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What makes a great candidate centric experience?

16th May 2022
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Keep losing in the war for talent? Six HR experts share the top changes you need to make.

If one thing’s for certain in 2022, the way we recruit has changed. ‘Changed’? Or maybe ‘completely revolutionized’ is more fitting? Companies, and therefore recruiters, are now committed to creating a candidate centered  experience when hiring. Because a negative experience can be far reaching. A staggering 63% of job seekers will likely reject a job offer because of a poor candidate experience. And it doesn’t stop there, 72% of candidates would share a negative social media review about the company whilst a further 64% stated they would be less likely to purchase that company’s product.

There’s been a shift in dynamic and the power has transferred from employer to employee within the recruiting process. It‘s absolutely essential that companies move quickly to secure top talent before their competitors, and with candidates becoming more fussy as to where they want to work, recruiters have an even harder job in closing positions.

This is why nailing your candidate experience is critical. Before we dig into the expert’s top tips, here area few simple steps that will help drive a faster and smoother process. 

  1. Use tech to help aid communication, rather than disrupt it.
  2. Shorten the application process. On average from placing a job application to fulfilling that role, it takes a period of 42 days. Try seeing if you can omit any of the steps to help speed up the process.
  3. Add more information to your job description. Salary,benefits, a full job description and the stages/ process of hiring, should be the minimum given here.

So how else can you set yourself apart from the competition in terms of creating a great candidate experience? We asked 6 experts to share their tips on how they give a stellar experience to job-seekers.

Anabel, VP of Talent Acquisition at Worksome. Anabel specializes in tech recruitment. Having worked for big tech companies such as Unity, Trustpilot and Microsoft, she has a passion for mentoring and developing employees and finding out what makes them tick.

What makes a great candidate centric experience?

There is basic etiquette that goes a long way for candidate experience but the main thing that I believe creates a great candidate centric experience is transparency throughout the entire hiring process. 

Examples of transparency include discussing realistic expectations of the role, providing salary information, talking about the amazing-ness AND the shortcomings of the company, and what areas could potentially be a mismatch between the candidate and the job at hand. Being transparent shows that you care about the candidate’s interests as well as the company’s and builds trust. You become the candidate’s guide through the hiring process instead of the person on the other side of the desk. 

Virgile, CEO of Figures, a product that allows startups to know if their compensation philosophy is fair. Having held previous positions as VP of People and HR Director at tech companies, Virgile has written onboarding and recruitment guidelines to help scaleup departments and teams with the right culture.

What makes a great candidate centric experience?

Ensuring the process goes both ways: giving candidates as much time and avenues as possible to "interview" the company as much as the company interviews them. Not only does this show consideration from a potential future employer, but it will also send the reassuring message that hiring is not a one-sided process: the candidate chooses an employer as much as the opposite is true!

This can be done by:

- Being super transparent around key company information (mission/vision/values, revenues, key metrics, etc.)

- Allowing enough time for the candidate to ask as many question as possible (asynchronously or during interview)

- Providing access to current employees for them to get a feel for the culture

Antonio is the Chief People Officer at QuoIntelligence based in Frankfurt, Germany. He’s an innovative and data-driven Talent Acquisition leader with a background of managing international recruitment teams across various industries like Finance, Space, Engineering, FMCG, Chemicals, Gaming & IT.

What makes a great candidate centric experience?

Experiences, whether as a consumer or candidate, need to be uncomplicated, relevant, and personalized to be remarkable. Frequent touch points and a personal touch go a long way in today’s market. 

People teams are busier than ever now, but candidates also appreciate automated contact – certainly over no contact at all! Transparency on process milestones is also key. When creating those, like assessments, it’s important to keep them short while providing candidates insight into what the job can be like.

Isabel is VP of People and Culture at Skyfri. She is focused on creating environments where teams and individuals can find the support and flexibility they need to do their best work. This includes working towards building diverse working environments that contribute to business goals. She believes that creating and implementing clear and coherent processes enables people to grow professionally and personally while feeling a sense of ownership and safety in their daily work.

What makes a great candidate centric experience?

To have a great candidate centric recruiting process, it is important to remember one golden rule: recruitment is as much about the company as it is about the candidate. Not only should you choose a candidate, it is imperative that the candidate also chooses you. 

Onboarding doesn't start on the employee's first day — but at the moment a candidate sends their application. There are several simple operational processes we can set in place to give a good candidate experience, like answering promptly and timely to all applications and having a clear hiring process the candidate is aware of. 

During the interviews, let's again remember the golden rule: it is as much about us as it is about them. Thus, it is important to have a conversation about company values, and see if they align with the candidate's own values and interests. Platypus' values survey for candidates is of great help at this stage, as it gives us a view of the candidate values, while at the same time giving the candidate a set of suggested questions they might ask regarding the company values.

Ditte is Director of People and Culture at Neurons. Previous to this she was Learning & Development Partner at Vivino where her positive mindset and flexible approach helped deliver great results. Her desire to keep learning and growing helps maintain an awesome work environment and culture.

What makes a great candidate centric experience?

It's really quite simple: the candidate experience is much like employee experience or customer experience: it's all about individuals feeling seen, heard and fairly treated in their encounter with a company. The candidate experience is especially important, because it is the first interaction and encounter with a given company - sometimes the interaction ends here because a candidate wasn't a fit for a role, but regardless, the candidate should always move on with a sense of having had a good connection. 

Responsiveness is key. Nobody likes to wait around indefinitely, and a sense of urgency is as important for the candidates that pass the bar as for those who don't. If a process drags out, communication about this should be a priority.

A short rejection email is better than no response at all, which just comes across as arrogant - and who likes that in an employer? Really, what it essentially comes down to is empathy. Always remembering that the people applying for a job are all individuals deserving of respect and compassion.

A great candidate experience is one, in which the individual feels that they were treated fairly and respectfully EVEN if they ended up not getting the job offer.

Rachel is Head of People and Culture at Uizard Technologies. She is passionate about empowering team members to reach their full potential through meaningful talent development programs and honest conversations. As an empathetic and encouraging leader, she strives to bring a sense of belonging, authenticity, laughter, and compassion to every interaction.

What makes a great candidate centric experience?

I like to think about the candidate-centric experience through the lens of filtering people in, rather than out. What does that mean? Shifting the mindset of setting candidates up for success, just like we do with our team members. It means having a transparent, equitable interview process, resources to learn more about the company values, culture, and work, as well as seeking feedback to improve our hiring process. For example, we created "Our Uizarding World '' to give potential candidates a peek inside Uizard and the interview process.

If you would like to help in improving your candidate experience then book a chat with our friendly team.

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