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How to Improve the Candidate Experience

June 10th, 2021

candidate experience

3 min read

The global pandemic changed the way that organizations are onboarding candidates as virtual interviewing becomes the new norm. Nearly 86% of organizations are currently conducting virtual interviews during their hiring process as in-person recruitment has been limited. With the shift to virtual interviews, prioritizing the candidate experience during the hiring process is essential now more than ever for organizations. 

A candidate going through the hiring process and having a great experience with an organization.

In today's job market, the candidate pool is getting more competitive. With unemployment up 32.4% compared to February 2020, top-tier candidates are still looking to recover from the layoffs that occurred because of the pandemic. Creating an experience that is both positive and enjoyable for a potential candidate during the hiring process is one of the first steps your organization can take to provide a positive first impression. 

Candidates want to feel valued and appreciated from the moment they fill out an application, to when they receive a final decision from your HR department. 

This blog post will cover how you can improve your candidate experience by incorporating these tips into your next virtual interview.

Be transparent about your recruiting process

It's no secret that the hiring process can be a difficult one. It takes time, money, and resources to find the right employees for your company. Not only can hiring be a challenge for many organizations as they are looking for the perfect candidate, but it can also be an anxiety-ridden time for job seekers. 

Candidates with question marks in front of faces

CareerBuilder found that 83% of candidates say employers could improve their experience if they gave information about the recruiting process. Applicants tend to struggle when employers are not transparent after the initial interview and are then left waiting, and relentlessly checking their inboxes, hoping for a response back. Here are some ways you can be transparent with your candidates during the hiring process:

The more transparent you can be with candidates during the interview process, the better experience they will have and the more likely they are to think highly of your organization. 

Make the Interview Human 

In almost every hiring process, you will need to have some kind of interaction with the candidate. Whether it be through email, a phone conversation, or a virtual interview. 

Throughout this process,  it is important that you build an authentic rapport with the applicant and make them feel valued. With the shift to a digital landscape and more applicants applying than ever before, it can be easy to get overwhelmed with the number of resumes you receive for a job opening. But, it’s important to know that the applicants are humans and just like you, could have experienced a difficult time in the past year and a half. 

Be authentic and empathetic during the hiring process, as it will allow you to build a genuine connection with a potential employee. Here are some questions you can ask during an interview in order to make it more personable and learn more about the candidate: 

Interview list of 3 questions

Video interviewing is a great resource for hiring, as it makes it more convenient and saves time. Taking the time to consider the user experience for your candidates can mean smoother interviews and more detailed information gathered about potential new hires.

Provide Helpful Feedback

Communicating effectively with candidates can easily increase their positive perceptions of your organization. When candidates feel as if they are a priority during the hiring process, it allows them to feel valued by the organization and gives them encouragement to want to work for your company in the future. One of the ways that you can improve the candidate experience is by streamlining communication and providing feedback on their interview. 

According to LinkedIn hiring statistics, 94% of potential employees want to receive interview feedback. Even if you did not hire a candidate, it is important to provide feedback because it will make them feel like their time wasn’t wasted and if they weren’t a fit, then this gives you the opportunity to help them find a better opportunity that aligns with their skill set. 

TalentSoft recommends you follow this formula when providing feedback

  • Thanks - Never forget to genuinely thank a candidate for their time. 
  • Strengths - Give specific examples of what the candidate did well during the interview. 
  • Areas for improvement - Share specific examples of things you felt were missing in their experience and/or responses and phrase them in a way that the candidate can learn from.
  • Advice/next steps - Provide the candidate with the advice and explain what they can do moving forward to help with their next interview. 

Feedback can turn a good candidate experience into an amazing one. It doesn’t take much - just some constructive and thought-provoking questions that help candidates feel heard, appreciated and acknowledged. 

Summary

The candidate experience is a critical element in the success of your company. You should go above and beyond to make them feel valued, respected, and appreciated for their time.

When they leave your interview feeling engaged with what you have to offer and confident that it’s worth investing their energy into, not only will they be more likely to accept an offer but could also recommend others who might be valuable assets down the line. 

If you want to attract better talent and ensure they remain happy once they’ve been hired, it is critical that the candidate experience be a positive one. This begins with transparency when communicating what candidates can expect during the interview process, as well as being genuine in how questions are asked. In addition, providing constructive feedback after an interview will help ensure that candidates leave feeling valued and eager for another opportunity.

Stay connected to us on our social media channels to stay up-to-date with more HR and hiring tips!

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