The Candidate Experience – Part One

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There has been much talk about the ‘candidate experience’ recently – and with good reason. Every communication and interaction between companies and candidates creates an impact, not only between the two parties, but the entire marketplace. Good or bad, it shapes perceptions about a business.

Despite its importance, many businesses don’t list candidate experience too high on their overall strategy. This is a grave error, because building a reputation as a good employer, with a strong employer brand, should be as important as all public relations.

Here are some top tips for creating an effective candidate experience.

Make a decision to use the candidate experience as part of your overall strategy. Realising the importance of the candidate experience is the first step to its development. You invest time and energy into presenting your products and service in the best possible light, so why not do the same for all areas of your company?

Recruiting outstanding talent isn’t an easy process. At times, it can be time-intensive, costly and competitive. Ensuring you provide the best candidate experience is a win-win situation. It is not unheard of for candidates to take roles with lesser-known companies because of their recruitment and interview process.

The candidate experience is more than just an interview. Developing a memorable experience starts from the second a candidates interacts with your company. That can be as simple as browsing your website or social media feeds. Be sure your online media accurately reflects your company and your employer brand.

An interview is a two-way process. Interviewer mistake number one: assuming it’s the candidate’s job to make a good impression, or convince the interviewer that they’re worth hiring. Because of this, interviewers are generally too relaxed or too authoritative – neither will make the candidate feel comfortable. And remember, if candidates get a bad impression of the employer or recruiter, they get a bad impression of the company. Even if you feel a candidate doesn’t want the job or isn’t a good fit for the company, you need to keep up appearances, because it’s essential they leave with the best opinion possible. The best thing to do is consider each candidate as future employees – or better still, future customers.

Get organised. Whether you’re a start-up, SME or large company, organisation – or at least the appearance of it! – is paramount. The recruitment process is often tough and frantic, but that’s no excuse to lose your own or your company’s composure. Doing so is your problem, not the candidates. You can read great tips for interview strategy below this article, but keep a close eye on time-keeping, scheduling and preparing incisive questions.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this article, which will look at transparency, feedback, and much more about the candidate experience. In the meantime, discuss your candidate experience with your recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies should already have an idea of what potential employees think about your company – and all feedback is constructive. You shouldn’t be charged for this information either; modern recruitment agencies will include it in their low-cost, fixed fee.