The candidate experience begins long before you first speak to a candidate, and their impression of your firm can be crucial to brand building. Candidates are often key to your reputation in the market place, and creating a good process will help build your brand as an attractive employer.
This is an aspect of the recruitment process which is often neglected, perhaps because HR teams are too busy, or don’t see branding and marketing as part of their remit, or because it’s a part of the process which is hard to quantify or measure. However, the recruitment process should tie in with your marketing strategy, as every candidate who crosses your path is a potential brand ambassador. Here are some key tips on how to improve the experience from the outset:
Let candidates know how many stages your recruitment process consists of, how long they are likely to wait before getting feedback and what timeline your are working to. Most good candidates will be interviewing elsewhere as well, and need to manage the various processes they are part of. A slow process is not ideal, but won’t damage your brand as long as candidates are aware from the outset. Constantly changing goalposts are, however, enormously frustrating, especially for candidates who have other potential job offers coming in.
It’s all about communication
Keeping candidates informed and setting expectations is key. Candidates put time and effort into interviews, and expect timely feedback as a matter of courtesy. We have often seen candidates cool on a company because feedback has been slow to non-existent, and they often leave with a poor impression as a consequence. Always give feedback in a timely manner, and give candidates a clear idea of how long they’re likely to have to wait before they will hear. Automated messages can be used to manage expectations, but post-interview feedback should come from a human.
For busy HR teams, AI and HR software can free up time, automate processes and help manage the part the requires human interaction. This is especially relevant for larger firms with large volumes of applicants, who all need logging, tracking and communication. Small word of warning here, though – make sure your automated processes are a help, not a hindrance. We have also seen instances where they have acted as barriers, slowed down processes and left candidates stuck in virtual limbo.
Keep it simple
A complicated process can often lead to candidates thinking there are too many hoops to jump through. This is especially true for passive candidates who have been headhunted for a role. Leave checks, tests and business plans to the later stages, when candidates are already committed to the process.
Communicate with your recruiter
A good recruiter will protect your brand and manage expectations, but you need to enable them to do so. Again, communication is key. Be open and honest about your thinking and where the process is at, your recruiter will know how to feed back and represent this to candidates.
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