Unlock the potential of your hiring process with 9 expert tips to improve candidate experience. Elevate your employer brand.
Unlock the potential of your hiring process with 9 expert tips to improve the candidate experience. Elevate your employer brand.

The job market is more competitive than ever. Organizations are battling for a limited pool of candidates, so standing out is crucial in attracting top talent. Communicating what truly distinguishes your company can help attract promising job candidates, and one of the best ways to stand out in a competitive job market is a positive candidate experience.

Why is Candidate Experience important?

The contemporary business landscape is experiencing a “Talent War,” where companies compete with other companies to attract top-tier employees. Employees have many options, making the job market more competitive than ever. When offering a job, candidates prefer companies that fulfill their professional goals while also allowing time for personal life.

Top employees assess the overall recruitment experiences they gain in a company – from the initial interaction to the job offer – to decide whether to accept the offer. So, when you evaluate a candidate, they also evaluate your company to know if it is a good fit for them. In fact, 75% of candidates accepted a company’s offer due to positive candidate experiences.

In addition to candidates wanting to work for you, a smooth job application process attracts them to your organization’s story and ultimately makes them more loyal employees.

How to improve your candidate experience

Enhancing the overall journey of your recruitment process demands a meticulous examination of each phase involved. Through this methodical assessment, opportunities for refinement become apparent. It’s imperative to recognize that the manner in which you communicate with candidates between various stages significantly influences their overall perception.

Viewed from the candidate’s perspective, the hiring process can be a nerve-wracking journey fraught with uncertainty. While aspiring to secure the position, candidates often grapple with deciphering the qualities sought in an ideal team member, intensifying their apprehension. Surveys conducted in the United States reveal that a staggering 93% of job seekers experience heightened anxiety during interviews.

Crafting an exceptional candidate experience serves as a means of alleviating this stress, empowering candidates to showcase their talents and attributes confidently. While no one-size-fits-all approach exists to achieve this, several key elements can be incorporated to ensure a remarkable experience.

Below are nine pivotal yet frequently overlooked facets that enhance your candidate experience.

1: Nurture your online presence

As you can see, most touchpoints occur online. Candidates search for companies that interest them and stay up-to-date with their news. This is called inbound recruitment.

Inbound recruitment is a strategic approach aimed at actively acquiring qualified candidates in a targeted manner by building a strong employer brand and utilizing digital marketing techniques. As part of inbound recruitment, the company produces and distributes high-quality content online to showcase its organizational culture, values, exciting projects, and employee benefits. Using these channels, the company naturally attracts candidates who feel aligned with its vision and work environment.

Inbound recruitment aims to position the company as an employer of choice, arousing the interest of potential candidates and encouraging them to spontaneously apply. In this context, a career-focused website is essential for candidates. Here, they expect to find all relevant information about your internal organization. Above all, you need to be where the candidates are: on social networks. You can prioritize specific channels, depending on the target group (profiles you are looking for) and internal resources.

2: Write an effective job advertisement

In addition to this constant presence, it is crucial to develop specific recruitment campaigns. It starts with creating an attractive job offer and then disseminating it on all job portals and your career page.

The job offering stage is crucial. You must convince the candidate to apply for a particular position. Your employee value proposition is your best weapon. The advertisement itself is a small spark that will make candidates want to apply to you. In fact, these are all the elements you have highlighted in your inbound recruitment strategy.

Yet every company has great things to highlight. Start by defining your EVP (Employee Value Position) and translating it into an attractive job offer, keeping in a tone consistent with your brand. Talk about your culture, your values, the work environment, after-work activities, the atmosphere, and especially about the salary. This second solution is a real differentiator for employers for 2 reasons: (1) you can offer a higher salary than the competition (2) you show candidates that your salary policy is 100% transparent.

3: Communicate in a personalized way

When communicating with candidates, strive to maintain clarity, precision, and transparency at every stage of the recruitment process. Prefer a personalized approach. For example, you can greet candidates by name, mention the strong points of their application, and clearly explain the next steps in the process. Show them that you consider them unique and valuable individuals for your company.

Automated emails can save valuable time. In fact, these are email message templates, pre-defined depending on the stage of the process you are at, and which can still be customized.

4: Simplify the application process

Nothing discourages a candidate more than a long and complicated application process. So forget about cover letters and any frictions that can reduce a candidate’s likelihood of applying.

The more you facilitate for candidates, the more qualifying applications you will receive. Candidates hired before applying already have doubts about a potential change, and too much effort can discourage them from making this decision.

On the contrary, if criteria are absolutely necessary, avoid wasting the candidate’s time and yours. Set pre-selection questions (about languages, qualifications, experience level…) to save candidates outside the scope from unnecessary disappointment.

5: Treat the interview as an exchange (not an interrogation)

The interview is a key stage. It’s the perfect time to convey the company culture and establish a personal bond with the candidate.

From the very beginning of the conversation, try to create a nice and friendly atmosphere. Greet the candidate warmly, if they want, offer them something to drink and reassure them before starting the discussion.

Use the interview as an opportunity to talk about the company culture and its core values. Instead of just listing points, share real-life stories that illustrate how these values are applied daily in the company. On the other hand, actively encourage the candidate to ask questions about the company, the team, the position, or anything else that interests them. This demonstrates that you value their opinion and want to dispel their concerns.

Check out the article about interview bias and tips to avoid it!

6: Shorten the waiting time

Waiting time can be crucial for the candidate experience. Strive to reduce delays between the various stages of the recruitment process. When a candidate applies, remember to give them an estimated time for considering their application. Regular and transparent communication throughout the process maintains candidates’ interest and engagement. A long wait for the next stage or feedback is one of the most common mistakes made by recruiters. Read more about the most common mistakes in Candidate Experience actions.

7: Provide constructive feedback

After each stage of the recruitment process, take some time to provide detailed feedback to candidates, regardless of whether they were selected or not. This constructive feedback allows candidates to learn and develop. Clearly explain the reasons for your decision and give them tips on improving their applications in the future. Your attention and investment in the professional development of candidates will leave a positive and lasting impression.

8: Ask the candidate for feedback

To continually refine your recruitment process, don’t hesitate to ask candidates about their experience. This extends the conversation and puts you on equal footing: “I give you my opinion, but I also want yours!”

Use a Candidate Experience survey to collect feedback about the strengths and areas requiring improvement in the recruitment process.

9: Take care of good onboarding!

The fact that a candidate has been hired does not mean that the experience is over. Onboarding is the transition from candidate to employee. You need to be well-prepared to welcome the new employee to ensure successful onboarding.

Check The Top 5 Metrics for Measuring Candidate Experience.

Creating an exceptional Candidate Experience is an investment in a positive company image and the ability to attract top talent. Strive for transparency, communication, and personalization so that every candidate feels valued and motivated to further cooperate with your organization.