Candidate Experience Best Practices from “The Godfather” Himself

Candidate Experience Best Practices from “The Godfather” Himself

Emily Check

The demand for talent is higher than ever before, which explains why candidate experience has become one of the most buzzed about words among recruitment professionals. Today’s job seekers have options—they are gainfully employed but oftentimes open to hearing about new opportunities. However, they won’t waste their limited time and energy with a company that provides a lackluster experience.

This month, Jibe was lucky enough to host a Candidate Experience Workshop alongside industry expert and “The Godfather of Candidate Experience,” Gerry Crispin, of CareerXroads and The Talent Board. Both of these organizations advocate for the use of candidate experience best practices. The Talent Board continuously gathers information from candidates and employers to produce the annual Candidate Experience Research and Awards, a phenomenal resource for all HR professionals.

The knowledge that these organizations have is invaluable to corporate talent acquisition teams that are struggling to keep a steady flow of quality applicants moving through their hiring stream. Since most of you probably weren’t able to make it to New York City for our workshop this month, I’ll summarize the five key areas where talent acquisition teams can improve candidate experience.

(For additional reading, these candidate experience best practices are discussed more in depth in our new eBook, “The Path to an Exceptional Candidate Experience, According to Gerry Crispin.)

1. Set Clear Expectations From the Get-Go

Let’s start off on the right foot. Why wouldn’t we? In any relationship, professional or personal, it’s human nature to start the relationship in a positive way.

In recruiting, starting off on the right foot means setting clear, transparent, expectations for what’s to come in the hiring process. 71% of companies don’t even list the expected amount of time it takes to complete an application, which is an easy way to make the candidate feel more informed.

According to Gerry, candidates will be more likely to continue through your application flow if they know how long it takes to make a hiring decision, how many other applications have been submitted, and when you will stop taking applications. Think about how you can better set expectations throughout your candidate experience.

2. Always Listen To Your Candidates First

In the job search process, it’s too easy for candidates to feel lost among the masses, as they apply to positions that hundreds, if not thousands of other qualified workers have already applied to.

To ease the minds of the talent visiting your job openings, Gerry said it’s crucial that recruiting functions let candidates know they are listening at all times.

Best practices for listening can include live-chat options on your career site, timely responsiveness on social media, and providing recruiter contact info instead of a robotic auto-reply message. All of these small tweaks will make a difference when a candidate shares information about the experience they had with your company.

And that’s important, considering 71% of candidates said they would share their experiences publicly, whether good or bad.

3. Exemplify Fairness Throughout Every Step

One of the worst parts of the job search process is the application black hole. When a candidate takes the time to complete an (oftentimes lengthy) online application and they never hear anything back, they naturally feel that they were treated unfairly.

As Gerry explained, once candidates feel they were mistreated, they’re not going to come back again in the future, or recommend your company to their network.

Fostering a sense of fairness throughout the hiring process can come from a number of simple efforts. Be sure to properly align job descriptions to application and interview processes. Ask applicable questions during assessments, and relevant questions during the interview. Allow candidates to provide feedback so they feel the process isn’t just one-sided (a staggering 59% of candidates in 2015 we’re never asked to provide feedback).

4. Provide Some Form of Closure

According to the 2015 Candidate Experience data, the majority of companies that received a one-star rating gave no feedback or response to the candidate after they had applied.

A lack of a response from a company shows a lack of appreciation for the time a candidate spent applying. With the automation of technology available in today’s digital job application process, there is no excuse for not telling someone they didn’t get the job, or at least thanking them for applying.

Companies should follow up with recommendations about what can be improved, while providing positive comments. Offering closure on the process can also come from asking for feedback from the candidate, which can eventually provide long-term benefits to improving candidate experience.

5. Demand Accountability

In any career, bosses demand accountability from their employees. So why shouldn’t recruiters be held accountable for the candidate experience they provide?

This means creating a process for measuring performance, incentivizing performance, and enabling an environment of continuous learning.

If you’re measuring your candidate experience with a short survey following the process, you’re already on your way to measuring recruiter performance. Just tie the candidate’s response back to a particular recruiter and team. Leadership should set up a consistent cadence for reviewing the performance of both individuals and teams, to evaluate the success of the recruiting function.

Get On These Candidate Experience Best Practices

Companies that rank the highest in the Candidate Experience Research Data are the ones that are continuously evaluating and tweaking their recruiting process based on candidate feedback. You don’t necessarily have to invest in an over the top strategy to make a difference in how your candidates feel about you, small changes in each of these five categories can add up to a substantial improvement.

Our new eBook goes more in depth on these candidate experience best practices Gerry shared. Follow the button below to read it now.

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