In the world of recruitment, every organization is looking to employ candidates that fit their company culture, but far too few organizations make a decent effort to provide a positive experience for candidates throughout the process. Ensuring new employees have a successful and meaningful experience during the onboarding process, for example, is imperative to helping candidate’s gel with the company culture. If the candidate experience is not at the forefront of your recruitment and onboarding process, it’s time to adjust.
There is an old adage that if a family has a great meal at a restaurant, they might tell one or two friends, but if they have a bad experience, they will tell many more people. The same is true with job applicants. If a job seeker has a negative experience during an application process, not only will they not want to continue with the process, and thus your organization could lose a great candidate, but they might spread the word to fellow applicants on websites such as Glassdoor and on platforms such as LinkedIn, hurting your company’s reputation.
What is included in the candidate experience?
First impressions are extremely important and provide that initial glance into what it is like working at your organization. A good candidate experience should start with the application and continue all the way to the first day on the job. Steps that are considered part of the candidate experience include:
· The career page on your website.
· The process for applying for the position.
· Job postings you have, including those posted on other websites such as Indeed.
· Any interaction the candidate has with your organization’s applicant tracking system.
· Communication through all stages of the process.
Here are 5 items you should review as part of your company’s candidate experience:
1. Clear Requirements
When an applicant is looking for a job, the first interaction they have with your company is often the job posting. Starting with a clear and accurate job description can begin the process in a positive way for candidates. This should include detailed information about the position, must-have experience or qualifications, information about the company culture, employee benefits/perks, and even some of the reasons why employees enjoy working for your organization.
2. Ease of Application Process
What is the process for applying for a job with your organization? Does your organization make it easy, clear, accessible? Is the process mobile-friendly? These are all questions you need to review to ensure a positive candidate experience.
Candidates should be able to apply online through your website or have access to application processes such as LinkedIn’s Easy Apply. There should be clear instructions listing what is required for the application. Keep the questions you ask during the application to just the minimum requirements for the position. Use the interview process to ask more in-depth questions.
A good guide to keeping your application process simple, is to keep the information required to one page. Anything longer can make the process appear too complicated.
3. Transparent Communication
Once a candidate has applied for a position, they should be informed of their application status. If they don’t meet the mandatory requirements, they should be notified within a few days of applying. If they are moving on to the next steps of the process, be sure to communicate this to them quickly so they are prepared for next steps. This will help ensure you don’t lose candidates to other organizations while they were waiting on communication from you.
If possible, it’s also a great idea to inform candidates of the approximate timeline for the interview and selection process - including how many interviews they will go through, and who the interviews will be with.
Giving insight into your decision timeline will let candidates know when they should move on to other opportunities.
4. Seamless Background Screening Process
Once a candidate has been selected and a job offer is extended, it is important to conduct a background check to confirm the qualifications and experience claimed on their resume and application.
The background check is typically the least understood component of the job application process for candidates. By communicating the steps and explaining what the candidate should expect through the background check, organizations can prevent candidate dissatisfaction and drop-off through this process. To help with the process, ensure you’ve selected a provider that can assist with a seamless online experience, and that any ID verification steps can be completed online from any computer or mobile device. Furthermore, are there multiple methods available for candidates to complete ID verification if they are unable to be verified through the primary method? For example, LiveVideoID™ is an excellent method for candidates who don’t pass the initial electronic ID verification, ensuring they can keep the process entirely online, and with no requirement to attend anywhere in person.
To keep transparency throughout the background check process, ensure that your candidates can login to their account to see the status of their own background check, and eventually view the results. This will keep them informed and prevent them from reaching out to their hiring manager for updates.
5. Engagement before start date
The period of time between selection and start date is often referred to as preboarding. It is important to engage with candidates during this time, to keep them excited about their new job and to make them feel welcome before their first day.
Suggestions for ways to keep in touch with your new employee include:
· Mail them a welcome swag package that may include items such as branded pens, notebooks, water bottles and other useful items.
· Send an email welcoming them to the company, showing how excited you are that they are joining.
· Compose an FAQ email for them that includes answers to common questions about their first day and what to expect, including what time they should start and who their main point of contact will be.
· Ask them to send you a few fun facts about them to help you with your introduction email on their first day.
With 83% of candidates saying a poor interview experience can change their opinion of an organization, reviewing their experience from start to finish is important for all companies. For help improving your overall remote hiring process, check out this article with actionable tips.