5 Ways You Can Improve Candidate Experience
TLDR: Candidate success is extremely important because they are not only candidates but also potential customers.
You post a job ad, receive applications from 100 people, but only have one role to fill. You have to shortlist the pool throughout the recruitment process and will need to say no to 99 (or worse, you ghost them…).
The result? One happy employee and 99 jaded job seekers running around the market, sharing their poor candidate experience. Not a good outcome.
Do you invest time and effort into creating a positive candidate experience (CX)?
The ramifications of poor CX can be devastating to a growing business.
Over 5 years ago, Graeme Johnson (Virgin Media’s former Head of Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand) realised that the company’s CX was significantly affecting their bottom line. Virgin Media was losing out on £4.4 million in revenue, which was equivalent to over AU$7 million . This was closely associated with candidates who had experienced poor CX, and then boycotted the brand. Ouch!
Here are 5 things you can do to avoid a $7 million disaster:
1. Be Empathetic
This shouldn’t come as a huge revelation, but it often overlooked. It’s pretty simple, really. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Sh*t happens. Relationships breakdown, cars breakdown, kids breakdown, interviews… breakdown. That’s life.
Punishing people for things that are out of their control is a red flag.
Did you know that 120% of hiring processes fail due to lack of communication? Look it up.
Let candidates know about the recruitment process and what they should expect. Tell them about the business, its mission, and your vision. Communicate job requirements early and clearly. Allow candidates to ask questions about the company and yourself, and spend time answering those questions. They should be able to get to know you too.
Let candidates know about next steps, this includes if the candidate did not progress to the next stage. If they ask for feedback, provide this in a timely manner. If there’s something holding you back from delivering a promise, let them know. Most candidates will appreciate this – there is nothing worse than being ghosted. Use your words people!
3. Be Authentic
Chatbots, AI, and other HR Tech products make it easy to forget that hiring is about humans. If you’re out there telling candidates to be themselves, remember to use your own advice! Give candidates the right impression about yourself and the team, if they’re a good fit – they’ll feel more at ease.
You want to get to know the truest version of the candidate, so you need to present the truest version of yourself. As your mum always said to you, “Just be yourself!” #ThanksMum.
4. Create a Structure
Ambiguity sucks. Make sure to define your processes, otherwise you’re wasting your own time and the candidates’ time. By running a structured process, you can maintain momentum and charge towards the finish line. But, be careful — if your process starts to meander, you might lose traction, or worse, the star candidate.
5. Have we Mentioned Communication?
If you take away one thing from this article, communication is the easiest way to drastically improve CX.
Nearly 65% of job seekers say they never or rarely receive notice of their application status. This is a huge problem, but an even BIGGER opportunity. Lead ahead of your competition by improving your means of communication. Let candidates know what’s happening — good news, bad news, no news.
Grab a coffee with the leadership team. Agree to some service level agreements. Check in on a quarterly basis to ensure the processes put in place are still making a positive impact. Test and iterate.
Whatever you do, just remember, candidate experience isn’t something that you can just set and forget.