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Improve Your Candidate Experience With Six Simple Steps

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Pre-employment processes are no longer just a mechanism for employers to vet applicants. The recruitment period is a two-way street. The experience you offer will form candidates’ first impressions of you as a potential employer. Today, job seekers are looking for a positive candidate experience.

Creating a positive recruitment journey from introduction to onboarding is key. 

If followed correctly, these six simple steps will help you create a great candidate experience: 

  1. Test drive your recruitment process 
  2. Keep up the comms 
  3. Create and maintain expectations 
  4. Be honest 
  5. Be aware of perceptions 
  6. Enlist some expertise

Step One: Test Drive Your Recruitment Process

First things first — even if you have worked hard to develop a candidate-centric recruitment process, you can never assume the experience you are offering results in the first impression you’re aiming for. 

So, why not test it with some willing ‘talent’, perhaps friends, family members or colleagues in a different department? 

Whoever it is, make sure you know they’ll give you their honest opinion — at the end of the process, ask them: 

  • How did you feel at each stage of the hiring journey? 
  • What did you like best about the way the process was handled? 
  • Was there anything you disliked about it? 
  • Was there anything that was unclear or confusing about the process? 
  • Would you want to work for my business based on your overall experience?

Remote work environments provide the opportunity to rethink candidate experience.

Step Two: Keep Up The Comms

There’s nothing worse for a candidate than being left in the dark about their application status. 

If you’re looking to hire someone engaged and passionate about your business, don’t quash their enthusiasm with a lack of communication. 

Adopt tools and processes that will deliver regular updates on the progress of each recruitment stage and encourage two-way communication, offering a way to contact you with any questions or concerns.

Here's a tip!

Give your comms some personality! Automated emails are a great way to keep candidates informed and engaged but don’t let them ruin first impressions with dry, dull and generic content. Use the language and tone that is reflective of your culture and ensure they are tailored for optimal engagement. 

Step Three: Create And Maintain Expectations

The best talent won’t always be actively looking for a new role. Make sure that wherever or however people hear about your brand, they get a feel for your culture and workforce. 

Did you know? According to the Impact on Candidate Attraction report from LinkedIn, the biggest barrier to talent when considering applying for a new role is not knowing enough about the company or the job

Make sure the information you want great talent to know about your company and vacancies can be easily found. 

Once a candidate is on the recruitment journey, ensure that, from the job ad to reference checks, their expectations of the company are maintained. 

You want a new recruit to be excited to join, not nervous or unsure following a confusing, ambiguous or inconsistent recruitment period. 

With remote working conditions you need to find creative ways to maintain the interest in the role. At Xref we are offering candidates the opportunity to talk to internal staff in different teams.  

Step Four: Be Honest

We all know how disheartening it can feel to be told, “I’ll be in touch if I have any update” and how hard it can be to determine whether you should move on and look for another role or hold out for the position you originally wanted. 

Don’t keep candidates in the dark about the status of their application. This can add anxiety to an already stressful period, which will negatively impact the impression they form of your business.Also, do not be afraid to terminate the recruitment process if a candidate is not the right fit. 

After all, they might not be right for the business or role you are looking to fill now, but they may be in the future. 

Ensuring you create a great impression even if they are not offered a job, will put you at the top of their list the next time they look for a new position. 

Step Five: Be Aware of Perceptions

Candidates check your online employer brand before applying for a job.

LinkedIn found that, before a candidate even applies to a role: 

52 % of candidates first seek out:

1) the company's sites 

2) social media to learn more about an employer

Once your recruitment marketing strategy has got you in front of candidates, make sure candidates are encouraged to apply by: 

  • Making your website candidate-friendly — consider building a dedicated careers page to offer a better feel for what to expect 
  • Familiarising yourself with the way how people talk about your brand online
  • Make sure company information is up to date and respond to any reviews — good or bad! 

Ensuring you’ve developed a positive company culture that is driving from the inside out, with employees that are aligned in their values and purpose. Employer brand matters!

Step Six: Enlist Some Expertise

Getting the recruitment period right comes with pressure from all directions.  The business wants you to fill roles quickly, but you know you need to do your due diligence and there are many stakeholders to keep happy along the way. 

Adopt platforms designed to take the legwork out of it for you. Automated solutions guarantee consistency, efficiency, and transparency for all involved, every time. 

Great talent is in high demand and you risk losing them if a competitor gets ahead of you, with a better and more engaging approach to the recruitment period. 

An efficient, transparent and informed hiring journey will improve the outputs of the process for your business and ensure you are bringing on new recruits with the best possible perception of their new employer. 

Your Candidate Experience Checklist

Use this six-point checklist to ensure you are well prepared before you embark on your next recruitment drive.

  1. Test drive your recruitment process: Would someone you trust to be honest want to work for your business?
  2. Keep up the comms: How do you offer transparency at every stage of the recruitment journey?
  3. Create and maintain expectations: Is it clear what your company does and the requirements of the role?
  4. Be honest: how will you let down unsuccessful candidates?
  5. Be aware of perceptions: Have you checked online forums and networks for recent reviews?
  6. Enlist some expertise: Do you have the best tools in place to deliver an efficient and consistent recruitment process?

With Xref, clients make smarter, more confident hiring decisions. Xref helps HR and recruitment professionals across the globe make smarter and faster hires. Through our innovative, automated reference checking platform, our customers collect 60% more feedback from referees, gain insightful analytics and can detect referencing fraud, giving them more confidence in recruitment decisions they make. To learn how Xref works, book a demo.

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