How Does Your Candidate Experience Rank?
In the recruiting world lately, there has been a lot of focus on the importance of candidate experience. I want to draw some parallels between someone looking at your company’s website (aka, user experience), and someone considering accepting your offer for employment (aka, candidate experience).
User experience on your website
In my world, I talk to hiring managers all the time about user experience. When someone comes to your website, is the site set up for success for whatever your business goals are? Do you make it easy for the consumer to find what they’re looking for (B2C)? Or if B2B, do you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry? If this is a user’s first experience with your brand, do you appear credible? Honest? Competent? Can the user find the information they’re looking for within a click or two?
Candidate experience in person
The value that “candidate experience” brings to a company is just as powerful as the brand or user experience on your site. A poor candidate experience can ruin an otherwise great company and employment opportunity. On the other hand, a great candidate experience has the power to give a company that competitive advantage in the hiring marketplace.
Being a recruiter, I get to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. In my own past job searches, I’ve run into this. Sometimes people say they’ll get back to you, and then don’t. Processes can turn from weeks into months. In the past, my preferences have almost always gone to the company that has provided me with the best overall interview experience – the one whose recruiter was responsive and kept me informed throughout all the steps of the process, where the managers were very informative and interactive, and where I felt like I was being treated like a human being rather than “just another resume.”
Offering better candidate experience
So, what can you do if you think your company could be offering a better customer experience?
Consider the communication you have between your hiring managers and recruiters (whether in-house or external). Do you provide training to your hiring managers so they understand these parallels (user experience of a website is similar to a candidate experience in person)? Yes, we get it – you’re busy. But trust me, this will pay off in the long run! You can also look at ways to redesign your website to improve the ways candidates search for jobs and apply to jobs. Here’s a quick article about how to have exceptional website design and usability.
Coming back to the human element…think about how you’ve treated potential hires in the past. Have you truly courted them? Guess what…that person who wasn’t a fit today just might be your rockstar employee 2-3 years from now, and if they had a poor experience with your company the first time around, you can bet that you’ll not only lose out on them, but also their family, their friends, their network. People who have bad experiences aren’t bashful about sharing.
To me, the definition of candidate experience is how a company and its recruiters approach the recruiting process – how they interact with talent, how the talent feels throughout the process, and ultimately how that affects the talent’s decision-making process. It’s up to you to determine your brand’s fate!
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