Recruiters are now focusing on candidate experience more than ever before. Like all industries, recruitment has evolved and companies need to develop creative hiring processes in order to attract the best talent.
I decided to write this blog post after a conversation that I had with my husband who works for a global tech company. He was talking about how the organization treats its customer service as a competitive advantage and so puts a lot of effort into it. And when you think about it, customer service is also something that could be a competitive advantage in the hiring world, especially when it comes to candidate experience. Recruiters have to think outside the box as there are plenty of businesses offering good salaries and packages. It’s candidate driven market out there so providing a good candidate experience really could be the reason why candidates say yes.
According to the US Department of Labor the number of job openings in the US exceeds the number of jobseekers for the first time ever standing at a record 6.7 million job openings. As a result, recruiters really need to work hard at maintaining a candidate’s interest. If the candidate isn’t engaged, they’ll go elsewhere. A great candidate experience plays a major role in the recruiting cycle.
Recruiters need to shift focus to candidate retention prior to the application stage and remain connected throughout the process. Meghan Biro, CEO of Talent Culture sums it up nicely. She said: “A good candidate experience is brilliant marketing for an organization, a bad one is an ongoing black eye for people interested in your employer brand.”
Technology has a big part to play too. There are plenty of innovative technologies out there which can better target employment branding communication while creating seamless, functional segmentation strategy. From customer relationship management (CRM) systems to resume databases and applicant tracking systems - all of these will help recruiters to become more efficient and more effective.
And don’t forget about social media either. Used correctly it can enhance employer brand, which in turn could actually boost revenue. After all, business is all about people. It’s fair to say that companies with engaged employees do much better than those without, and engaged employees become ambassadors. Don’t just take my word for it. The Fortune 500 companies that have moved from preaching to operationalizing employer brand strategy in a way that resonates with the bottom line have risen to the top of WilsonHCG’s very own2018 Top 100 Fortune 500 Employment Brands report. WilsonHCG's top 10 Fortune 500 employer brands earn a combined 157 percent more in revenue than the bottom 10.
If you want to remain relevant in the hiring world, you must plan for the best candidate experience. Here are some tried and tested tips:
1. Ask for feedback
This step is number one. You must understand the whole process before implementing change. Ask your current applicants what they think about the process and if you can improve, and whether you are lacking in something that the competition provides.
The number one frustration during the overall job search is the lack of response from employers, according to research from Careerbuilder. Candidates want to know where they stand and what comes next in the process. Applicants want feedback, so make sure you provide it.
3. Don’t underestimate the value of information
Your career website must be user friendly and provide essential information. Why should a candidate choose you? What should they expect from the application process? And if possible, include an option to keep them updated in every step.
4. Make the most of technology and social media
Use technology and social networks to chat and liaise with applicants These great tools make your candidates feel involved and valued. You are adding a human touch to their experience and making them aware that the organization cares.
5. Evaluate your ATS (Applicant Tracking System)
Does your company have an efficient applicant tracking system? Is it easy to use? Have you tried to complete an application yourself so you know exactly what the process entails? Are you keeping your applicants in the loop and informed of their status? These essential questions provide guidelines to evaluate your process.
6. Stay connected throughout the process
You should maintain contact from the minute an applicant is invited to an interview with the hiring manager until they start their first day. It’s important to reassure candidates and maintain open communication. This process builds relationships and gains trust.
7. Remember that happy employees do a great job at persuading potential candidates
You can’t beat good old fashioned word of mouth. You can obtain referrals and everyone on your team will reflect passion for the company whenever they talk/meet a potential candidate. Candidates can get a feel for an organisation’s culture during the interview process.
There are many companies leading the way when it comes to customer experience including Apple, Amazon and Netflix,. What do they all have in common? And what can we use in recruiting?
They create a space for the customers to express themselves.
They respond quickly to your request/complains.
They understand their audience and adapt to it, constantly.
They ask if you enjoyed a service at the end of your interaction.
They never stop improving.
Inspiring human connection
Creating an excellent customer experience is an ongoing process. If you want to be ahead of the competition, you have to adjust your strategies, keep up with the market, and bring back the fun element, all while inspiring human connection.