what is candidate experience?
The client experience is the entirety of an applicant’s dealings with your organisation. It extends beyond obvious metrics like the professionalism of written communications through to timelines, the simplicity of the application process and even the calibre of workspace the organisation can lay claim to.
how to measure candidate experience.
The first and most obvious way to measure the candidate experience is by requesting feedback - on the application process itself, at a face-to-face interview, and after an offer is made (or an unsuccessful applicant is given the bad news). However, it’s also possible to track many other statistics which can collectively point to a bad candidate experience:
- A high abandonment rate: This suggests a poor application process. Consider whether you’re making candidates tackle too many stages or provide too much information; perhaps the levels of communication aren’t adequate or the process takes too long.
- A low job offer acceptance rate: If the candidate experience has been underwhelming (aggressive interview techniques or long delays, for instance), candidates may decide to turn down an offer. Low pay and poor benefits might also pose a barrier to acceptance.
why you need to provide a great candidate experience.
As an employer, you want to recruit the best candidates in today’s market. That’s a tougher task than in previous years, with high employment levels reducing talent pools and desperate employers making counter offers to retain wantaway personnel. The candidate experience is usually an applicant’s first significant engagement with your brand or business, so you don’t want them to come away frustrated, disappointed, or disdainful.
A strong candidate experience helps to mitigate and minimise the risk of candidates dropping out of the process, for any of the reasons listed above. Dropouts are especially frustrating for the HR team involved, because they’ve shortlisted someone (often at the expense of other applicants) who then leaves a hole in the process by withdrawing. If you’re dealing with small pools of interviewees, one person’s departure can radically reduce your likelihood of being able to make a considered choice.
On the opposite side of this coin, a great candidate experience will mean applicants are more likely to accept any job offer that comes their way. This saves time and often money, eliminating the need to re-advertise a position or negotiate a higher remuneration package with your first-choice candidate to persuade them to set aside their concerns and say yes.
how to improve the candidate experience.
It should be obvious by now how important the candidate experience is. These are some of the key steps any company should adopt, regardless of industry, size, or candidate expectations:
1. Explain early on what the recruitment process involves. Be realistic and honest - disappointment is a difficult emotion to supplant once it takes root!
2. Draft an accurate job description. Don’t oversell responsibility or get bogged down in industry jargon. Keep it short and punchy, with a full list of employment benefits.
3. Minimise the number of stages involved. Design a recruitment process that helps you understand what you need to know about each applicant with the least stress for them. Try and keep the number of stages to a minimum.
4. Keep in touch at every stage. Don’t assume candidates are passively waiting for your call - they might be on tenterhooks waiting for updates.
5. Be diligent about written communications. An interview invite with an applicant’s name misspelled or the wrong interview location undermines any sense of professionalism.
6. Make sure your process is consistent. Everyone who engages with candidates should deliver a high-quality experience. This also extends to automated communications.
7. Survey candidates for feedback after interviews. A frank discussion about individual recruitment experiences should be built into your organisation’s onboarding process.
8. Ask new employees to participate in an honest review of their own candidate experiences - and pay close attention to what they tell you.
It’s also worth noting that hireful provides webinars and workshops teaching HR professionals and in-house recruiters how to deliver a standout candidate experience at no cost. Get in touch with us for more information.