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With record low unemployment rates, the applicant pool is shallower than ever. Because of this, it is important to not let a good hire get away. According to Joanna Riley, the CEO of Censia, a talent acquisition firm, “the candidate experience is absolutely vital for the company to get the best engagement with top candidates.”
Below are four pieces of advice that help improve the candidate experience.
The job description is a sales pitch
The job description will likely be the first impression a candidate gets of your company. Are you making it count? Focus on including factors like if there is opportunity for growth within your company or if there are unique benefits employees receive. Additionally, the words you use should reflect the personality of the candidate your looking to hire. If you need someone who is capable of making their own decisions and working unsupervised use phrases like, “Are you happiest when not being micro-managed…” or “If you value having independence in the workplace…” If a candidate is naturally wired that way, those phrases will appeal to them and make them more likely to apply. On the flip side, if they are not wired that way, they will move on. This helps ensure you are getting the right candidates out of the gate.
The criteria and job requirements should always come last in a job description because those are not the selling points.
Communication is key
Candidates are likely applying to and interviewing for multiple jobs, so you want to stay at the forefront of their mind. Don’t let long periods go by without any communication. One way to stay in touch is sending automated email responses to candidates who submit applications or inquire about their status in the process.
However you choose to communicate, it’s important to always formerly reject candidates who have made it through the interview process that you don’t plan to hire and tell them why they weren’t the right fit. While this can be uncomfortable, candidates appreciate the honesty and prefer it to being ghosted by a company they’ve been interviewing with. This appreciation makes it more likely for them to refer your company to others or apply for the positions (that they may be a great fit for) in the future.
Make the interview process as stress free as possible. Be upfront about what the process entails (phone interview followed by two in person interviews, etc.) what type of questions the interviewer may ask, who they will be meeting with and what those people’s roles within the company are. By providing that information upfront your putting candidates in a better position to ask thoughtful and informed questions instead of vague or generic ones.
Additionally, employers should be aware of where the candidates are coming from. Schedule interviews around the candidates schedule, not yours. If you’re not willing to work within their schedule you may miss out a great candidate who couldn’t make the interview because they work a full time job already.
Ask for feedback
The best way to learn how you can improve the candidate experience is to gather information directly from the source. An easy way to do this is set up a survey and send it to candidates who reach various point in the application and interview process. You can make the responses anonymous so candidates feel comfortable giving honest feedback. Only collecting data from candidates who received job offers will not accurately reflect the average candidate experience and won’t show you where you can improve.
Following these four pieces of advice can boost your company’s online reputation which is easily accessible to candidates on sites like Glassdoor. And since candidates can and do research what the hiring process is like a most companies, it’s important that your reviews reflect a positive experience.
If you want to prevent great hires from getting away you have to put in the extra effort.