Ways To Improve Candidate Experience

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Ways To Improve Candidate Experience

With today's high-tech recruiting climate, it's never been easier to create an excellent CX. Candidate experience statistics show that companies are able to hire faster than ever before, we're able to collect better data than we ever have, and the use of AI technologies is revolutionizing how we manage our recruiting process.

This doesn't mean that we should take our focus away from continuing to find ways to improve candidate experience. After all, bad candidate experience can cost companies in the form of reduced applications, higher attrition rates, and lost opportunities. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your CX is up-to-date and effective.

The CX is your first opportunity to show an applicant what it's truly like to work for your brand, to live out your company's culture, mission, and values, and to showcase how much you care about your customers. Through recruiting, candidate experience is essential as it helps applicants feel whether they fit into the business or not.

In this article, we're gonna talk about ways to improve the candidate experience, we're gonna talk about what a good candidate experience looks like, create a candidate experience checklist with things to keep in mind, and give you examples showcasing why candidate experience is so important - so let's kick this off with a few ways to create a great candidate experience:

1. Streamline the application process – A lengthy and confusing application can detract from an applicant's CX and make them less likely to complete it. It also means that other companies who move through the candidate experience faster will have access to the best talent. The second part of streamlining the hiring process is ensuring that your online application is straightforward, easy to navigate, and doesn't ask for unnecessary information.

2. Make the hiring process transparent and concise – Candidates want to know exactly what the hiring process is, how long it will take, and who they should expect feedback from - all of which can be shared transparently with applicants. This removes any uneasiness in the hiring process and gives them milestones for each step in the process.

3. Utilize automation tools – Automating repetitive tasks such as candidate screening, scheduling, and communication is vital to removing unnecessary tasks that would overwhelm your HR team. They're going to be under-water anyway, no reason to add more to their plate.

This also plays an important part in the hiring process. Having the right tools (digital sourcing, ATS, interview intelligence software, video interview platforms, assessments, and onboarding platforms) in place streamlines the entire process and automates many of the repetitive tasks that would frustrate candidates and overwhelm your team.

Good Candidate Experience

It's probably important to begin by defining what a good candidate experience actually looks like. First, a good candidate experience is a defined process with steps, milestones, a beginning, and an end date, and a fair and equitable process. Most often, the hiring process should start with a well-defined job description, and then move into an application, phone screen, hiring manager interview, team interview, assessment, or skills test, executive interview, reference checks, and end with an offer letter.

The candidate experience in the recruitment process is a make-or-break moment for top talent. A good candidate experience is one that meets the expectations of a job seeker. From start to finish, it should deliver an enjoyable, vigorous, and stress-free application process. Hiring companies should demonstrate their values and culture in order to attract candidates who fit their business needs.

Most of all, a good candidate experience should bring the best candidates to a company and turn them into top-performing employees.

Conversely, a bad candidate experience could potentially cost a company its best talent. A bad candidate experience involves biased job descriptions, delays in the hiring process, undefined outcomes, lack of clear communication, not informing candidates when they have been rejected or even insulting them with empty or baseless feedback.

There are no milestones to achieve, no clear process to follow, and the candidate feels out of touch with the company. All these things can lead to a bad experience for the applicant and even make them switch their focus away from working at your organization.

Candidate Experience Checklist

Now that we’ve talked about what makes up a good candidate experience vs. a bad one, let's put a checklist together so that you can create amazing candidate experiences. As you create your plan for streamlining and optimizing the candidate experience, there are a few things you should consider:

1. Simple, unbiased job description.
2. Sourcing to meet company diversity goals, skill requirements, and cultural fit.
3. Make applications easy.
4. A defined hiring process with an opening and a close date.
6. Support for individuals with disabilities.
7. Give candidates the path and let them know your expectations.
8. Transparent communication and feedback - the more often the better.
9. Direct and attentive communication.
10. Tech stack to automate and accelerate the process.

Don't overcomplicate any part of the hiring process - if it doesn't need to be there to identify and hire top talent, eliminate it.

We're often really good at making things complex, but we only seem to focus on making something simpler when we're overwhelmed or it's broken. Make sure that your online application isn't one of those things. It needs to be straightforward and easy to navigate and doesn't ask for unnecessary information. Make the hiring process transparent and concise – Ensure that candidates know exactly what the hiring process entails and when they can expect feedback from each step.

I know this is often controversial, but I personally believe salaries should be set beforehand and even listed. I remember the CEO of the first startup I joined saying, "The salary for this role is $80K base with a $150K OTE, everyone in this role begins at that level, and if you decide to join our team, in 12 months we'll revisit your compensation package." The whole conversation was clear and straightforward. This will immediately let candidates know if they are the right fit for the job and eliminate wasting everyone's time. It also helps to create an atmosphere of trust by being honest with candidates about every part of the hiring process.

The candidate experience should be a positive one from start to finish and you can do that by meeting their expectations.

Finally, embrace technology - Good technology from Lever, Paradox, hire EZ, Pillar, and others (checklist management systems, applicant tracking systems, interview intelligence software, and video interviewing platforms) can help you deliver the best possible candidate experience. Having these tools in place streamlines the entire process and automates many of the repetitive tasks that would frustrate candidates and overwhelm your team. Not to mention, it will save you a ton of time and resources.

Creating an amazing candidate experience isn’t only the right thing to do, but it will increase your team’s success rate when recruiting top talent. Make sure that your hiring process is simple, treats applicants with respect, fosters transparency and trust, and is accessible and inclusive for all applicants.

Candidate Experience Examples

If you've ever been asked, what is candidate experience, I'll give you the best thought bubble I've ever seen to describe it... "How does the candidate feel... from application to offer letter (or exiting the process if they aren't a good fit)? Are they having a positive candidate experience or a negative one?

The best candidate experience examples include things like making sure you provide a transparent job description, clear expectations in the interview process, timely communication, and thoughtful feedback- we talk about this, but how often do we actually do something about it?

It’s always great to show applicants that you care about them, their individual needs, and their expectations - this is what it means to provide an excellent CX. It doesn't have to be perfect, but to win the "cream of the crop," it must at least be good!

Why is Candidate Experience Important

What is candidate experience in recruitment: Candidate experience is the journey that a candidate takes when applying to, interviewing for, and accepting (or rejecting) a job offer. It encompasses their entire experience with your company from start to finish and includes things like how they are treated during the process, whether or not they received timely feedback, and what kind of impression they left after each interview.

What is candidate experience feedback: Candidate experience feedback is information that employers collect from a candidate about their experience with the recruitment process. It can be used to improve the overall recruitment process, understand how candidates perceive your company, and make sure you are treating applicants in an ethical manner.

What are some examples of great candidate experiences: Some examples of great candidate experiences include providing personalized experiences for each candidate, making sure that their questions are answered in a timely manner, offering feedback throughout the process, listening to candidates, and providing them with clear expectations. 

Additionally, using innovative technology like video interviews and automated checklist systems can help streamline the recruitment process and make it less time-consuming for everyone involved.

Why candidate experience is so important: CX sets the stage for how you will be perceived by your future employees. It is an opportunity to give a great impression and build a positive relationship right from the start. Not only does it help in gaining better talent, but it also helps to keep them engaged during the onboarding process as well.

If you'd like to create excellent candidate experiences for your future employees, schedule your demo of Pillar today. We've built a video interview platform that automates many of the steps in the hiring process and uses Ai to ensure fair and equitable hiring experiences that attract the best employees. To see how it works, book a demo to chat with someone on our team today!