Screening, Assessment, Interviewing

Tips to Improve the Candidate Experience

No one wants to go through all of the time, money, and effort required to recruit a good candidate only to have that person drop out at some point in the process because of something that could have been prevented. Thankfully, there are a lot of proactive things that recruiters and hiring teams can do to improve how candidates perceive the process.

These actions can be used to try to minimize how many potentially good employees are lost due to preventable frustrations along the way. Here are a few things recruiters can do to improve the candidate experience:

  • Simplify the application process. Ensure that your application process is clear and easy to navigate. Whenever possible, provide detailed instructions. No one wants to lose a potential candidate because he or she got frustrated with websites that don’t function as intended or because he or she didn’t understand what an application question was asking for. Ensure you’ve confirmed that your application process (if it is online) is accessible and works perfectly on all major internet browsers and across the most common devices and screen sizes, especially on mobile devices. For an offline application process, ensure the process is abundantly clear, including where to get and where to turn in the application itself and what other information is expected (such as a résumé).
  • Make it easy to find more information about the job. Consider having a dedicated section of your company website that is devoted to detailed job postings so that candidates who visit the site can get more information about the job before or after applying. Ensure your website is up to date and easy to navigate. Consider adding information to help the candidate prepare for the interview, such as any expectations you have for the interview itself.
  • Make it easy to learn more about the organization. Most job applicants know quite well that the organizational culture and other employees are going to be what makes the job either great or intolerable (or somewhere in between). Make it easy for prospective applicants to get a feel for the company so they can gauge up front whether it might be an organization they would like to work for. You can do this in many ways, such as:
    • Including information about company values on your website
    • Providing brief employee profiles to show others what type of people already work for the organization
    • Keeping updated social media pages that reflect what it’s like to work there, such as information on social activities or other relevant details that give a picture of employee life
  • Remember to communicate every step of the way. There are not many things that are more frustrating for a job applicant than to have no idea what is going on or where his or her application stands. For every step of the process, be sure to communicate with applicants to manage expectations, ensure they know what’s next, and what the time frame will be for the next steps. Ideally, outline what the entire process will look like (and stick to it). If there are simply too many candidates to craft a personal response to each, it’s okay if some of the initial communications are generic—that’s much better than having an applicant left without any communication at all. When job applicants don’t receive information, they are left to assume the worst and will likely be well on their way to finding a more responsive employer.

This is just a start. In Monday’s Advisor, we’ll continue to outline more ways that recruiters and hiring teams can proactively improve the candidate experience.