Improving the candidate experience

Many candidates complain of a poor experience when going through the job application process. A negative candidate experience can be costly – good quality candidates will be put off, possibly telling others not to apply, and may even boycott your goods or services.

Companies can improve the experience with some simple, inexpensive steps. Why not make 2018 the year you make your company more attractive to candidates? Lucy at RecruitAbility shares some advice on how to improve the candidate experience.

Candidates want plenty of information – on the company, on the role and on the application process. Before starting the recruitment process check the content on the company website and social media channels to make sure that your business and culture are explained clearly. Make sure your website is mobile-enabled. Make the application itself as simple as possible - having to complete a lengthy questionnaire as well as sending a CV and covering letter can be unappealing – and give clear instructions on how to complete it.

Create a job description that includes all the details candidates want – salary, benefits, day-to-day responsibilities, starting date and required skills and experience. Describe the application process so that candidates will know how many interviews there are likely to be and how long the process will take.

Communicate well - candidates absolutely hate poor communication. Acknowledge receipt of applications. Respond to questions, particularly on social media, where failure to do so can damage your company’s reputation quickly. Let people know when their application is unsuccessful – not just those who have come in for interview (they should receive a call), but those who are rejected at earlier stages. If you have too many applicants to email each one personally then create a well-written automated email. You can find some examples here

Provide constructive feedback - be honest with your candidates, especially when rejecting them. It will help them improve their prospects for future applications.

At the interview stage give candidates a tour of your office - introduce them to key members of staff and make them feel welcome. Streamline your application process so candidates do not have to go through endless rounds of interviews or wait weeks for news.

Many companies in the UK are still not taking steps to improve their candidate experience. If you put some thought into it this year you could make your business stand out from the crowd as an excellent employer.

Hiring a good recruitment agency can help you significantly improve your candidate experience. See here for our last blog about the positive aspects of using agencies.

Posted on Thursday Feb 15