Creating A Good Candidate Experience

How can businesses create a better candidate experience?

The market is going crazy at the moment. Businesses are hiring in every industry and people on the search for a new role are in a great position. But where do you stand as a business? What are you doing to stand out above the rest? Read on for our top tips on how you can create a better candidate experience, to ensure you secure the people you want!

Why is a good candidate experience important?

Word of mouth is huge! Creating a good impression on anyone that interviews with you will strengthen your brand and in turn, increase the number of applications you receive. Around 30% of our placements come from referrals, so creating a good candidate experience can increase your candidate pool significantly!
On the reverse of this, people by nature love to moan! If a candidate has a bad experience, it is much more likely they will spread negative opinions on the business and the process.

Speedy Processes.

With the speed of the market, it is essential to move quickly when securing the best people. In the current climate, it is not efficient to have five interview stages, as it is more than likely that your competitors will be making offers after three. If it is vital for a potential new hire to meet with multiple members of the team, sync up diaries and lengthen the interview time, from 30 minutes to an hour for example.
Another way you can speed up your process is by having set interview days. For example, pick a day when you will set aside time just for interviewing candidates and ensure everyone has a clear diary. You can have different members of the team meeting with different candidates at the same time and make decisions at the end of the day. Quick feedback for candidates and efficient way for you all to speak with candidates, keeping your thoughts on each fresh in your mind to make the right decision.

Cutting out tasks.

From my experience, tasks never leave a great impression on a candidate. With people already working 8/9 hours a day, to then go home and spend hours on a task can be quite daunting and tends to be one of the main reasons people drop out of processes.
I can appreciate sometimes they are necessary. For example, for a client facing role where you need to evaluate someone’s presentation skills or a tech hire who needs a specific tech stack. Nevertheless, there are ways around that.
For starters, you could have a custom template ready to send to candidates presenting. This means all candidates will have the same information to go off of and you can assess who presented it best and how they interpret the information in front of them. Another way to shorten this part of the process is to get candidates to pitch their current offering. This way, neither you nor the candidate need to get anything prepared!
For tech hires, a great way around at-home tests, is to have a task integrated into one of the interviews. You could facilitate a whiteboard exercise to engage with the candidate one-on-one. As an added bonus, this allows you to witness their thought process first-hand.

Provide information.

When inviting candidates to interview, share as much information as you can around what they should expect. For example, share information on the interview styles of your employees, as they can vary massively. If a candidate goes into their first call with someone who is really chatty and friendly, and then the next call is with someone more direct, this can throw them off and prevent them from performing to the best of their ability. If they know what to expect going into the call, they will be able to prepare more effectively and show their true potential.
Another great way to get a candidate engaged is to share useful preparation materials with them. Almost like a guide to your business. Add in things like your values, new projects they would be working on, recent news on funding/new clients etc. Of course, you want candidates to do their own research, but giving candidates a small snippet of information will highlight those that go extra mile.

Provide Feedback.

This is one of the most important things when creating a good candidate experience. Whether you’re working with a candidate directly or through a recruiter, it is important to give a clear reason as to why someone is a yes or a no. When providing positive feedback, it highlights what you are looking for and your expectations for candidates should they join the business. When it is negative feedback, it allows candidates to go away and work on the areas they may have fallen short.
I can appreciate sometimes it might be that you liked someone else slightly more, but in this instance, it is still important to provide a detailed reason as to why. Again, this helps unsuccessful candidate know where they need to improve to reach the next level in their careers.

To summarise.

In summary, a good candidate experience is essential when hiring top talent for your business. Hiring can sometimes be seen as a one-way process, but it’s important to make candidates want to work with you. Creating a well-structured, informative, and enjoyable interview process is one way of doing so. Providing detailed feedback on unsuccessful candidates also leaves a lasting impression, and although they may not be perfect at the time, they could be for the future.
If you’ve made it this far, I hope the above has been useful and has given you some good ideas on what to implement into your interview processes. For any further information or advice, the team here at Zelo are always on hand!