In many industries, candidates have more power than ever in today’s job market. Even in industries with a bigger talent pool to choose from, companies are competing against each other to ensure they win the best candidates. To do this, many businesses focus on delivering a superior employee experience with unique benefits packages, strong company culture, attractive work environments and much more. While this is a huge step in the right direction to securing top talent, many still overlook this vital element: Delivering a superior candidate hiring experience. The hiring process is the first contact a potential employee has with your company; without a good hiring experience, you won’t even get the chance to show off your fantastic employee experience.
Recruiting new employees is one of the most time consuming and cost-intensive HR activities. This often means that HR professionals focus on minimising costs and making the process as fast as possible. While this can mean a more efficient process that also benefits potential candidates, it can also mean that many other areas that are key to a great candidate hiring experience are missed. In a competitive job market, it’s vital that businesses start delivering a great employee experience right from the beginning and that means putting the candidate hiring experience first.
With 69% of candidates stating that after the experience they had they would not reapply to a role, it’s clear that the candidate hiring experience is not a focus as it should be for many companies. For businesses, this is a huge problem. Not only does it mean potentially missing out on the best candidates and even seeing them work for a competitor, but 41% of candidates who reported a negative hiring experience also said they would take their alliances, product purchases and relationships elsewhere. Clearly, the candidate hiring experience is impacting much more than just the recruitment process.
There’s no doubt that the candidate hiring experience is more important than ever, but how do you go about improving it? There are three main steps you need to follow.
1. Analysing your current candidate process.
2. Implementing candidate hiring experience best practices.
3. Ensuring you have the right technology.
This three-step process will ensure capturing the entire candidate experience and not miss anything out while also helping you focus time and resources in the right areas. Let’s take a closer look.
To make effective and efficient changes to your hiring process you need to take a birds-eye look at your candidate experience with analytics and candidate feedback. Granular data on how candidates interact with your website, recruiting sources, application process and more can provide insights on which stages are working and which aren’t.
At its most basic, you should be able to see where candidates are potentially dropping off or becoming disengaged and which are converting well. With better data, you should be able to get more specific insights based on where candidates are looking and clicking, if and when they seem to ask more questions and become more confused with the process and much more.
If your current hiring process can’t deliver this type of data then it is a good early indication that you need to look at investing in more superior recruiting software or need to start utilising your current set-up better.
Your analysis should also include feedback from both selected and rejected candidates. Again, if you don’t already have any feedback to look at in your analysis then it’s a good early indicator that your candidate experience in the recruitment process is lacking in at least one key area.
Research has shown that companies providing a positive five-star experience ask for feedback throughout the hiring process as compared to other businesses, often even before a candidate applies. Nearly 30% of candidates who had a five-star experience with a company were asked for feedback before they even applied for the job while 88% of candidates with a poor one-star experience were never asked for feedback during the hiring process.
Beginning this process of gaining feedback from potential, current and rejected candidates already puts your business on the path to better candidate experience. When you do collect feedback, make sure it is prompt so that candidates can give fresh and more accurate insight. It’s also a good idea to ask for feedback regularly during your hiring process depending on how long it is so that you can gain specific feedback at critical stages for more in-depth insight.
Just like many areas in business and HR today, you should look to the customer experience to inform your employee one. Candidates will be looking for the same seamless journey and responsive user experience that they see in retail and elsewhere in their lives. Today, there are a few best practices that you should look at implementing in your own candidate experience depending on the problem areas highlighted by your earlier analysis:
Test your website, candidate portals and entire application process for intuitive user experience. There should be no hidden buttons or missing steps, and the overall look should be clean and easy to follow. Handy features like the ability to save the application and come back later as well as a mobile responsive process for mobile applications can both help to ensure the candidate experience makes sense to your potential hires. Have multiple people test it to make sure you capture a wide range of feedback and tailor your experience to suit a range of people.
Transparency has become increasingly important for employees and potential candidates. They are looking for transparency right from the outset so that they can make the right decision just as much as you can. To improve transparency in your process, be honest and clear about the role and the company. You can do this with the help of employee testimonials and organic content including a variety of media such as video, plus essential information such as salary ranges and clear job descriptions.
Research has shown that both testimonials and organic content are the most valuable types of marketing content for candidates along with job descriptions and salary ranges. Not only does this help improve engagement and catch the eye of top talent, but it also shows transparency about what your business has to offer potential new hires.
You can also use transparency in the application process itself to help improve the overall experience. Showing a progress bar or some form of timeline so that candidates can see exactly where they are in the process and how far they have left to go is becoming increasingly popular. This practice is now key to delivering a superior candidate hiring experience and is essential to keeping prospective hires engaged throughout the process and can even motivate them to complete stages as quickly as possible.
Automating hiring processes can help streamline the candidate experience and make it more efficient. Using automated reminders and suggestions to prompt candidates and stakeholders about their next actions as well as other triggered processes can reduce the hiring process and resources needed throughout. This is great news for HR teams looking to reduce time and costs but, more importantly, it provides a simple and speedy candidate experience that is more engaging.
A lack of communication is one of the biggest downfalls of many hiring processes today and many candidates report not receiving any response for up to two months after an application. Closely tied with transparency, communication is essential to keeping candidates both informed and engaged while also ensuring the recruitment process is timely. Today, social networks and other channels are becoming increasingly popular with candidates in their job search and communication with companies. It’s important that businesses are present in the same areas as their candidates and communicates on their terms.
Cloud-based software can help you connect potential hires to a candidate portal as well as social channels across devices so that they can reach out when and where best suits them. This is also a great way to widen your talent pool and capture unique candidates that you otherwise wouldn’t.
After identifying some of the best practices that might be lacking in your hiring experience, you should be in a good position to reassess your current technology to see if it’s capable of meeting your new recruitment demands. Cloud-based software that can offer personalisation, automation, a customer type experience, and superior analytics is essential to being able to deliver the kind of candidate experience that will win over the best talent.
If your current recruitment solution is no longer capable of delivering the candidate hiring experience you need, contact us today to discuss how SuccessFactors Recruiting can help do all this and more.