If you’re not paying attention to your candidate experience, you’re losing talent. Candidate experience matters, and not just for the people who end up working for you. Consider this:
- 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience.
- 72% of those candidates will share their poor experience with others.
- 12% of candidates would sever their relationship with a company entirely (including any purchasing or customer interactions) after a bad experience.
- 71% of candidates will consider taking another job if they don’t hear from you between the offer and the first day.
If your candidate experience is lacking, you’ll not only lose the candidate, but also anyone else they might have referred – and you might lose some business, too.
But there is some good news. According to the 2018 Talent Board Candidate Experience survey, 78% of candidates who have a positive candidate experience will share it with others, and 67% of candidates say they are likely to refer others to the company based on their experience.
All of those statistics raise an important question: why don’t more companies pay attention to the candidate process?
In many cases, it’s because companies are stretched to the limit. They don’t think they have the resources, time, or budget to invest in updating the candidate experience, or they don’t understand the business value.
But here’s some more good news. It doesn’t take a huge investment of time and resources to make a positive impression during the recruitment process. In fact, small changes can make a big difference.
Let’s look at 6 practical things you can do right now to transform your candidate experience, even with limited time and a tight budget.
- Say Thank You – Thanking candidates for their time and effort is a simple, but effective way to make them feel valued. For example, send an automated thank you message when they apply and a personalized thank you email after each subsequent step in the process. Even if a candidate doesn’t make the cut, be sure to thank them for their interest and let them know you appreciate their time.
- Keep Them Informed – Candidates want to know where they are in the recruitment process. It’s not an unreasonable expectation, yet too often companies leave people waiting for weeks for an answer. Once you have eliminated someone from consideration, let them know. Early in the process, you can send an automated message, but when you narrow the field down to the final few candidates, a personal phone call is always appreciated.
- Simplify the Application Process – Don’t make candidates trudge through old clunky forms or hour-long application processes (yes, this really happens!). Simplify the process as much as possible. For example, 72% of job seekers expect to be able to apply on a mobile device. You can test the user experience of your process by submitting an application yourself. Take note of any hang-ups, such as required answers that shouldn’t be required or slow load times.
- Set Expectations for the Interview (And Be On Time!) – As soon as you have decided to interview a candidate, send them a calendar invitation and include as much information as possible. Let them know where to go, who will be sitting in on the interview, how long it will take and what the dress code for your office is. When the day arrives, be on time! Respect for the candidate’s time and effort is an important part of communicating value and setting the right tone for engagement.
- Send a Welcome Gift – Once the candidate has accepted the offer (or shortly afterwards), send a small, personalized welcome gift to set the stage for engagement starting on day one. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Your gift might include the candidate’s favorite candy plus a company t-shirt, a company mug or a branded calendar for their desk.
- Ask for Feedback – At some point during the recruitment process, take time to ask candidates for their feedback. Don’t wait to find out about negative experiences on social media. Send a candidate experience survey to gain critical insight into what’s going well, what’s not and how engaged candidates are with your brand.
Engagement starts before day one, and candidate experience is an important element of your overall engagement strategy. When you make the candidate process a priority, you’ll enjoy higher satisfaction and retention rates as well as happier employees. And that’s a win for everybody.
Looking for additional research about the candidate experience and how you can improve it? Our three-part series, 2019 Job Seeker Survey Reports, provides highly actionable insights into what employers can do to improve the quality of the overall candidate experience: