As discussed in our previous blog post, your employment brand is made up of your organizations overall reputation as a place of work. Sure, employees’ perceptions can help build a strong reputation, but if those looking in from the outside aren’t feeling loved, then your company may have a problem.
What we’re alluding to here is ‘Candidate Experience’ and its importance in building a strong employment brand. Why should your company care about what candidates think? Here are two examples to shed some light:
Candidate A: Company takes a long time to return Candidate A’s application and the entire process is generally a communication disaster. The interview process is long, unorganized, and includes more than a few interviews with untrained interviewers. Candidate A still is unsure of the culture of the organization, and why anyone should choose to work there.
Result: Candidate A expresses concerns to friends, family, social networks, and works negatively against the company reputation.
Candidate B: Company moves quickly when in communication with Candidate B. Candidate B feels valued, welcomed, and well informed about the organization they have applied and interviewed with. The company interview process was smooth and placed value on the candidate’s needs. Candidate has a clear understanding of company culture, values, and why employees choose to stay.
Result: Candidate B would be excited to work at the company, and even if not hired, would express their positive experiences with anyone asking.
How can your organization start paying attention to, or increase candidate experience? Well, the above section gave some of it away (shoot), but here are 15 ways:
- Make your ‘Careers’ section easy to find: If your candidate can’t find a careers page, then it might as well not exist.
- Employment applications shouldn’t ask for an autobiography: We know, information is important. Keep it to a minimum and make sure the questions you’re asking are relevant. Consider using the “apply with Linkedin” button to make it easier on candidates.
- Respond to candidates quickly: We aren’t saying that you get back to each candidate within 24 hours, but put a system in place to help you keep track of candidates and respond within an acceptable time. Take it a step further by committing to a timeframe to get back to candidates. Sage commits to 20 days or less.
- Simplify the Interview Process: You do not need to bring a candidate in three or more times to make sure they are “the one”. Look to simplify, possibly by incorporating a panel or maybe a live video interview for the first round.
- Include a recruiting video on your careers page: Inform your candidates through video. Showcase current employees to demonstrate the benefits of working there and your company culture. For clever ideas, view some successful recruiting videos.
- Share information about the interview team: Don’t make it a secret who your candidates are interviewing with. Their comfort will go a long way.
- Provide a short tour when candidates arrive: Take them on a quick walk around the floor, or take a few wrong turns on the way to the interview room. They’ll enjoy seeing their possible future office and team.
- Be on time: Following a schedule gives candidates a look into what they can expect if hired on.
- Introduce innovation: Show candidates you’re ahead of the curve and introduce technology into the hiring process. A pre-recorded video screen is one example.
- Hire and reject with respect: Sending an offer letter is great, but send your candidates next steps to follow with clear direction for the onboarding process. When rejecting candidates, make sure to send them a rejection letter and answer their questions if they have any.
What are some other strategies for improving candidate experience?