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6 Ways To Improve The Candidate Experience

Recruitment Article

QTI Executive Search Director, Karla Morschhauser, shares 6 tips for improving the candidate experience.

As a recruiter, I am dedicated to providing candidates with an exceptional experience from initial recruitment efforts through onboarding. I just won’t have it any other way, and the benefits are many.

A positive candidate experience will help an employer stand out from the crowd of hiring companies and even leave a non-selected candidate with warm feelings about the company, whereby they may entertain a future position. With a negative candidate experience, it is almost guaranteed that their experience is being shared with friends, families, and maybe even on social media, leaving you at risk for a poor employer brand.

Once an offer is made, the candidate experience does not end.  Keep the lines of communication open. Use the time between offer and start date as an opportunity to make the employee feel like they are already a part of the organization.  This is also a great time to send a congratulatory or welcome note, provide first-day instructions, and check in with them before their first day.

Here are six additional tips for improving the candidate experience.

  1. Know your employee value proposition and share it with candidates. Specifically, have a strong understanding of what your company offers related to pay, benefits, brand, career progression, flexibility offerings, values, and more.

  2. Write clear job descriptions and postings. I often see long job descriptions that are more like a novel than a job posting. Yes, there are instances where more details are needed, but in most cases, short scannable content easily viewed on a mobile device is critical to making your job postings stand out.

  3. Use unbiased language. You might not even realize that the language in your job postings contains biases. Words like competitive, assertive, and dominant tend to be more masculine-focused, whereas terms like concerned, pleasant, and nurturing are more feminine. Instead, consider using neutral descriptions such as exceptional, motivated, and team-focused.

  4. Don’t ghost your candidates.  Communication is vital to the candidate experience – from start to finish. Let them know you have received their application, provide updates on where they are in the process, and close the loop if you are declining the candidate. Don’t leave them hanging, wondering what happened.

  5. Act with a sense of urgency. In today’s market, candidates are often considering multiple job opportunities. If you have a long-drawn-out hiring process, you risk losing top candidates to other companies. If a lengthy process can’t be avoided, communicate the next steps and expected timing with the candidate.

  6. Give the candidate your full attention during the interview. It is easy to get distracted by buzzing phones or email notifications. Silence your devices so you can fully focus on the candidate. If you plan to take notes, let the candidate know so they understand why you are typing away on your laptop or quickly writing notes.

Turn a great candidate experience into a great employee experience. On the employee’s first day, give them a warm welcome by offering a company tour, introducing them to coworkers, and providing an agenda for training, onboarding, and similar tasks. If possible, add something extra to the day, like a “swag bag”  or welcome lunch.

Remember, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” Make sure the impression you are leaving is an exceptional one.

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