Let’s accept it. Today’s job market is a candidate-driven one. The best talent chooses the employer they wish to work with. A great candidate experience is an integral part of acquiring good talent. It’s no longer a buzzword. How you treat candidates during recruitment influences how they will view your company. Let’s take a closer look at understanding candidate experience.
What is Candidate’s Experience?
Candidate experience can be defined as how the job applicant feels about the employer at the end of the hiring process. For instance, job applicants have a series of interactions with the employer during the hiring process. Right from the recruiter making the phone call to the receptionist at the office, from the application form to the interview scheduling process. In other words, each step leaves an impression of the org on the applicant. Simply put, candidate experience is the sum of experiences at each of these touchpoints.
The candidate experience can include various elements, such as the precision of the job ad, ease of the application process, and professionalism of interviewers.
The bar is set quite high. Job seekers today expect a timely response to their applications, a smooth interview process, and feedback on their results.
Is candidate experience really important for a business?
The answer is a resounding Yes. Poor candidate experience is not just an HR problem. It’s a business problem.
Research shows that candidates who had a bad experience with an employer impacts the company in 3 ways.
1. Loss of top talent
Applicants with negative experience are likely to drop out or reject the offer. In addition, they would discourage others from applying.
2. Employer Reputation and Brand Hit
60% of Applicants with a negative experience leave a critical review on Glassdoor or Social Media. The result is negative word-of-mouth.
3. Unhappy Customers
A negative experience can lead to loss of revenue. Statistics shows that it impacts the business’s ability to sell their services. Moreover, applicants either cancel their subscription or choose to stop purchasing the employer’s products.
Let’s explain this with an example.
Virgin Media – the British telecom company wanted to examine the impact of rejected candidates on their employer brand. However, over 18% of rejected candidates happened to be customer of Virgin Media. But due to a poor candidate experience, over 6% of them cancelled their subscription within a month and moved to a competitor. The business loss caused by poor recruitment experience was calculated to be a shocking USD 5.4 million per year.
Similarly, PepsiCo – the beverage company studied the amount of money with were loosing due to poor hiring experience. It amounted to USD 1.6 million per year.
It’s clear that a poor experience, be it for a customer or a candidate hits the bottom line. Companies can no longer afford the cost of bad candidate experience.
How to improve candidate experience at each stage of the hiring process:
Here are some suggestions for enhancing the applicant experience throughout the hiring process:
Job posting stage:
1. Make sure the position and company culture are accurately represented in the job posting.
2. Keep the job description concise and easy to comprehend.
3. Most importantly, Ensure your job posting is visible and available across several job websites.
1. Make use of an intuitive, mobile-friendly online application system.
2. Make sure the process is efficient and doesn’t demand too much time or work from applicants.
3. Candidates should be provided with a timeline for the subsequent stages of the process and kept updated on its progress.
4. Give candidates a comprehensive timeline for the remainder of the application process and keep them updated on its progress.
1. Firstly, Provide potential employees with a thorough job description.
2. Secondly, Pre-screening questions should be pertinent to the role and not take up too much of their time.
3. Most importantly, Give candidates feedback on the outcomes of their pre-screenings as soon as possible.
1. Get Interviewers Ready by Teaching Them How To Be Friendly, Professional, and Knowledgeful about the Position and Business.
2. Conduct Organized Interviews that Match The Job At Hand And Ask Questions To Assess If Candidates Fit In Successfully.
3. This step helps ensure all interviewers are ready when asked questions by you about a candidate’s qualifications for the role.
4. Provide applicants with comprehensive information about the interview process and what to expect.
1. Provide a clear, comprehensive job posting with compensation, benefits, and other pertinent information.
2. Candidates should receive prompt replies to their applications with comments regarding why they were turned down and how the procedure can be improved moving forward.
3. Contact applicants who have declined an offer to learn more about their reasons for declining the offer so that you can tailor the process accordingly moving forward.
In conclusion, companies can enhance their reputation and attract top talent by optimizing candidate experience at each step of the hiring process. This could lead to greater productivity, staff engagement, and overall corporate success.
8 Best Practices to build a positive Candidate Experience Process
Here are some steps you can take to create an enjoyable candidate experience process:
1. Map Out the Candidate Journey
Carefully map out every step of the candidate journey, from initial contact with your company through the application, interview, and offer stages as it is equally important.
Moreover, it Identify any areas where candidates may experience challenges or irritations along the way and work to improve them.
2. Optimize Your Job Postings
Ensure your job posting accurately reflects the position and company culture, offering a fair overview of the position to maximize its effectiveness.
In addition, it provides information about corporate culture, benefits, and advancement prospects using straightforward language without using jargon.
3. Simplify the application process
Reduce complexity and length by using mobile-friendly forms that streamline it.
In other words, be sure to communicate expectations clearly and provide clear directions throughout each step of the procedure.
4. Provide timely communication
Maintain Effective Communication throughout the Hiring Process.
For Instance, make sure candidates are kept informed on the status of their applications and provided feedback after interviews.
Moreover, utilizing technology to automate communication and notify candidates of the next steps will help ensure effective hiring outcomes.
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5. Use structured interviews
Utilize a methodical interviewing procedure that emphasizes job-related skills and sets candidates’ expectations clearly.
Moreover, teach interviewers how to provide candidates with an enjoyable, interesting experience
6. Personalize interactions
Personalize your communications, address prospects by name, and ensure they feel valued throughout the recruitment process. In Addition, give candidates an opportunity to interact with team members and ask questions.
7. Use technology to enhance the process
Make the process more efficient and engaging by using tools like chatbots, video interviews, and automated candidate screening.
8. Measure and improve
Assess candidate satisfaction with the process, obtain their opinions, and use that feedback to continuously enhance the candidate experience. Moreover, make necessary modifications based on user input and data analysis.
How to measure candidate experience during recruitment?
Measuring candidate experience during recruitment is important to ensure that the recruitment process is effective and positive for all candidates. Here are some ways to measure candidate experience during recruitment:
Formal methods include:
1. Net Promoter Score Surveys (NPS)
The NPS is a formal metric that can be used to measure candidate experience using NPS tools. Moreover, it asks candidates a single question about how likely they are to recommend the company to friends or colleagues on a scale of 1-10. To conclude, NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors (those who scored 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (those who scored 9-10).
2. Hiring Metrics
A number of metrics, especially the drop-off metrics can point to pain in particular stages of a hiring process. By default, drop-off rates point to a long recruitment process and indicate a poor candidate experience. Test Drop-off Rates, Interview No-Shows and Offer Rejection Rates show flaws in specific stages of the hiring process.
Informal methods to measure candidate experience include
Informal conversations with candidates can provide valuable insights into their experience during recruitment. Therefore, Recruiters can ask candidates about their experience during phone or in-person interviews or casual conversations at recruitment events.
2. Social media
Candidates often share their experiences on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Glassdoor. In other words, monitoring these platforms can provide valuable feedback on the recruitment process.
3. Employee Review Portals
Just have a look at the company Glassdoor page. That’s an open view into employee and applicant experience. Most imortantly, candidates with a positive experience during the recruitment process are likely to write something good. Employees are likely to recommend the company to their friends and colleagues.
Both formal and informal methods can provide valuable insights into candidate experience during recruitment. Moreover, companies should combine both to gather as much feedback as possible and improve the recruitment process.
Candidate experience tools to Enhance recruitment
The competition for talent is fierce. You’ve showcased the employer value proposition and got applicants at the top of the funnel. The last thing you’d want is to lose the candidate’s trust. Various HR Tech tools are available to help you with this.
1. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
ATS software is to recruitment teams what CRM is for sales teams. ATS makes sure that no applicant falls through the crack. It streamlines and automates candidate movement through the hiring states. Over 52% of applicants stated that they wanted feedback regarding their interview and overall applicant status. ATS and Talent CRMs (Candidate relation management systems) helps you achieve that. Therefore, It helps to notify candidates of next steps by sending follow-up emails and rejection emails. This improves the candidate’s perception of your company. In addition, it keeps the door open to continue a relationship with the company — even if they don’t get hired.
2. Video Interviewing Platforms
Based on a survey by Indeed, over 82% of hiring managers use Video Interviews as part of their hiring process. It’s easy to understand the reason for that. The convenience and efficiency is much greater than an in-person interview. Therefore, they are 6X more efficient than a phone screening round. After all you get to meet the real person behind the resume. In addition, video interviewing platforms can help reduce the time and costs of scheduling and conducting in-person interviews.
3. Recruitment Chatbots
When searching for a job, applicants can be anxious and inquisitive. Recruitment chatbots are a perfect candidate experience tool in such cases. These chatbots are conversational agents that provide candidates with an efficient communication channel. In addition, they can provide answers to FAQs, company details, share application status and discuss next steps. Today’s AI powered chatbots augment the work of an HR. In addition, they go a long way in increasing applicant conversion.
4. Candidate Rediscovery
Most organizations keep a talent pool or database of all applicants across all jobs. However, this data is kept dormant and not utilized. Candidate rediscovery solutions allows recruiters to reach previous applicants. It mines the data present in the ATS or talent pool. Similarly, take the case of silver medallist candidates, i.e. those applicants who made it to the final round of the hiring process but didn’t get hired. In other words, the reasons for this could vary – from location, salary, or notice period. For instance, use the candidate skill report and interview scorecard pre-stored in the system. However, It finds and enriches relevant profiles of applicants who may fit the roles. Since most data is already captured, it easy to re-connecting with such applicants.
5. Auto-scheduled Interviews
Over 75% of job applicants prefer scheduled interviews rather than phone interviews. The constant back-and-forth emails and telephonic calls can be an operational hassle. In other words, It’s a big factor in increasing candidate drop-offs, as reported in a Xobin survey. However, auto-scheduled interviews eliminate that hassle therefore, It allows the interviewer to connect with the applicant at a mutually convenient time.”Furthermore, incorporating email security measures and utilizing an SPF record checker can ensure that communication during the interview process remains protected, providing an additional layer of safety for both the interviewer and the applicant.”
6. Game-based tests
Recent stats suggest that a prolonged hiring process puts off applicants. Over 42% of applicants get frustrated with boring interview stages. But who doesn’t like games? Recruiters can quickly bring the competitive spirit of games into the recruitment process. That is precisely what game-based tests do. To make recruitment more fun, recruiters have started using gamification in recruitment. For example, Marriott Hotels hosted a game on their FB page. Players ran the virtual hotel by performing tasks to gain points and, thus, move to higher levels. For instance, on hitting certain levels, the game directed applicants to the job application page.
It is important to note that candidate experience starts from the initial engagement all the way through to the acceptance of offer. Gen-Z job seekers have high expectations. It’s imperative that companies keep up with those demands. Therefore, personalization, quick communication and transparent process will go a long with in establishing trust. Above all, trust is the basis of any relationship. Similarly, the same works while creating a good candidate experience.