Many employers are now in the habit of ensuring their company delivers an excellent employee experience, but when was the last time you assessed your candidate experience?
The candidate experience is the journey each candidate who applies to your organisation goes through, from the first email or application through to the interview day and job offer.
The journey that your candidates go on is essential for both the candidate and your business. Good candidate experience will ensure you are futureproofing your business to attract the best calibre of candidate, and it gives your organisation an opportunity to grow its talent pool and strengthens your overall employer brand.
In the busy process of recruiting, it can be easy for an email to get missed, a candidate to be left un-replied to, or worse – ignored completely. As recruiters, we see these occurrences all too often.
This can be damaging to your organisation as it weakens your brand and puts off potential candidates from ever applying again, not to mention everyone else they speak to about their experience.
Your organisation will find it much easier to provide an excellent candidate experience with the help of a good-quality recruitment expert – and in this article, we will explain why.
What Is the Candidate Experience?
The candidate experience describes everything candidates who apply to an organisation experience from first clicking on a job advert or description, right through to receiving a job offer and negotiating their salary.
In the past, companies often came under fire for their poor recruiting habits, and especially in the post-recession era of the last decade – there were so many candidates applying to so few roles that businesses with small HR departments found it impossible to reply to each application individually. This meant that some candidates slipped through the net – sometimes, really valuable candidates.
But times have changed recently – and rapidly. It has only been in the last five or so years that ‘review culture’ has taken off – with companies encouraging customers to review their product, service or experience online for all to see.
The candidate experience is all about effective communication. This includes whether your candidate gets a confirmation email after sending their application (this Monster survey found that, shockingly, 86% of applicants do not receive a confirmation email after applying for a job).
A great candidate experience not only educates potential employees about your company, but it also projects a positive company culture. If the applicant is not lucky first time round but they have a good overall experience, they are statistically more likely to apply again in future.
Why is Candidate Experience So Important?
Last week I needed to buy something for my house. Upon browsing my regular go-to sites, I found myself overlooking the price, delivery cost and times, and went straight to the reviews – I’m sure you have done something similar yourself.
Customer reviews have become indispensable in the modern world. We don’t only like to read them – we have come to expect them – in all aspects of our lives, from buying a kettle to booking a month-long cruise, and recruitment is no different.
Positive candidate experience is essential in today’s job market for several reasons. One Hay Group study found that 70% of graduates are put off by someone else’s bad experience with a company – a negative candidate experience might be turning away potential talent before it has even applied to your organisation.
In giving an excellent candidate experience, you are not only fulfilling a courteous agreement which benefits the candidate, but you are also enhancing your talent pipeline.
Your Candidate Experience as a Talent Pipeline
You might be thinking that there is little incentive for the employer to give a great candidate experience, but this is not true.
In the current skills-short job market, it has never been more critical to build a talent pipeline for your company – a culture of individuals who are aware and engaged with your company, who are likely to apply in future when then right position comes up.
This can be hard to cultivate naturally, but it is something which a recruiter can help with. Candidates don’t often have candid conversations with their potential employer about their job prospects and aspirations – but they do with their recruiter.
A recruiter will liaise with active and passive candidates on your behalf, allowing you to give them the best experience and at the same time creating a talent pipeline of engaged candidates for any of your future vacancies.
How Can a Recruiter Help to Improve Your Candidate Experience
How can you ensure that every candidate who applies to work for you has a positive experience?
As mentioned previously, a good channel of communication is the main thing that candidates are looking for from their potential employers. If you don’t have a dedicated recruiter whose job it is to take care of every applicant, communication can sometimes slip. This is why it is so crucial to work with a recruiter – they take care of every email and enquiry with their sector-specialist knowledge.
Poor candidate experience can come from their expectations being too high, or they realise that their values do not align with the company half-way through the process. These are things that little can be done to remedy.
However, the reasons for a poor experience have been outlined in the extensive Talent Board Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report 2018. The main negative reason candidates gave for withdrawing from the application process due to bad experience was that the process simply took too long.
One of the main benefits of utilising a recruiter is that they drastically reduce the amount of time that the recruitment process takes.
Having the luxury of time to spend with each candidate is something a recruiter can afford, that most companies do not have. This is the way to create the best candidate experience, to boost your employer branding and to create that all-important talent pipeline for the future.
If you have got to the stage where you feel you need a recruiter to help enhance your candidate experience strategy – contact us today.