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Winning At Recruitment: Creating Phenomenal Candidate Experiences 

A company is only as successful as the individuals that make all the working parts function, which is why the recruitment process is so pivotal.  

There are many technical aspects to consider if you want to hire suitable candidates. But that’s not the only thing that will draw great candidates to your company. As important as they are, knowing some candidate experience best practices that make the process enjoyable for the candidates is equally important. 

Providing an incredible candidate experience journey leads to better results. A candidate might love a particular job you’re offering, but they may not make an effort to see it through if they don’t have a great experience during the recruitment process. 

There are some candidates that pursue a position regardless of the recruitment process experience, but this is not frequent. Because of this, you’ll want to do everything possible to craft the best candidate experience.  

If you’re unsure where to start, the following sections will iron out some of the basic steps to create the best candidate experience possible. 

Create Some Structure 

Mapping a quality candidate experience starts with creating structure in your recruitment process that includes great tools. There are many ways to go about this part of the process, but the most important is building an experience complete from top to bottom. 

Many companies focus solely on the interview as the be-all and end-all in their recruitment process. While it’s a significant element of a good candidate onboarding experience, conducting the interview is far from the only thing that matters. 

Before you even get to the interview, ensure you entice candidates by providing crucial information upfront, refining your interview tactics, and developing answers to potential questions. 

Put All The Key Information Upfront 

People seeking jobs spend a good portion of their days scrolling through numerous job listings on different websites. As an employer, you must remain mindful of this and develop your job listing accordingly. 

Making your job listing stand out amongst all the others is crucial, and one of the best ways to do this is by being informative and concise. Tell candidates about all the most critical aspects of the position without being too long-winded. You may find some things too important to leave out of a job description, but you should leave out anything that doesn’t fall into that category. 

If you don’t do this and instead try to fit in every detail you find essential to the position, you risk losing out on potential candidates. Some people scroll through a job listing before reading, and seeing multiple chunky paragraphs can scare them away. 

It’s the same feeling most people get when they come across a giant wall of text, and you don’t want candidates getting that feeling as a first impression. 

Have Refined Interviews 

Refining your interviews is a little different depending on how you recruit. Sometimes, you’ll craft your interview process in a way that’s best for conducting lots of interviews. Other times, you’ll compose it in a way that’s best for dealing with fewer interviews. 

The latter is generally better for improving the candidate experience. Having to conduct fewer interviews means you’ll be able to create a more personalized experience for each candidate. However, you can still optimize interviews for the candidate experience if you’re doing high-volume hiring. 

You won’t have as much flexibility to tweak the interviews for each candidate, but you can lessen the need for that by incorporating some programmatic job advertising that brings higher-quality candidates directly to you.  

Doing this can add more structure to your overall candidate experience, as you can better design the entire experience for the specific types of candidates for a particular job. 

One other major factor to remember is the interview questions themselves. You can never refine your questions too much. Still, it’s challenging to know what weaknesses they have before you start conducting interviews. So, ensure you take notes on what questions bring you the highest quality information and strive to develop more like them. 

Leave Room For The Candidates To Ask Questions 

While the recruitment process is mainly about the company getting to know candidates who will potentially start working for them, it’s also about candidates learning about the companies. With this in mind, you should take the time to develop answers to some common questions that candidates may potentially have about the company. 

It doesn’t look good when a candidate can’t answer your questions during a job interview. It looks equally bad when you can’t answer their questions, so preparing for this is a critical aspect. Similar to developing good interview questions, coming up with answers to questions candidates may ask is something you can better prepare for after conducting some interviews. 

During the interviews, pay extra attention to the questions candidates ask, whether they’re major or minor, and take note of them. The more questions you can answer from a candidate, the greater the likelihood of them pursuing the position. They’ll have more information about the company that they would not have gotten otherwise. 

This also allows you to address specific points about your company and the job that you could not include in the job listing and interview questions. 

Prioritize Strong Communication 

Every candidate likes to feel in the loop during the recruitment process. Not properly communicating with your candidates is one of the best ways to lose interest quickly. Especially if they have other opportunities demanding their attention, keeping them engaged with regular communication should become your top priority. 

Any reasonable candidate understands that you may not get back to them immediately all the time because you’re dealing with many other candidates. Still, you can’t expect them to wait weeks for a response. As a general rule of thumb, respond with the same frequency you want them to respond to you, which can lead to good communication

Tell The Candidate All The Steps Of The Recruitment Process 

Mystery can have a positive effect on many things, but a candidate’s experience in the recruitment process is not one of them.  

It would be best if you were as transparent as possible from start to finish and layout every step of the process for the candidate as early on as possible. This cuts down on the possibility of misunderstandings from either party and leads to a smooth recruitment process. It also gives candidates plenty of time to prepare accordingly for each step.  

Preparation is something that any quality candidate does regardless of whether they know what to expect in a recruitment process. However, telling them precisely what to expect means they can prepare as best as possible. This increases candidates’ chances to perform better in interviews, pre-employment tests, and other recruitment steps. 

Inform The Candidate Of Any Delays As Soon As Possible 

Delays are a part of any recruitment process and can arise for many reasons. You should anticipate them happening and be ready to adapt to them while having them affect your candidates as little as possible. Being transparent and informing candidates of any delays is also something you must do, or else they will likely take the unexplained delays negatively. 

Also, consider that candidates have other plans on their schedules. The sooner you let them know about a delay, the sooner they can adjust their schedule in case you need to reschedule an interview to a later date. 

Provide Some Feedback If Things Don’t Work Out 

If you’re interviewing many candidates, providing detailed feedback to all the ones you reject is not always feasible. However, you should at least tell them what main factors lead to them not landing the position. Additionally, suppose you think a rejected candidate may fit better in a job opening your company may have later. In that case, it never hurts to inform them of that. 

You can never do too much networking, so keeping some form of contact with rejected candidates can significantly benefit you in the long run. 

Have Respect For The Candidate’s Time 

Respect for a candidate’s time is another pivotal element in improving the candidate’s experience. Remember that while you should never rush the recruitment process, there are few things worse than dragging it out for longer than necessary. Take your time throughout the process, but don’t linger between each step. 

You lose the engagement of your candidates when you do that. You can also lose candidates by having specific steps take an unreasonable amount of their time. This is why it’s essential to identify the areas where you can optimize the candidate experience by keeping things short, sweet, and to the point. 

Don’t Have Needlessly Long Application Forms 

Application forms are always good to have as the basis of your recruitment process. However, because practically every company uses them, some candidates lose their patience with them. If you use application forms, refrain from having them be extensive. 

Instead, approach application forms like you would a hiring event. Many other employers are present, and you have one opportunity to give candidates an excellent first impression without having much time. 

In this situation, the best thing you can do is bundle all your most enticing offerings into a concise package that you can present in a matter of minutes.  

Also, avoid giving too much information. You want your candidates to understand and remember at least ninety percent of the information they get in your job application form after going through it. The more information you provide, the harder it becomes for them to do that. 

Cater To The Candidate’s Schedule When Possible 

It’s impossible to perfectly cater to every candidate’s schedule when it comes to setting interview dates and other steps of the recruitment process that require planning. However, a wrong candidate hiring experience often involves a candidate feeling pressured. Not giving them some flexibility regarding scheduling is one way to cause this. 

Don’t severely compromise your schedule to cater to a candidate’s schedule, but make an effort to work with them to get the scheduling done smoothly. Not only is this good for the candidate experience process, but it also shows the candidate that you can make adjustments when necessary to accommodate people. 

If The Candidate Doesn’t Land The Position, Tell Them As Soon As Possible 

For candidates you don’t select for the job, the most significant way to respect their time is to inform them of your decision soon. It’s not uncommon for candidates to have another job offer they’re waiting to accept until they hear from you, especially if they desire your job more. 

Ideally, you should notify them of your decision with the same quickness that you would inform the candidate you select for the position. 

Have Patience When You Optimize Candidate Experience 

Figuring out what makes a great candidate experience isn’t something that happens overnight or even over several days. It often takes multiple attempts and a good deal of trial and error before you optimize all the steps into a format that works for you and your business. However, you must pay extensive attention to the methods that work just as much as those that don’t. 

Refrain from trying to cover every area of your recruitment process at once. Doing that will make optimizing things very stressful, and you likely won’t optimize to the best of your ability. 

Instead, measure candidate experience and pick out one area that’s the most lacking, like communication between you and your candidate, and optimize as best you can. Once you have it in a place you like, you can turn your focus to optimizing a different area of your recruitment process. 

Over time, you’ll develop excellent candidate experience ideas that outshine other companies and learn how to improve the candidate experience in all areas. However, remember that there’s always room to refine the experience further. A candidate experience survey may work, but see what’s best for your company and take the necessary steps to improve it.