You’re losing talent if you’re not paying attention to your candidate’s experience. The candidate experience matters, and not just for the people who end up working for you. Consider this:
- 32% say Recognition, Appreciation & Respect are reasons why candidates accept a job
- 20% Lack of Recognition, Appreciation and Respect are reasons why candidates reject a job
- 82% said Importance of being praised/recognized after onboarding is Very Important or Important
- 74% say their first day will affect the decision to stay over a month
- 72% say the total onboarding experience will affect the decision to stay over a year
*Trendicators 2022 Job Seeker Survey Report
If your candidate experience is lacking, you'll lose not only the candidate but anyone else they might have referred – and you might also lose some business.
According to the 2021 Talent Board Candidate Experience survey, 75% of candidates who had a positive candidate experience shared it with others, and 67% of candidates say they are extremely likely to refer others based on their experience.
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 continuing to be stretched to the limit. They don’t have the resources, time, or budget to invest in updating the candidate experience, or they don’t understand the business value. It doesn’t take a considerable investment of time and resources to make a positive impression during the recruitment process. In fact, small changes can make a big difference.
We have six ways you can help transform your candidate experience, even with limited time and a tight budget.
1. 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.
2. Communication – 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 a personal phone call is always appreciated when you narrow the field down to the final few candidates.
3. Simplify the Application Process – Don’t make candidates trudge through old forms or hour-long application processes (yes, this really happens!). Simplify the process as much as possible. For example, our 2022 Job Seeker Survey report says 91% of job seekers expect to be able to apply on a mobile device. You can test the user experience of your process by applying yourself. Take note of any hang-ups, such as required answers that shouldn’t be required or slow load times.
4. Set Expectations – 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. If the interview is held virtually, make sure to send the link ahead of time so no one is scrambling trying to figure out how to join. When the day arrives, be on time! Respect for the candidate’s time and effort is important in communicating value and setting the right tone for engagement.
5. Send a Welcome Gift – Once the candidate has accepted the offer (or shortly afterward), 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.
6. 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 recruitment and engagement strategies. 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.