With numerous job opportunities in the market, companies need to level up their game. Day by day, the competition gets stiffer as we develop new technologies and improve business operations. While we can’t fully predict what will happen in five years, we do know that this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.

The ultimate goal is to leave candidates with a great impression of your brand. But how? Through candidate experience. Creating a good candidate experience is critical for making candidates feel comfortable trusting you with their career opportunities.

Before diving deep into creating a good candidate experience, let’s first define what it is and why it is essential.

 

What Is Candidate Experience?

Candidate experience includes all the steps of the end-to-end hiring process from the candidate’s perspective. Simply put, it’s how you make candidates feel through their interactions with you. It’s been gaining a lot of ground lately as more and more companies see how crucial it is to maintain a positive relationship with potential employees.

 

Why Is Candidate Experience Important?

Candidate experience is essential and needs to match candidate expectations that continue to rise over the years. Within just 60 seconds of finding a company online, candidates will already have a decision whether they would want to pursue employment with them or not. This gives companies a mere minute to impress job seekers and make a lasting impact.

 

Why You Should Provide a Positive Candidate Experience

Candidate experience starts with talent acquisition, including the application process, job description, recruiting software, and interview experience, to the onboarding journey, starting on day one and thriving within the company. Every encounter and circumstance an individual has with you contributes to the candidate’s experience.

Here are a few reasons why you should provide an excellent candidate experience, improve their journey with you, and benefit from the process:

 

1. Candidate Feedback Travels Fast, Far, and Wide

Today, people are sharing everything online! According to Forbes, 60% of surveyed individuals have had negative candidate experiences at some point, and 72% of them shared those experiences with their friends, family, colleagues, or online.1 This is why investing and ensuring a positive candidate experience from start to finish is important.

What candidates say about you affects how prospective candidates and clients perceive your company, overall contributing to your employer branding. It’s essential to consider what your candidates say about their experience with you on platforms like Glassdoor or Indeed. It’s your company’s brand – what people perceive about you should be everything you want it to be.

 

2. The Hiring Market Is Crowded

The rise of online recruiting and remote hiring has made it easier for organizations to find great talent. Candidates are now hungry for job offers and willing to work, which may increase your chances of finding the right individual. But on the contrary, this means competition is tricky because while you’re hiring, others are too.

Companies are known almost as much for their hiring practices and culture as the quality of their products and services. To gain a competitive edge in this saturated market, you need to attract exceptional candidates by making competitive offers and providing a positive candidate experience. A distasteful candidate experience will only inflate hiring costs, build up an intense churn rate, and extend the time to fill new roles.

Related Article: National Employee Benefits Day 2023: A Call for Personalized Employee Perks

 

3. First Impressions Have a Ripple Effect

A candidate’s first impression of your company will stay with them throughout the hiring process, so you must make it count! It’s normal for candidates to do their due diligence before your first interaction. However, the second a candidate receives an email or meets with you, it will set the tone for further exchanges.

A positive candidate experience can translate into a good impression of your products, services, and brand reputation. Focusing on your candidate’s experience will make them feel welcome and valued, empowering them to help your business and brand once hired. This goes for rejected candidates as well. It’s best to let them know immediately through an empathetic and hopeful tone. Let them know if you plan to keep their resume for future roles.

Furthermore, equip the candidates by providing them with answers to FAQs wherever possible. Allow them to ask unique questions and make them feel accommodated. These small gestures can greatly impact their overall candidate experience and leave you on a positive note regardless of their application’s outcome.

 

4. Candidates Will Give as Much as They Get

The good news is, presently, candidates are paying more attention to how much they’re getting out of an experience. According to Forbes, young professionals, especially millennials, are not scared to change jobs if their current company’s career development opportunities do not meet their needs.2

Candidate experience, organization brand, and work-life balance are no longer mere buzzwords but business imperatives. If you put yourself in the candidate’s place and go through your hiring process from start to finish, how would you want to be treated? Answering this will help you relate to your candidates and stay ahead of the competition.

Ultimately, when you focus on the experience you provide, your employees will be more than happy to return it with commitment, loyalty, passion, and, most importantly, employee retention.

 

5. You Can Cultivate a Pipeline of Brand Ambassadors

The best companies foster positive relationships with their candidates and make them feel like they’re part of a family that’s there to support them every step of the way. One valuable resource you can develop from championing a candidate experience is building your brand ambassadors. This can be very effective when you’re creating a referral-based marketing strategy.

Burning bridges is an absolute no-no in terms of recruiting. Remember that your business requirements will inevitably change as you move forward. New opportunities might arise, and you might need to tap into your candidate pipeline. So, ensure you’re nurturing relationships by providing a positive candidate experience.

More on: Mastering External Competitiveness: Maximizing Business Impact and Success

 

6. The Key Is Transparency

You can find many formulas and steps online for improving the candidate experience you provide. But at the end of the day, from the candidates’ point of view, it all boils down to your transparency and authenticity.

Communicate transparently and be as upfront as possible. Don’t leave emails unanswered for months on end. Be honest and proactive. Regardless of what news you bring, your candidate will be glad to hear from you instead of being left hanging.

Finally, combining an efficient and effective hiring process with a heavy focus on the candidate experience will build a robust organizational brand for you. This will give you all the support you need to attract and retain top performers and scale your business.

 

How To Measure Candidate Experience

Setting up a candidate experience survey is the easiest way to assess your current standing. Make this process easier for candidates by maintaining the anonymity of the participants. This can be a helpful practice and can be done as often as you want.

After you have the first round of results, it can clarify which areas of the recruiting process the job applicants like and which need more work. However, the validity of the results will depend on the sample size or the number of respondents that participate in the survey. So, as the response rate increases, you will have a more realistic picture of the experience for candidates both on a macro and micro level.

The survey can cover qualitative and quantitative questions; you can ask the respondents to recommend improvements and suggest what works best for them. An internal team can review and carve out a strategy to improve candidate experience.

 

ACS PROFESSIONAL STAFFING CAN MAKE THE RIGHT PEOPLE, YOUR PEOPLE

ACS Professional Staffing offers a variety of staffing solutions to meet your short-term and long-term needs. When you work with ACS, you can rest assured that our team will work hard to understand your company culture, requirements, and future goals.

We’re here to make your recruiting efforts a definite success. You’ll need a technical staffing agency if you need a specialized candidate! We specialize in matching you with highly skilled people in IT, engineering, administrative support, and more.

Contact us today to learn more about what customized workforce solutions ACS Professional Staffing can create for you!

 

References

1. Quast, Lisa. “Here’s Why You Need to Improve Your Company’s Candidate Journey.” 26 Jun. 2017, www.forbes.com/your-companys-candidate-journey-sucks-heres-why-and-what-you-can-do-to-improve-it.

2. Landrum, Sarah. “Millennials Aren’t Afraid to Change Jobs, And Here’s Why.” 10 Nov. 2017, www.forbes.com/millennials-arent-afraid-to-change-jobs-and-heres-why.