People remember you most for how you made them feel. In the consumer-driven world, emotions are the catalyst why consumers talk about their experiences. The same goes in recruitment, with potential hires only a click away from sharing their candidate experience. Talking or asking about experiences is human nature, and you owe it to your recruitment branding to make sure candidates only have the best words about your agency.
The 5 Elements of Candidate Experience
While managing the hiring process might mean tweaking every nut and bolt, changes don’t have to start simultaneously in a granular way. Your recruiters can take a wider view first and start thinking about the elements of candidate experience strategically. Putting a premium on these aspects of the recruitment experience would bode well in compelling your potential hires to speak highly about your agency.
1. Communication: Keep it open, constant, and succinct.
Applicants expecting to be called anytime for an interview could be on edge when it comes to information about the hiring process. Chances are, if they don’t understand details sent to them or don’t have time to go over long, confusing instructions, they’ll opt to jump to the next job opening. This only means that communicating to potential hires is critical for having a good head start in properly executing the elements of candidate experience.
When sending emails, a three-paragraph limit with succinct sentences won’t bore candidates. This will help them easily pick up important information in a matter of minutes. Begin with the “we’ve received your application” email to inform the candidate they made it into the process. And every time the candidate is moving a step forward, emails explaining the next stage help keep the applicant well-informed and attentive to what they should expect. Also, make sure there are more ways for candidates to reach out to the agency for questions. Social media chats can be a good means to communicate, but a phone call might be more comforting, knowing that an actual person is listening to them.
2. Surprises: Delight your candidate with small acts.
Throw in an element of surprise into your candidate experience by thinking of ways to divert your applicants’ minds from the seriousness of job applications. They can be in a stressful time trying to change careers or finding ways to provide for their families, so they will greatly appreciate some acts of goodwill for sure.
When they arrive for an interview, assign a staff member to act as their concierge for whatever they need: getting a drink of water, giving directions, etc. You may also leave a bowl of candies or treats they can snack on while waiting. Once the interview is done, ask if they need help finding a way home or even escort them out of the building so they won’t get lost.
Sending some positivity in a virtual setting will require some creativity. During testing, drop in on your applicants to ask how they are doing and give them a quick progress check. After an online interview, send a text message to thank them for their time and tell them that you are rooting for them to get the job. Potential hires will then see you and your team of recruiters not as people to impress but as fellow professionals who want them to succeed. This makes your recruitment brand more human.
3. Customer Service: Involve everyone in the candidate experience.
You may think that the recruitment experience is only centered on interviews and communications. However, an applicant’s scathing online review may also stem from a receptionist who sounded rude on the phone or an office custodian who didn’t respond to a cheerful “good morning.”
While these are not really connected to hiring, they equate to a bad candidate experience because, in the end, it still speaks to how the candidates were treated. So, from the person greeting them at the door to whoever sees them out, make sure everyone knows and practices good customer service.
Go beyond reminding your office staff to “be kind to guests.” Your staff would appreciate simple customer service refresher sessions as they get better at treating potential hires. They’ll see this as an opportunity for professional growth too, and you’ll notice that they won’t be polite to applicants just because they were trained to do so but because they know they are valued. This appreciation will ultimately trickle down to the reviews that happy applicants will post online.
4. Rejection: Inform applicants right away.
Remember that your potential hires are individuals waiting for good news to show up on their phones or emails. But that is not always the case, as some applicants won’t be the right fit for the jobs your agency is filling out. In such cases, a way to improve candidate experience is to tell them it’s time to move on. Sure it’s bad news, but applicants would rather be informed to no longer wait than to be left waiting in the dark.
Send rejection emails right away. While some staffing firms prefer the route of having an expiry time frame when the applicant is no longer in the running, being informed gives candidates a better feeling of closure rather than not being told at all.
And yes, you must inform all candidates, regardless of where they are in the hiring process. From the applicant who failed the initial testing to that one who missed the final interview, all must get a rejection email. Tell someone they didn’t make it as soon as you get the news because the longer they wait, the higher chances they would log a bad review about your recruitment agency.
5. Feedback: Ask and learn how you can improve the elements of candidate experience you provide.
To round up, the elements of candidate experience are powerful in improving your recruiter brand. All candidates who went through your recruitment process have valuable input on the ideal candidate experience, so it’s important that you ask for a review right away while they are still fresh from the hiring process. Immediately soliciting a review also helps the potential hire set aside their sentiments from being hired or not.
Learn How to Strengthen Your Candidate Experience
Need a tool for proactively asking for reviews? Let Great Recruiters help you. The #1 experience and reputation management platform, Great Recruiters can send feedback requests to candidates in real-time as they step out of the hiring process.
But more than just gathering data, our reputation management software for recruiters can sort findings based on elements of candidate experience, letting your firm rectify issues right away for the next set of candidates. Great Recruiters can also help you identify positive reviews to publish on your social media handles for future clients to read and consider in case they’ll need your services.
Sounds like a lot of work to set up? No problem. Great Recruiters can have their systems running for your firm in 48 hours. This also includes briefing and tutorials on how to navigate the platform.