Not only is a positive candidate experience vital to attract talent, it's also critical from a reputation standpoint. Given the power of social media, candidates who share poor experiences online can cause significant damage to both the corporate brand and employer brand. Conversely, great experiences that are shared online can have a positive effect.
There are many steps to create a positive candidate experience, but here are three key ingredients for success.
1. Open communication
It's critical to keep candidates updated on your process and your decision. When candidates don't hear back in a timely fashion, they often move on to other opportunities, sometimes carrying negative emotions about the process if left in the dark.
Communicate with the candidate throughout the process and provide council to them as needed. Clearly explain next steps and when they can expect to hear back from you. Advise them early on if they're not going to be part of the short list, speaking with them weekly and sometimes daily throughout the search.
2. A positive interview experience
The interview is perhaps the most vital interaction a candidate has with a prospective employer. According to a LinkedIn survey, 83% of candidates surveyed said a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. Conversely, 87% of those surveyed said a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.
A positive interview experience is simply a matter of respect. It starts with the courtesy of being on time for the interview and thanking them for participating when it's over.
3. The human touch
While technology is transforming HR and the hiring process is becoming increasingly automated, the human touch is still critically important. A personalised approach will make candidates feel like they truly matter and keep them engaged, which will help an organization stand out in the candidate's mind.
Infuse every interaction with a personal touch. For example, help new hires with the offer negotiation process and serve as a sounding board to them, as well as an advisor. Also, follow up with new hires on their integration into the company and meet with them 30 days into their new role for a coaching and feedback session.
Adapted from "Why The Candidate Experience Matters More Than Ever - And How To Improve It" by Howard Pezim, Partner, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Bedford Consulting Group Inc.