dec-2016-blog-post-candidate-experience-2-use-this-one

You have gone through all the steps of the recruitment process and have finally hired and on boarded your new employee.  Have you thought about the candidates who were not selected for the job?

If not, then you absolutely should be and this is where the candidate experience comes in.  So what does this fancy term mean anyway?  It’s how your candidates feel about the process you have put them through when applying to your company.  Think of it as the experience you give your customers when they buy your products or services.  They have such a great experience that they want to tell their friends about your company.  Or they have such an amazing experience they come back for more!

It’s very similar with the candidates that go through your hiring process-you want them to walk away from it, either wanting to refer their friends to apply to your company, or wanting to apply to another role that opens up.  Always keep this in mind – the candidate(s) could be your next potential customer or a potential employee one day.  So then wouldn’t you want to ensure their experience is the best one you can give them?

So what do you, the employer, need to do in order to ensure your candidates have a great experience, especially for the ones that don’t end up getting the job.

Communicate, and do it in a timely manner

You need to give them clear, honest communication and give it to them in a timely way.  For example if you are screening resumes and you know that a particular candidate is not a fit for the role or your company, send them an email stating you have reviewed their resume but have moved forward with other candidates at this point.  If you are using Indeed to post your roles use the email they set up for you.  The idea here is these candidates receive a communication that they won’t be selected for another step in your process-this way they know to move onto to another opening instead of waiting and wondering.

Another time to have a communication touch point with candidates is after the phone screen we talked about in August’s blog. Once you know who you want to move forward to the face to face interview stage, call back the remaining candidates and let them know they won’t be moved forward to the next step.  This touch point we think is more crucial than the first, because these candidates have taken the time to speak with you about why you should hire them.  Again they can move on instead of waiting and hoping you will call them.

The last touch point for communication is when you have hired your new employee and have gotten back to the candidates that you interviewed face to face.  Again they took the time to come to your company location, speak with you so it’s only being professional that you show them the same courtesy of getting back to them.  Also maybe one of those candidates you interviewed one on one with would be a great fit for another role in your company, but you aren’t ready to hire for it yet.

This is what we call a “soft no.”  It’s telling them that they were not selected for the role they interviewed for, but you really feel they would be a good fit for another role that’s not just open yet.  Ask them to keep in contact and that as soon as you are ready you will call them once the role is ready to be filled.  This starts filling your candidate pipeline, in the exact same way you would fill your sales pipeline.

Feedback-the constructive kind

If they ask for feedback, give it to them!  If a candidate that you phone screened or did a face to face interview with, asks for feedback on their interview give that to them.  Now if their interview skills were fine, then reassure the candidate of that.  A lot of the time it comes down to one candidate just having a bit more related experience than the other-and it’s ok to tell them that.  If they do need to work on their interviews skills, give them some constructive feedback on what they should work on for future interviews.

Candidate Survey

The last thing you can do to ensure a great candidate experience is to send a survey to the candidates who went through your process to see what they liked and didn’t like.  Just as you do with your customers, it’s a great way to see what you are doing great, and what you could improve on.  MKS HR feels the data you get back, especially for areas to improve on, is highly valuable.   What if your process is too lengthy for the level of role you are hiring for?  What if you could make it better for the candidate?  How will you know unless you ask?

The last and most important reason why you should care about the candidate experience is because candidates talk about their bad experiences!  They talk to their friends, family, and professional contacts and they talk about it on social media.

Glass Door is an example-it’s a review site for current and past employees to review companies they are currently working or have worked at.  Now today more than ever, candidates searching for work will go to sites like Glass Door to look into the companies they are applying to.  They see what current, past employees and even those that applied, say about the company.  What was the hiring process like?  What is it like to work there?  What is management like at the company etc..  So that alone should make you want to ensure your candidates have the best possible recruitment experience you can give them!

As always, at MKS HR we want to make the life of you, the busy business owner, easier.  So we have put together a Candidate Experience Survey that you can send to your candidates.  Why re-invent the wheel when you don’t have to!  Click here to access the Candidate Experience Survey.