Nurturing job applicants' engagement and treating them well goes a long way. The success of the recruitment process depends on the happiness and satisfaction of all involved parties, as people's opinions and experiences will largely determine the outcome.
Mistreated and ignored candidates will loathe interacting with a company and regret sending their job applications. They might even share their negative feedback online or with their network and friends.
On the other hand, job applicants who enjoyed the selection process and found it smooth and speedy will likely have a favorable opinion of a company even if they don't get the job. These professionals could spread good word of mouth or stay in the talent pool and re-apply for another opportunity.
However, many recruitment teams are overwhelmed with their responsibilities and objectives, causing them to overlook the importance of candidate experience or give it less attention than they should. Some company cultures may not even prioritize this recruitment element, focusing more on hiring as many employees as possible and only getting to the final stage.
Regardless of your time and assignments, paying attention to the candidate's experience is essential for the hiring process and employee satisfaction. Here's everything you should know about it and what it takes to provide a stellar candidate experience in the coming year.
What is the Candidate Experience
Every experienced HR professional is familiar with the candidate experience term and knows it's among the crucial aspects of the hiring process. Yet, many need to learn how much it encompasses and how important it is to work on it and follow the trends continuously.
After all, if all HR professionals knew every detail about the candidate experience and implemented adequate actions, there would be fewer dissatisfied job applicants. So, what does it mean, and how far does it extend?
Candidate experience represents a holistic perception your job applicants have about your hiring process, recruiters, and company. It's comprehensive and includes how they feel about the selection process speed, efficiency, attention to detail, employer branding, and how the recruitment team treats them from the first touchpoint.
Every interaction job applicants have with your company from the initial step will lead to their final impression and how much they enjoyed the experience. All stages of the recruitment pipeline will affect their opinion and satisfaction - the job application, assessment process, interviews, and onboarding.
Every action your hiring team takes (or doesn't) will shape the candidate's perception of your company and whether they want to work with you and stay in the recruitment pipeline. Thus, job seekers have higher expectations nowadays and want the employer to show interest in them and treat them like unique and valuable individuals.
Although many companies stick to the traditional approach of seeing job applicants as subjects they need to evaluate and determine their potential, these professionals are much more. - Every candidate is an unrepeatable human with their story, objectives, hopes, feelings, and background.
It is no longer enough to cover the basics and provide the minimum experience. Your recruitment team must communicate regularly and clearly with candidates.
They must foster positive connections and put effort into building trust and favorable opinions. That will also impact how thrilled the shortlisted candidates are to work with a company.
If they had a good experience, they'd likely be eager to accept the job proposal. Otherwise, candidates might be gone before the recruitment team extends their offer.
The Irrefutable Benefits of a Positive Candidate Experience
Yes, you have likely heard it many times - a good candidate’s experience can make a world of difference in your recruitment process, and you should provide a stellar one. But why does it matter how job applicants feel about your company, and will that genuinely affect their future performance and commitment?
The simple answer is that every candidate is your potential employee until proven otherwise, and they'll likely treat you the same way you treat them. As much as employers don't owe jobs to job applicants, the latter also don't owe the companies to accept a job offer.
And if candidates find the selection process frustrating, most will be ready to say no to your proposal. Even if a job applicant is in dire need of a job and accepts out of desperation after being mistreated during recruitment, they will not be engaged and enjoy their time in the workplace.
According to HubSpot, 4 out of 5 candidates (78%) say the overall candidate experience they receive indicates how a company values its people. Therefore, if they have a negative candidate experience, why would they expect anything different if an employer hires them?
Moreover, up to 90% of job applicants say that a poor candidate experience can change their opinion about a role or a company. If a professional looks forward to applying for a job and joining your workplace, they could move on to another employer if they dislike the interaction with your recruitment team.
People will also perceive your company better if your recruiters are responsive, efficient, and communicative. That could entice them to stay in the pipeline until the end of the recruitment process and be more eager to work with your team.
But 80% of candidates say they would not apply again for a job in a company that failed to update them about their job application status. They might also share their negative experience and opinion about your company with their friends and other professionals.
On the other hand, job applicants who find your recruitment team attentive and respectful will likely recommend you to their network and publish a positive review on Glassdoor. Thanks to that, you could expand your talent pool and reinforce your employer brand.
Positive candidate experience that includes a stellar onboard could also affect your future employee's dedication and effort. Treat them well, prepare them for the job role, and be responsive, and you'll enjoy the payout. - It will lead to better employee performance, engagement, and productivity.
Top-notch candidate experience will help establish good foundations and instill trust. As a result, your new employee will be thrilled about working with you, going the extra mile, and exploring their future in your company.
In a nutshell, positive candidate experience leads to:
- Higher job applicant satisfaction and retention
- Favorable word of mouth, referrals, and online reviews
- Reinforced employer branding and company reputation
- Expanded talent pool
- Robust recruitment pipeline
- Better employee performance and higher odds of long-lasting employment
Here's how to improve candidate experience and make it one of your strongest assets.
Top 5 Strategies to Enhance Your Candidate Experience in 2023
Job seekers often complain that most job ads don't include information about compensation and employee perks and benefits. Since many companies believe they should keep that data a mystery, candidates often have no clue about the salary range of a job role and what to expect.
Even though that may initially give employers the upper hand, omitting this information can be misleading and cause issues later. For example, a shortlisted candidate could reach the final stage of the hiring process expecting particular compensation, only to learn they were wrong.
That could cause them to abandon the selection process or decline the job offer. As a result, companies could miss out on quality talents and stay without compatible candidates at the last moment.
Because of that, you should practice honesty and transparency in your job ads. Be open about the compensation and benefits, or at least include an approximate range.
That will help you attract suitable job applicants who are okay with the potential salary. Otherwise, you risk misunderstandings and tension in the interviews, as most candidates feel uncomfortable asking about the compensation.
But your job ads should also be accurate and clarify the job role and responsibilities. Job seekers should have no doubts regarding your expectations and their potential day-to-day assignments.
You can only attract compatible and qualified candidates if you portray the job precisely. Also, avoid gendered and exclusive language to avoid dissuading people from applying for the available vacancy.
Nurture inclusive recruitment by dropping the jargon, using gender-neutral terms, and ensuring the language doesn't alienate job applicants with disabilities. That is how you foster diversity and equity and reach more talents with varied backgrounds and demographic characteristics.
Be Responsive and Attentive Throughout the Recruitment Process
Over 65% of job seekers don't receive notice of their job application status. That also includes the first stage of the hiring process, as many companies don't send a follow-up email after receiving a resume and cover letter.
Because of that, job seekers often wonder whether a company received their job application and if everything is okay. That can put many people off and force them to look for a job elsewhere.
But a positive candidate experience starts when candidates first send their job applications. They expect you to let them know whether their resume was delivered successfully and what to expect afterward.
However, your responsiveness shouldn't end there. Instead, it should be consistent throughout the hiring process.
Show your interest in the candidates and be attentive and respectful. Treat them the same way you treat your customers and stakeholders, and keep them in the loop regarding their job application status.
Job applicants will appreciate that you care about their experience and about keeping them informed. Thanks to that, they will have a better opinion of the company and be less inclined to turn to another employer.
Increase Flexibility and Accessibility
Over 60% of candidates abandon their job application due to its complexity, the number of requirements, and length. Avoid overwhelming job seekers with a demanding and extensive job application process.
Show you value their time by streamlining this step and requiring only the essential information. Skills assessments and interviews will help you determine their potential and shortlist top talents.
Ensure your career site is easy to navigate and make it possible for candidates to apply for a job directly on social media or job boards. If you redirect them to another website, job applicants could lose patience and quit.
Therefore, this process should be accessible and flexible. Candidates shouldn't have to encounter various steps or obstacles while sending their resumes.
Make it quick, easy, and smooth. People will be grateful, and you'll likely receive more quality job applications.
RESOURCES: Click here to find a wide catalog of ready-to-use interview question templates
Leverage Technology to Streamline Processes (e.g., ATS)
A successful recruitment process and HR technology will go hand in hand in 2023. Neglecting or not investing enough in top-notch tech could affect candidate experience and satisfaction.
That's why you need reliable and multifunctional Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). This platform will help you source qualified candidates, keep information in a single dashboard, and communicate with your team more easily.
Thanks to its features, you'll be able to share the latest data and updates with job applicants and other recruiters involved in the process. That's necessary for creating a consistent and well-rounded candidate experience.
Modern ATS is powered by AI, making it more accurate and data-driven and capable of improving your decision-making. Moreover, ATS will ensure you maintain regular and transparent communication with the candidates and hiring team.
Mass emailing will ensure you notify all candidates about the latest job application updates and campaigns directly from the dashboard. Recruiters also won't have to switch across multiple platforms to communicate and keep job applicants in the loop.
Provide Constructive Feedback
Most companies only update the shortlisted candidates about their job application status and whether they are hired. Others are left in the dark, wondering whether a company chose someone else and what they could improve to be a better candidate.
Yet, job applicants are four times more likely to apply for another job in your company if you provide constructive feedback. People invest their time, effort, and commitment into their job applications and participation in the selection process.
The least they deserve is to know if you chose the right person and how they can be better in the future. Even though recruiters typically lack time and believe it's unnecessary to inform all candidates about the selection process results, this significantly impacts candidate experience.
Thus, you don't have to write an essay for each job applicant. Be brief; thank them for giving you an opportunity, and let them know what they can enhance and be more well-rounded candidates.
It is always better to be honest and give people closure than to leave them without an answer or information about your decision. Being responsive and informative until the last stage will make a difference in your recruitment process and ensure your candidates perceive you as a professional and understanding employer.
Candidate experience has never been as crucial as now, which will remain the same in 2023. Job applicants have the upper hand in recruitment due to the talent war and the number of available vacancies.
The only way to combat your competition and stay on top of the hiring game is to nurture your job applicants' satisfaction and happiness. And there's no better strategy than crafting a top-notch candidate experience.
Technology can be your best friend in this undertaking. Leverage its possibilities, streamline the selection process, and take candidate experience to a higher level.
Manatal's ATS has all the features you need to achieve it. But try it yourself to experience its benefits and potential for your business.
Start your 14-day Free Trial today and discover how Manatal can improve your recruitment efforts.