Creating a Great Candidate Experience: You Can’t Afford Not To

candidate experience

With the rise way things are going in the IT talent pool it is now extremely important to create a great candidate experience. When companies and recruiters work together to attract the best talent, sometimes the candidate experience falls to the back of their mind while they focus on bringing in people quickly. However, ensuring an excellent process should be a central part of the agenda as the reputation of a company is a driving force in today’s IT job market. When the talent pool is scarce, keeping candidates happy is vital.

The interviewing process is stressful for both sides, there’s no two ways about it. The candidate is investing a lot of time and effort into securing a new role, while a company invests a lot of resources into attracting top talent. Why have candidates walk away disillusioned, or even worse have a great candidate turn down an offer based on their experience?

We are going to go through a few aspects that should be adopted to ensure a seamless experience regardless of interview outcomes for all your candidates.

1. Welcoming Interview

Long gone are the days of stuffy interviews where candidates subject themselves to an interrogation willingly. The interview should be a chance for both sides to find out more about each other and pitch themselves as the best choice. Candidates don’t respond well to being made to feel as though the company is doing them a favour; it’s a two-way street now and you’re both trying to impress. The culture and vibe of your company will also transpire through the way your interviewers conduct themselves so make sure it’s in line with your ethos.

There’s also nothing worse than a candidate playing a logistics guessing game, so make sure you provide your recruiter with all the relevant information such as parking, interview duration, interviewer names and backgrounds, etc. This will make the candidate feel more at ease prior to the interview and show that you’ve thought of it all!

2. Communication

We can’t stress enough how important communication is. Let your recruiter know from the on-set how the interview process is going to unfold so they can prepare the candidates accordingly. There’s nothing worse than springing another taxing step without warning on them!

In terms of feedback there’s a worrying statistic that says that over 70 per cent of applicants/interviewees never even hear back from the recruiter or company. Even though someone may not be the right fit for the role doesn’t mean they want the job less than anyone else. If they have put in the time to apply and attend an interview, then it shouldn’t be too hard to let them know the outcome. Providing your recruiter with constructive and relevant feedback is a must!

3. Sensible Skills Assessment

Assessing skills in the interview process shouldn’t be alien to any applicant as it shows a practical picture of what they can do. Most are more than happy to put their skills to the test as it is a chance for them to shine. However, don’t expect the interviewees to do work on an actual project, unless you’re going to be paying them.

An assessment such as this should take no longer than an hour two, anything longer and it is unreasonable.

4. Notify them of your Timeline

Let the candidates know what your timeline for scheduling next steps or feedback is. There is nothing worse than hearing “we’ll let you know” to then wait for 2 weeks with no word. It’s only fair that if a candidate attends an interview, you also stick to a timeline to keep them from wondering of outcomes for too long. If something happens and you’re no longer able to meet that deadline, then let them know. Even if there is a delay, the candidate will appreciate knowing that you haven’t forgotten about them.

5. Tell Them the Negative Aspects of The Job

While some may think that highlighting negative aspects is counter-productive, in fact it’s the opposite. Why? Well regardless of how amazing your company and role is, there will be bad days. There’s no need to shy away from it, so if you let them know what the tough days are like, then they’ll be in a better position to visualise what they’re getting into. Aside from that, you’ll come across as a transparent employer and candidates will appreciate that. You’ll also get a chance to discuss this with the candidate and find out if they were ever faced with similar situations. From that you’ll be able to get a sense of their adaptability and how they deal with certain issues. So really it’s a win-win!

The candidate experience is highly important nowadays. So, make sure you follow those 5 steps and you’ll be on the road to a great process. Like with everything, it is trial and error, so find out what works and what doesn’t for your organisation and tweak it. By enforcing a great experience, you’ll be growing your talent pool and creating a killer indirect marketing tool for your business. You want candidates to walk away and sing your praises to other people if they get the job or not.

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