The job market today is more candidate-driven than ever. This means that now the candidates pick companies to work for, and not the other way around.

Because of this, candidate experience is essential if you plan on attracting the best talent to your company. And even if you’ve already taken the steps to design a good candidate experience, there’s always room for improvement.

Below we will go over the importance of having a great candidate experience and some of the ways you can make this happen.

What is Candidate Experience

Put simply, candidate experience is the impression of your company a candidate makes during the recruitment process. It can start well before they even apply for a position and includes all of the steps of the hiring process.

Whether good or bad, candidate experience will affect your company’s reputation. That’s why it’s important to consider each step and make sure you design your candidate experience for success.

The Importance of a Great Candidate Experience

Because of the nature of today’s hyper-connected job market, you can expect that potential candidates will share their experiences with your company. After all, websites like Glassdoor were built around this very concept.

Having a positive candidate experience (and therefore a good company reputation) will help you attract top talent. More than that, it will also help you maintain the talent you already have.

7 Ways to Improve Your Candidate Experience

With the importance of candidate experience in mind, here are some of the ways you can take it from good to great:

Make the Application Stage Simple and Easy

The first thing to do is to make sure that what you expect from candidates is presented in a clear and simple way. You want your job descriptions to be concise, free of company jargon, and clearly list all the responsibilities that go with the position.

The same goes for filling out a job application. Your website’s ‘careers’ page should be easy to find and use. Once a candidate finds a position they want to apply for, make sure the application process itself has a few steps as necessary.

For instance, you can set up an application form that requires only the candidate’s contact info, resume, and cover letter. The simpler an application is, the more likely candidates will apply.

Finally, make sure you don’t ask candidates to log into your website in order to apply. You’re simply creating a hurdle for the candidates and tanking your candidate experience in the process.

Keep Communication Flowing

According to research by CareerBuilder, lack of communication from a potential employer is the number 1 most frustrating thing a candidate faces during the recruitment process.

Even if you end up rejecting a candidate’s application, you should let them know via email. This little bit of extra work is sure to take the weight off their mind.

One good way to make sure you keep the communication flowing through the entire hiring process is to set up custom email campaigns for each step. This might take some up-front work, but it will make for a much better candidate experience.

Introduce the Interview Candidates to Your Workspace

Once you have a shortlist of the candidates you intend to interview, you will need to reach out to them and schedule the meetings.

Preferably, you would do this over the phone, but that can make for a lot of work, especially when it comes to syncing your schedules. Humanly lets you streamline this process by automatically engaging the candidates and scheduling interviews.

Once you have the interview time set up, make sure you let your coworkers know someone will be coming in for an interview. By doing this, you make sure there’s always someone to greet the candidate and show them around, even if you can’t make it on time.

Level Up the Interview Experience

On a related note, make sure you let the candidates know what to expect beforehand. Explain the interview process and exactly what you will be talking about.

Make sure you include the number of interviewers, how long the interview will take, the office dress code, and parking options if your office is in a busy area.

During the interview itself, do a quick recap and explain the interview process again, just in case. Focus on the candidate and avoid multitasking during the interview as much as possible (aside from taking notes).

Finally, make sure you don’t have another interview lined up right after. This will give the meeting some room to breathe and provide time for any candidate questions.

Thank the Candidates for Their Time

Make sure you thank every interview candidate individually. You can do this via email, but using a handwritten note will really take the experience to the next level.

Keep Track of Candidates You’re Interested In

Even if you reject a candidate this time around, they might be perfect for a future job opening. If you keep engaging with these candidates, you’ll have built a pool of potential hires you can rely on.

To do this, try and connect with candidates on LinkedIn or any other social media your company is using. You can also set up a candidate tracking system so you could have all the potential top talent at your fingertips the next time you need to fill an opening.

Take Advantage of Feedback

One of the best ways to gauge the quality of a candidate’s experience is to simply ask them. Providing a candidate experience survey after the interview stage will let you know exactly what you’re doing right and where you can improve.

Creating a great candidate experience doesn’t have to be hard, and having it can make a world of difference for your business. Apply the tactics we discussed above and you’re sure to take your candidate experience to the next level.