5 Ways Talent Acquisition Professionals Can Create a Great Candidate Experience

November 16, 2020
Author: Glenn Hunter

Candidate experience was increasingly important in talent acquisition before the coronavirus pandemic, and today, it’s critically important for recruiters to win the “yes” and get the right candidates placed. With a volatile job market creating stress and uncertainty among many prospective hires, talent acquisition professionals must ensure the hiring process is timely, efficient and above all positive.

Creating a great candidate experience reflects positively on your client and makes candidates more open to accepting the job offer.

Talent acquisition professionals who fail to create a reassuring and positive environment will spend more time and resources in the continued hunt.

Sixty percent of job seekers say they’ve experienced a negative candidate experience with potential employers, according to the Human Capital Institute. And 72% have shared those negative experiences online, marring the employer’s brand as well as its ability to recruit top talent in the future. A LinkedIn Talent Trends survey reiterated the dire consequences, pointing out that 83% of talent said a negative interview experience can change their opinion or a company.

The candidate experience includes each interaction a job seeker has with the recruiter and its client representatives from the beginning of the hiring process to the end, from application to onboarding. Elements of a bad experience can include confusing job descriptions, a lengthy or overly complex application process, an unresponsive or unprepared recruiter or hiring manager, disengaged or disrespectful interviewers and a meager salary or benefits package.

To get a clear idea of a competitive and accurate salary range for a specific role based on years of experience, education and city, using a tool like LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy will be beneficial. What other key ways can talent acquisition professionals ensure the candidate experience is always a positive one? Here are five:

  1. Provide clear and concise job descriptions. HRDive survey found that 73% of hiring managers contended they wrote clear descriptions – but only 36% of candidates agreed. Prospective hires want a straightforward explanation of the job and its responsibilities as well as a snapshot of the compensation details, all in an easy-to-read format.

  2. Make it easy to apply for the job. Candidates are seeking a streamlined process that includes the fewest steps possible. CareerBuilder found that prospective hires don’t want to complete any application that takes longer than 20 minutes. Only include questions on the application that are absolutely necessary and provide candidates with the ability to upload their resumes.

  3. Communicate often throughout the process. Candidates want to feel valued and kept in the loop every step of the way. They’re especially sensitive to how long it takes you to contact them after receiving their application. Once you do, make it a point to send a personalized email thanking them for their application and outlining the next steps in the process.

  4. Give instructions to the top candidates before interviewing them. Put the candidates at ease by letting them know what to expect – who they’ll be talking with and how long the interview is likely to last. If the interview will be in-person rather than via videoconference, reserve time to show them around the office and introduce them to potential team members – following all the pandemic-era social-distancing protocols, of course. During the interview itself, realize that the candidate will be evaluating you as well. Forty-seven percent of job seekers surveyed by Jobvite said the interview had the biggest impact on their impression of the company.

  5. Extend offers in a timely manner, and never ghost unsuccessful candidates. Take care to close the loop with every candidate, whether they’re offered the position or not. Check in with new hires 30 days after they start to discuss their experience; ask for criticism and provide constructive feedback.

Related: 8 Traits Clients Look for in a Recruiter

Ensuring a positive experience for every candidate is important because, even if the candidate isn’t picked for the job currently presented, they may have potential for another role with the employer down the road. And keeping them in your candidate pipeline as a prospective future prospect is a plus. Positive candidate experiences also will reinforce your employer brand and impress the top talent pool, portending good things for the company in the future.

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy continuously forecasts and reports labor data at all levels, measuring impact to cities, industries, occupations and business across the U.S.