitment as well. 

What are the best candidate experience examples that could be shared about your company? A positive achievement would be receiving reviews that indicate that your company engaged in clear and effective communication throughout the process, showed respect for your candidates during the hiring process, made the duration of the hiring process a reasonable length of time, etc. The best way to receive good reviews about your process is to work on your process to make it a positive one. Negative reviews, while upsetting, can also help your team to identify problem areas that could use some work. In answer the question, why is candidate experience important, it can make or break your recruitment process. Your candidate experience reviews indicates how it feels to work with your company and can help top talent decide whether they are interested in doing business with you or not. If it is your goal to attract top talent to your company, you will want to make sure that your recruitment experience is a positive one for candidates. 

Candidate Experience Metrics

All of this sounds great, right? Happy candidates is good for your business. But how does it actually work? What are some candidate experience examples and strategies that can help your business through your recruitment process? Measuring candidate experience metrics can be the key to your candidate experience strategy. 

Candidate experience metrics are a great way for hiring teams to measure the effectiveness of their recruitment process. They provide valuable insights into areas where improvements can be made, such as communication speed or how individuals are treated throughout the recruitment journey. By measuring candidate experience, hiring teams can make necessary changes to improve the overall quality of their recruitment process and boost candidate satisfaction. This, in turn, can lead to higher candidate engagement rates, stronger relationships with potential employees, and a more positive brand image. Ultimately, candidate experience metrics are essential for ensuring that the recruitment process is as successful and efficient as possible.

Good candidate experience examples in the hiring process include:

- Sending out clear and timely communication to applicants about their status in the recruitment process. This can include confirmation emails when a candidate has successfully applied, follow-up emails with updates on the timeline of the hiring process, and notifications when they have been rejected or offered a job.
- Setting realistic expectations by providing candidates with a detailed job description and outlining the process. This includes informing them of when they can expect to receive feedback, how long each step will take, and any potential delays or changes that can occur during the recruitment process.
- Ensuring candidates are familiar with your company's culture, values, and mission before interviewing. This could include providing an introduction to the team or a virtual tour of the office.
- Offering feedback after each stage in the process, regardless of whether or not they are hired for the position. This allows candidates to receive valuable insights to help them improve their skills and interview techniques for future opportunities.
- Being open to negotiations and having flexible policies regarding salary and benefits. This demonstrates that you value each candidate, not just the one who is ultimately hired.
- Making sure the recruitment process is consistent across different applicants and groups of people. This helps build trust in your brand and ensures candidates are treated fairly throughout the hiring journey.

Candidate Experience Survey

Hiring managers can use candidate experience surveys to gain valuable insights into their hiring process. By understanding the experiences of past applicants, hiring managers can identify areas where improvements need to be made. For example, they may find that many applicants found the interview process too long or too complex, and make changes accordingly. Additionally, feedback gathered through candidate experience surveys can help hiring managers identify any potential issues with their job postings or the way they communicate with candidates. Finally, surveys can provide valuable insight into the overall perception of the company among applicants – which can help managers shape and refine their employer branding strategy to better attract and retain top talent. With these insights in hand, hiring managers can ensure that their recruitment process is as effective and efficient as possible – helping them to hire the best talent for their team. If you use interview intelligence software like the program offered by Pillar, you can include your candidate satisfaction survey in your interview process and collect your metrics all in one place. 

Some sample candidate experience survey questions could include the following, although we recommend asking 5 or fewer questions, especially of people who ultimately were not hired. Consider what questions are most important to your team when delivering this survey.

1. How would you rate the overall experience of your job interview process?
2. What did you like best about the interviewing experience?
3. Were there any elements or aspects that could have been improved?
4. Was our communication throughout the application process timely and helpful?
5. Was the recruiter/hiring manager friendly and attentive to your questions and concerns?
6. Was the overall communication throughout the process clear and easy to understand?
7. How would you rate our onboarding/orientation process?
8. Did you feel adequately prepared for your role when you started working at our company?
9. Were you affected by any administrative delays?
10. Did you receive all the materials and resources necessary to perform your job well?
11. How would you rate the overall support provided by our team throughout your experience?
12. Are there any other comments or suggestions you would like to share with us about your experience?

Overall, understanding candidate experience best practices and implementing them into your hiring process can make all the difference for your recruitment strategy.