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Candidate experience and 5 steps to improve your recruitment

With demand for new candidates outweighing supply, we need to focus on the concept of "Candidate experience". A good impression of the recruitment process can make the difference in whether a candidate prefers your company or not. Conversely, a bad recruitment experience will spread very quickly among candidates. As the saying goes, a disgruntled person will tell an average of ten people in their environment about their negative experience, but only three people on average will tell a positive experience. That's why this article focuses on how to make the best impression.

Nowadays, companies have a record number of open positions advertised. Not all factors, influences and variables in the job market can be controlled by you, but Candidate experience is one of those that can give you a competitive advantage over others.

As Gartner notes, the most successful companies in recruiting are those that leverage their ability to tap into and reach talent through competitive job postings, employer brand and candidate experience.

What can you change right now to make your candidates feel good about recruitment?

1. Present your company culture

How can you influence a candidate's decision? For example, make the candidate's consideration easier by making a short video of the team they are to be part of, or at least take a photo. Of course, it is possible to come up with other attention-grabbers that will make the candidate more familiar with the culture of your organisation. This "attention" may not be the main reason why the candidate chooses you, but it will distinguish you from the others and leave a good impression.

2. Be creative with your advert and interview structure

For job ads, it is important that the job description is clear and specific. Be creative, but keep in mind that too much creativity and originality can come across as unprofessional. You need to be as specific as possible in your job postings in order to attract the right candidate or to avoid disappointing them with a different job than described.

The number of rounds in the selection process is a tool that can help you find the right candidate, but if you have too many rounds and drag out the decision, most candidates will lose interest in the position.

3. No ghosting

Dragging out answers about the decision or even ghosting will have a negative impact on the candidate's decision. Ghosting is specifically a situation where the candidate is ignored after the interview. Ghosting doesn't just occur after the first round of interviews, but also after several rounds or even when a start date has already been discussed. This approach can easily tarnish your company's name. Therefore, always confirm you have received a resume while providing feedback after each round of the interview.

Surveys show that nearly 62% of candidates lose interest if they don't receive a response within 2 weeks. In the case of a response after three weeks, disinterest is as high as 77%.

4. Pay attention to the silver and bronze candidates

As already mentioned, the demand for new candidates outweighs the supply. Therefore, it is important to approach candidates who are unsuccessful in the selection process so that they are willing to apply for another position in your company, for example, or recommend your company to their friends with a clear conscience. If you can do this, you have achieved the right Candidate experience.

When rejecting candidates, take the time to write a customised rejection letter that, although negative, shows the candidate your fairness. As Forbes states, this approach can still allow the candidate to pass on a positive review or apply for another position.

5. Measure the Candidate experience

Although you may think your recruitment process is done correctly, ask the candidate how they feel. You can use a short post-interview questionnaire to find out your Net Promoter Score (NPS). The key to a relevant value is asking the right questions.

Examples of questions to measure Candidate experience:

Did the job description in the job offer match the information provided to you during the recruitment process?

Were the recruiters nice/friendly/helpful?

Was the scope of duties and tasks to be performed explained in a clear manner?

You can also ask open-ended questions that can help you better understand how the candidate perceives your recruitment process. An example of such a question is: What do you think we should improve in our recruitment process?

Candidate experience in numbers

Job Description Library reported survey results across several categories, from job search, to applying, interviewing and onboarding. Below are some of the results that highlight the importance of candidate experience in the hiring process.

38% likelihood of a candidate accepting an offer due to a positive experience

50% of candidates will not buy a company's products and services because of a bad experience

Negative reviews of an employer will reduce interest in a position for more than 50% of candidates

60% of job seekers have lost interest in an application due to its complexity

More than 50% of applicants have to wait 3 months or more to receive a response to their job application

80% of jobseekers said that the recruitment process influenced their decision to accept an offer.


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