Did you know that about 49 percent of job seekers in hotshot industries like tech have turned down a job offer because they had a lousy time during the hiring process?¹
There’s no denying that most employers want to snag the best candidates for their organization. But have you ever stopped to think about how the candidate experience could make or break your recruitment game?
What Is Candidate Experience?
Candidate experience refers to the vibe applicants get when applying for a job. From the moment they hit “submit” on their application to the final interview process and the job offer.
When you go to a store or a restaurant, you want a good experience, right? Similarly, when someone applies for a job, they want to feel respected, valued, and treated fairly throughout the hiring process.
So, a positive candidate experience is all about ensuring the job application process is a breeze—easy to follow, timely, clear, user-friendly, transparent, and respectful.
Why Positive Candidate Experience Matters in Recruitment
Let’s talk about the recruitment process!
Recruitment is not as easy as it seems. It could be pretty costly too. But when candidates have a crappy experience during recruitment, they might vent about it online or to their friends? Ouch!
This could hurt your employer branding and also turn off potential candidates from applying to your organization.
On the flip side, a good candidate experience can be a total game-changer! It can boost your employer’s outlook, generate positive reviews, increase referrals, and excite candidates about the opportunity.
When candidates are excited, they’re more likely to accept your job offer and recommend your organization to their peers. And this can help you build a talent pipeline.
How to Create a Winning Candidate Experience
Creating a winning candidate experience requires a comprehensive strategy. Here are a few strategies that you can apply to improve candidate experience:
1. Write clear job descriptions.
So, if you’re looking to write a job description that speaks to potential candidates, there are a few things to keep in mind. Let everyone understand what the job is about, and here are a few things you can do:
- Use simple language that candidates can easily understand
- Keep industry jargon to a minimum to attract candidates from different industries
- Write in a warm and inclusive tone
- Avoid discriminatory phrases or words
2. Streamline the application process.
Ensure the process is easy so you can retain great candidates along the way. Here are some tips to make your candidate application a cakewalk:
Keep your application form straight to the point.
When creating a job application form, less is definitely more! Keep it simple and sweet by only asking for the important stuff. Asking for unnecessary details only clutters things up.
Offer different application options.
Nowadays, people like to apply using various methods online. Aside from conventional contacting through email, try different software tools to conduct your application or even your social media.
The goal is to provide candidates with options or an easily accessible process, so find what works best for you and your candidates.
Consider using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
An ATS helps manage resumes and applications with ease. This gives you more time to focus on more important things.
You know, giving them an exceptional application journey!
Provide clear instructions on how to apply for the job.
Specify the need for necessary documents like a resume or cover letter. Include all instructions if you have specific steps in your process or if you’re using third-party software.
Clear instructions can make the process less stressful and reduce the likelihood of mistakes.
3. Communicate effectively with your candidates.
Do you know what impresses potential candidates? That’s right, by keeping them in the loop!
Make sure to message them every once in a while to let them know what’s going on and what they can expect. Here are some tips for effective communication during the hiring process:
Set clear expectations.
Keeping everyone on the same page is essential, so set clear expectations.
- Inform the candidates know what each stage of the process looks like
- Tell them how long it’ll take
- Let them know what kind of interviews or assessments are in store
- Give them a timeframe of when they can expect to hear from you
No one likes being in the dark, so keep it light and bright!
We all know how it feels to wait for an answer, so don’t leave your candidates hanging.
Timely responses to their emails or phone calls go a long way in keeping them happy. Even if you’re still working on their request, shoot them a quick message to let them know you’re on it.
Provide candidate feedback.
It might not always be a bed of roses, but receiving feedback is like gold for candidates.
Even if they didn’t make the cut, you could help them improve and grow with some pointers. Plus, it’s a sweet way to build a positive relationship with them.
4. Personalize the candidate experience.
Address candidates by their name and show them some love by tailoring your communication to their unique qualities. If you know they’re an ace in a particular area, let them know how their skills align with the job.
During interviews, get to know them personally by asking about their interests, hobbies, and career goals. It’ll give you a glimpse into what makes them tick and how you can help them succeed.
So, let’s get personal and make those candidates feel special!
5. Develop a clear and engaging employer brand.
Your employer brand is like your organization’s reputation—it makes job seekers flock to you like bees to honey. Give them a sneak peek into your company culture by sharing your values and mission.
Remember to highlight any cool perks or benefits you offer, like pizza parties or paid vacation time. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that treats its employees properly?
Go ahead and show the world what makes your organization unique!
6. Go a little extra.
Candidates expect the usual process, but why not turn it up a notch? You can do many things to make your candidate’s time more meaningful, and here are just a few.
If the interview is in person, find a cozy and inviting venue. Or provide transportation services if they are far away and the meeting can’t be done online. You could also offer them a drink, a snack, or even a full meal!
What about time? Job applicants also value their time, so you have to be prompt with interviews and consider their availability.
After the application process and the candidate is hired within the organization, it shouldn’t stop you from providing more. Give them a complete guide of what they would do, expect. Provide them with steps, training, or orientation to help them adjust to your company.
Companies With Exceptional Candidate Experience
Looking for inspiration on how to improve your candidate experience? Here are some excellent examples to learn from:
1. Kimberly-Clark’s top-notch personalized candidate experience.
Going for an interview can be tiring, but not when applying to Kimberly-Clark. They make it super fun!
They give you a car ride with a local driver so you can see what it’s like to live there. Plus, you get a welcome basket when you arrive at your hotel room with free stuff and info about the area.
And there’s more! They even have fun quizzes on their website, similar to Buzzfeed quizzes. You can take it to find out what kind of job you like in their company.
They show you pictures and ask questions about different personalities, so you can learn about the different types of people who work there and what projects they work on.
2. Spotify’s seamless application and communication process.
Spotify created this engaging website that tells candidates everything they need to know about their intern programs—when they start, how long they go for, and even FAQs so you know what to expect.
You can also hear from other interns on The Greenroom podcast, where they share their stories. And if you wish to get even more involved, there’s a “Connect with Talent Community” page where you can submit your resume and LinkedIn profile.
Spotify ensures that candidates are well-informed and know exactly what to expect.
3. Aramark’s effort in creating a great candidate experience.
Aramark expanded its digital presence to engage more student candidates by hosting virtual open houses where applicants can learn about working there.
They even revamped their Instagram page to include tips for job hunting and employee highlights. Additionally, they’re using Snapchat and LinkedIn to show off their awesome culture to even more students.
TIRED OF CANDIDATES GHOSTING YOU AND WORKING WITH YOUR COMPETITORS INSTEAD?
Allied Insight is here to help!
Our full-stack marketing firm got your back. We’ll help you jazz up your branding and positioning, create kick-ass content, enable you to slay on social media, and optimize your candidate experience to attract top talent like a magnet.
Hit us up now to find out how we can help you win the recruitment game!
1. “The future of recruiting.” PwC, https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/business-transformation/library April 19, 2023.
2. McRae, Emily and Aykens, Peter. “9 Future of Work Trends for 2023.” Gartner, Dec. 22, 2022, https://www.gartner.com/en/articles/9-future-of-work-trends-for-2023.