Delivering a first-class candidate experience:
Delivering a great candidate experience can make or break your recruitment process, and in a market that’s currently weighted in favour of the candidate, it’s more important than ever.
And it’s not just about finding the right person for the job now. Making sure all candidates, whether they are successful or not, leave with a positive impression of your business, will make them more likely to apply for roles in the future.
Recent research backs this up with 56% of candidates who felt they had a positive hiring experience, saying that they would seek employment with the company again in the future, and 37% reporting that they would tell others to apply there.
We know that delivering a first-class candidate experience starts with us. The key to making the process as positive as possible is making sure we really understand what candidates are looking for.
When we interview candidates, we focus on finding out about their values, their abilities and what motivates them, as well as matching their skills against those on the job description.
The skills and experience that a candidate offers are obviously extremely important, but we also believe that these are things that can be taught and honed with the right training and support. In contrast, values and what motivates a person remain the same whatever their experience.
This approach has two benefits – firstly, our clients are only interviewing people that are going to be the right fit for their business, and secondly, candidates are being put forward for jobs that meet their needs now and will continue to meet them in the future.
Once we have put together a shortlist of potential candidates we do everything we can to make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible. We commit to staying in close contact with our candidates, keeping them up to date on where they are in the process and providing feedback along the way.
There are three areas we advise our clients to focus on:
Streamline the process: A lengthy recruitment process isn’t good for anyone. It means businesses are operating with vacancies that can hit productivity, and candidates are at risk of being tempted away by another offer. Recent research shows that nearly 50% of businesses have reduced the length of their hiring process since the competition for the best talent has stepped up. And that’s good news if you consider that 60% of candidates continue to explore other jobs and attend interviews with other employers while they wait for reference checks and screening to be completed.
Making sure there is time booked out in diaries for first and second interviews, and then giving a timescale for final decisions makes the process easier for everyone.
Hone interview techniques: We spend time briefing both candidates and clients so that each side is performing at their absolute best. That may include offering candidates coaching on interview techniques, and it will always involve providing clients with a brief on exactly why we’ve put forward a particular candidate for a role.
Making sure that our clients are prepared and encouraging them to spend time planning questions and familiarising themselves with CVs and application forms helps give a good first impression, and makes the candidate feel valued right from the outset.
Feedback for all: We have lost count of the amount of recruitment reports and surveys we’ve read where lack of feedback is given as the main reason why candidates report a poor experience with a company. The main focus is on finding the right person for the job, but we encourage our clients to give feedback to all shortlisted candidates.
Keep up the good work: Recruitment doesn’t end with the offer letter. We stay in touch with all our candidates throughout the probation period but the experience they receive as part of their induction is what will help them feel valued and motivated. 10% of new starters resign before the end of their first year at an organisation so a good start is vital.