Candidate experience: definition, issues, advice

Tailor-made career sites, inspiring recruitment films, hackathons and more job dating … The employer brand is finally getting the attention it deserves! The proof: according to a study, 86% of companies consider the candidate experience as “ one of their main concerns ”.

Except that these fine intentions are belied by feedback from the field. The candidate experience is still not a priority for companies. The study thus highlights that, despite their statements, 92% of companies do not collect any feedback from their candidates.

To be convinced of the reality of the candidate experience, just ask a few questions of job seekers. For example:

  • “What do you think of the career sites that require that you spend 30 minutes creating your profile? ”
  • In your experience, are job interviews an opportunity for productive discussions? Or rather a one-sided and subjective evaluation of your CV? ”
  • “How many of your applications went without any response from the company?” Better: “ How many of these responses consisted of feedback on your application, not an automatic rejection message? ”

Ironically, most recruiters don’t need to ask candidates these questions. They already know the answers.

To attract talent, you have to work on your employer brand, and especially on your candidate experience.

Candidate Experience is more about communication than processes - Avance Consulting

What is the candidate experience?

The candidate experience is the journey of a candidate who applies to work in your company, but also his impression and his opinion of the journey.

The candidate experience starts early: from the moment the candidate stumbles upon your company while looking for a job. Most often, this is done online, through your career site, social networks or a job board. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect the offline experience!

It usually ends when the candidate is hired and the onboarding can sometimes be seen as still part of the candidate experience.

Why is candidate experience important?

At the origins of the employer brand, the candidate experience is based on candidates’ personal perception of all of their interactions with your company. It impacts:

  • Your hiring process:  60% of applicants had a bad experience. 72% of them talk about it on social media and discourage other job seekers even before they apply.
  • Your attractiveness: 69% of candidates want to see companies’ response time improve, and a positive experience increases the chances that candidates will accept your offer of 38%.
  • And even your turnover: 60% of applicants avoid products from a company they have had a bad experience with.

What is a good candidate experience?

From the points above, one can guess what a good candidate experience is.

The main points to consider are:

  • A clear process, ideally explained before or just after the application.
  • An easier application. Forget about lengthy forms or 50-step processes. Make your recruitment easier!
  • Consistency and transparency. All applicants should be treated equally, without preference or discrimination.
  • Fast and frequent communication. If candidates have questions, it is important to be able to answer them quickly. Likewise, even if the process takes time, it is useful to inform them frequently of progress. Finally, even if a candidate is refused, it must be informed. There is nothing worse for a candidate to be ignored.
  • Constructive feedback. Positive or negative, feedback is important for candidates, so that they understand their strengths and weaknesses, and can ‘improve for their next talks.

How to create a good candidate experience?

1. Career site and job offers

Whether they are passive or looking for a job, the vast majority of applicants will find out about the company online before applying. Your career site is the showcase of your employer brand, and often your first interface for interactions for the candidate experience.

However, from the impersonal presentation of the company to the complicated application forms, career sites rarely appeal to Internet users.

Your career site should reflect your corporate culture. Many platforms, including Recruitee, give you the tools to build an ergonomic and personalized interface. It is important to provide an online recruiting process that is easy, intuitive and does not discourage applicants.

Also, think about your social networks! Many large companies create accounts dedicated to their employer brand and the promotion of their offers.

Social media accounts and your site are showcases for the employer brand. Take care! Their design and content speak as much about the business as it does about the company’s vision.

Finally, your recruitment announcements are crucial for a good candidate experience. They must be clear, structured, and above all make the candidate want to apply.

Beyond their content, they can become a real medium of communication. Their creativity, their humor, or on the contrary the challenge she launches to candidates already speak of the corporate culture and the employee experience.

2. Communication

Try to personalize your process, and familiarize the candidate as much as possible with your company. Encourage meetings, whether in person or online.

The most important thing is not to forget to communicate frequently with your candidates, and especially not to forget to answer them!

This can sometimes be difficult when you manage your recruiting directly from your mailbox. For this, think of an ATS , which will facilitate communication both with candidates but also with your team.

3. Recruitment process

Think about a plan first, then a solid recruiting process before bringing in candidates. You don’t want to improvise along the way!

A typical recruitment process usually involves a pre-selection call, an interview with the recruiter and hiring manager, and a final interview before making an offer. Yours can be much simpler or much more complex: the important thing is that it is clear and that the candidate knows what to expect.

You can also be creative to create a memorable experience: hackathon, sports competitions, innovation competition between candidates, conferences on your core business… From the traditional Open House Day to the escape game, the best employer brands are entering unexpected meeting places.

What is and how to create a great candidate experience | Workable

4. Final decision

This is the favorite time for recruiters and candidates alike! The announcement of a job is loaded with positive emotions. Make it a highlight of your employer brand and the candidate experience.

The watchword remains authentic. The candidate of yesterday becomes your new collaborator: take care to mark the transition. Get inspired by your own corporate rituals:

  • Create striking visuals: a personalized office, a video welcoming his new colleagues …
  • Slip goodies in the colors of the company in the fold by which you send him the contract.
  • Your candidate may be hesitating between several offers. If in doubt, it is better to leave a little time for reflection. But if you’re already certain of his answer, invite him to your premises for a surprise announcement!

Before you start, get the opinions of your teams. Their good reception will determine the success of the recruitment, but they will be uncooperative if your approach does not convince them.

The employer brand doesn’t end with the hiring decision. You still have to manage the integration of your new recruits, as well as the announcement of your decision to the other candidates.

The rejection will be more painful for those who were short-listed. They could still have their place in your business! However, rejected candidates are 4 times more likely to apply for another of your positions if they receive personalized feedback from your recruiters.

Thanks to the individual monitoring of each candidate by your ATS, your recruiters have the information they need for a sincere discussion. They can objectively assess the candidate’s performance, explain the hiring decision, even suggest areas for improvement.

The candidate’s profile will be able to join your digital talent pool. Do not forget to ask him for permission, to take care of your employer brand to the end.

Candidate experience tools

Even the company most invested in improving its candidate experience does not have the resources to forge an individual relationship with each person who applies for its offers. Once again, ATS takes over!

These tools now automate some of the most time-consuming tasks in the recruiting process:

This does not mean that the candidate is only dealing with robots. On the contrary: freed from some of their most dehumanizing missions, HR teams can focus on their relationship with each candidate.