Why Candidate Experience is Important For Companies to Focus on in Today’s Job Market

Rhonda Howell —  January 4, 2017 — Leave a comment

The candidate experience should be a high priority to companies today with the increasingly competitive labor market. The candidate experience constitutes every interaction that a company has with a candidate during the entire recruiting marketing and hiring process.

According to CareerArc “Nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.” Therefore, it is important that companies keep the candidate experience top of mind at all times and keep yourself in the job seekers shoes with every step of the recruiting and hiring process.

In November 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the national unemployment rate declined to 4.6%. With the lower unemployment rate this puts the candidate back in the driver’s seat which gives the candidate a wide variety of career opportunities to choose from when seeking a new job. One bad candidate experience with your company can make a top candidate not apply for any open positions with your company in the future.

Here are some important areas to focus on during the recruiting and hiring process.

Communication

Communication is probably the single most important aspect of the entire candidate experience throughout the recruiting and hiring process. Good communication throughout the entire recruiting and hiring process is key from the recruiting marketing to the final interview to the last step of making an offer or rejection is essential for the candidate to walk away with a positive experience. It is essential that your top candidates know where they are at in the recruiting process therefore a Hiring Manager needs to be consistent with their  communications. Once candidates have been phone screened let them know if they are moving on in the recruiting process to the next step of an in-person interview. If you have decided not to move forward with a candidate, politely send them an email letting them know that they are no longer being considered for the role and thank them for their interest in the company. Some companies will have multiple rounds of in-person interviews which will take weeks to facilitate the interview process so communicate the next steps after each interview if the candidate will be passed along to the next interview. One big mistake that many companies will make is not to follow-up with a candidate once they have reached the stage to the final interviews. This lack of communication will definitely leave a bad impression on the candidate in which they may no longer have an interest in working for your organization in the future. Remember that candidates are heavily invested once they get to the interview phase and the candidate’s time is valuable in which some candidates are taking time off of work to pursue this new career opportunity.

Positive candidate experienceOnce the candidate has been considered qualified for the role and is seriously being pursued by the organization you should make sure that you send the candidates customized emails. Communicate clearly as to what stage in the recruiting process they are in and always personalize the message.

Candidate Interactions

Each interaction that the company has with a candidate is very important and one bad interaction can leave a lasting negative impression. In the age of social media bad reviews spread faster than good reviews. Each candidate interaction over the phone and in-person is key to a positive candidate experience. Some candidates may have negative experiences if they are not greeted warmly by the receptionists, or if they are left waiting in the lobby too long before the interview, or if the Manager was distracted and not very attentive during the interview. Therefore, every company should think about these small things during the candidate recruiting process and ensure that every touch with the candidate is professional, timely and positive.

Candidate Drop Off

Every company has their unique recruiting process. Some companies recruiting process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months depending upon how many interviews, assessments, skill tests and background checks the candidate must withstand. Typically the candidate drop off can be anywhere from 60% to 90%. This will depend largely on how long the recruiting process takes, timely communication during the recruiting process and the number of people in your candidate pool. Also keep in mind that top candidates are in huge demand so they will not stay on the job market for long. If you have a large candidate pool expect that the drop off rate will be fairly significant. It is imperative that your company implements a streamlined recruiting process that takes a candidate seamlessly through the process in a reasonable amount of time.

Companies will invest a lot of time and resources recruiting throughout the year to meet the goals and objectives of the company. Lastly, here are a few recruiting statistics from officevibe.com that your company should consider when developing and streamlining the recruiting process. On average it will take 27 working days for a company to make a new hire. Keeping this in mind will help you plan accordingly for each role that you may need to hire for. When it comes to candidate experience 66% of candidates believe that all interactions with current employees are the best way to get insight into a company. Therefore, every touch that the candidate has with a potential employee should be positive because it will leave a lasting impression and will affect your employer brand and reputation.

Rhonda Howell

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Rhonda is an Account Manager. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and has a diverse background in sales, marketing, and teaching Business to undergraduate college students. In her free time she enjoys volunteering her time and talents to her church and other non-profit organizations.

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