Congratulations! You have succeeded in creating a strong employer brand that attracts the best talent. You now have your pick of qualified, skilled and experienced candidates and all you have to do is to decide which would be the best fit for your company. In theory, at least. In practice, your competitors have worked equally hard to attract the same candidates and the reality is that good candidates select their employer just as much as the employer selects them. It’s a two-way street and first impressions matter.
This means your recruitment process should not only be effective in identifying the best candidate for the job, but also in impressing the candidate and making them fall in love with the company. Now, if your current selection process takes longer than 2 weeks and requires the candidates to go through multiple assessment rounds, it may be worthwhile to have a critical look at your hiring process again.
After some research into candidate feedback on different selection processes, I have put together the 5 must do’s to improve candidate experience and show your candidates that they are valued. What they all have in common is repeated interaction with ALL the candidates. Great! But how?
1. Make it personal – introduce yourself, the company & the team to your candidates
The most highly rated selection processes personally welcomed each candidate before they even submitted the application. When the candidates clicked to apply, instead of a tedious form to fill in, they were prompted with a video message from the hiring manger, the recruiter and some of the team members, including a quick tour of the office and a walk-through of the application process.
While the large number of applications makes it impossible to connect with each candidate, video technology does allow you to retain the personal touch from a distance. You only have to record once and use it every time.
2. Get to know your candidates – invite them to record a video
Candidates got to see you on camera, so it’s only fair that they introduce themselves to you as well. Give them the opportunity to show you what matters to them or, if you have specific questions to determine if they are the right fit for your company, go ahead and ask! There are plenty of video recruitment tools that allow you to record a set of questions and automatically invite your candidates to answer in a video.
Especially for graduate programs and in competitive selections, where all candidates have a good background, sound references and similar education, candidates welcomed the opportunity to show what makes them stand out.
3. Make it a conversation – engage with the candidate and personalize the interview
Throughout the entire process make sure to keep the candidates updated on the next steps. Tell them what to expect at the big interview and how to prepare. Whether you conduct the interview on site or remotely via some video interviewing software, the candidate should feel valued and taken seriously. According to candidates, great interviews are friendly and personalized conversations; the questions are tailored to the candidate, the interviewers are engaged, open and offer opinions and insights.
Employers that scored best at interview experience admitted to recording the interviews to evaluate and refine their own performance.
4. Be considerate of the candidates’ time and effort – let them down gently
Nothing decreased ratings more than failure to inform the candidates of not being selected. Sending your application into a cybernetic void or, worse, spending days going through all sorts of assessment rounds only to hear nothing back is every job seeker’s nightmare. And it should be yours too.
Selection processes with good reviews included rejection emails for initial stages of the application process and phone calls in more advanced stages. Great selection processes included a rejection video sent via email, in which the candidate was thanked for the effort, explained the selection criteria and invited to apply again. Rest assured, all these can be automated with the help of an applicant tracking system and a video recruitment tool.
5. Add value – give useful feedback to your candidates and ask for theirs
Given the number of hours or even days the candidates have invested in the application process, they can look back on a satisfying experience only when they have gained something from it. This holds true for those who were successful, and even more so for those who weren’t. If you truly value your candidates, then give them useful feedback so that they can improve and do better next time. Feedback, as they say, is a two-way street; give the candidates a voice and ask them to help you improve the process.
Taking candidate experience seriously means interacting with your candidates every step of the way and designing a process that shows them at their best. Use new technology or go the old fashioned way – for those with time to spare – if you want to retain a competitive edge and hire the best talent.