Five Tips for Managers to Improve Candidate Experience

Effective recruitment is a two-way street. As much as you’re looking for a strong candidate who fits seamlessly into your company, these candidates seek organisations that fulfil their own goals and match their values.

Nearly four out of five job applicants believe that the candidate experience is a reliable indicator of how a company values its people. Not only that, 83% of talent say that a negative interview experience can destroy their perception of a role or company they once liked. In comparison, 87% of candidates say that a positive experience can change their minds about a previously doubted role or company.

It poses an important question: what does your hiring process say about how you value employees? Would you be happy with this representation reflecting on your entire company or brand? How to improve candidate experience?

To unearth top talent while helping your brand shine, five top tips for creating a best-in-class candidate experience. To see the complete list of improving the candidate experience and some bonus hints and tools to implement them, check out my ebook, The Hiring Manager’s Guide to Mastering the Candidate Experience.

1. Tighten up your job descriptions

You want to provide enough detail about what’s required to fulfil a specific role. Focus on including the nuts and bolts that candidates need to know. That consists of the job title, location, primary responsibilities, and a day in the life. Also, a bit about your culture and the work environment: anything more than that will likely get glossed over.

Before you start writing, I recommend checking out this article from Harver.com on the dos and don’ts of writing a job description. I have also included an example of an effective job ad in my ebook.

2. Treat your candidates more like customers

We’re in a time when the job market has an abundance of active candidates, but you should never assume that this will make it easier to recruit top talent. In many ways, it can be much, much harder. In addition to a high volume of candidates to work through, you will have to contend with a lot more requests from candidates to connect with you on LinkedIn and more direct enquires via email, calls, messages, and referrals.
At Frazer Tremble Executive, we spend much time talking about treating your candidates like customers of your business. Just as you would never ignore contact from a customer, a good candidate experience will require you to keep good records of your interactions with each applicant. When you’re being hit with multiple sources of communication, this, of course, can be easier said than done.

One way to manage this effectively is to track all enquiries from multiple candidate entry points in one source of truth. This could be something as simple as an excel spreadsheet or inputting the data through an Applicant Tracking Tool (ATS) such as breezy.hr.

3. Be honest (and realistic!) about your timeline

Applicants eager to land their next job typically understand that you don’t share their same sense of urgency. However, that doesn’t mean that you can leave them hanging with no idea of when they can expect to hear from you next.

Get on the same page and set expectations from the beginning by explaining your anticipated timeline. For example, when you’ll be calling people in for interviews and when you hope to have that position filled.

You might be in a hurry, but I always caution against saying we are hiring ASAP in job ads. Effective recruitment takes time. At best, you may be able to hire someone in 2-6 weeks. At worst, it could take upwards of 8 weeks+. And the right talent will drop off if you don’t get this right from the start. That is a way to improve the candidate experience.

4. Communicate well and often to manage expectations

The biggest complaint that job seekers share is how often they’re left wondering about an application for a job they are excited about. They compulsively refresh their inboxes, waiting for any news about that open position.

This is why communicating well can be a tremendous asset to you as an employer. Especially in today’s information age and with all the tools available to be in contact at any moment with anyone, radio silence is a no-go.

There are some simple ways to cut down the time it takes to communicate with candidates and to improve candidate experience.

Establishing primary email and/or text message templates for each stage of the process will reduce your workload. And by sending regular updates, you’ll further reduce the demands on your time from anxious candidates calling and emailing for news.
Here are the five templates I recommend creating to save time when responding to candidates:
You can see an example of this in the full version of my ebook.

5. Be accommodating with schedules

One reliable way to improve candidate experience is to openly ask applicants about convenient timing for various interviews and meetings. With that information under your belt, you’re better able to work around those times. Even scheduling those conversations for later in the day (or even outside of business hours).

The more comfortable you make it to find a time that works for both of you, the better the candidate experience.

To make this process easier, you can use a scheduling tool such as Calendly, which lets the candidate select a convenient time from your chosen availability. In addition, these apps can usually integrate with video meeting tools such as Zoom. That will further streamline your screening or interview calls.

Leaving a lasting impression on top talent

In today’s competitive hiring landscape, having top-notch candidate experience isn’t negotiable. However, it’s something that you need to actively work on to land the best talent for your organisation.

Not sure where to start? Put these tips to good use. And you’re bound to make a positive impression on every candidate that interacts with your company. You can also check out the entire ebook, including some extra advice on creating an inclusive candidate experience; email Laura Frazer.

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