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How to Improve Candidate Experience in 2022 to Attract the Best Talent

by Angela Griffiths

​Meta Description: Learn how to improve the candidate experience in 2022 to attract the best talent. You will beat your competitors and remain at the top of the game.

Candidates are your future employees and the ones who will get to use your company’s values day-in-day-out on their jobs. That is why you want to attract those at the top of their game. The goal is to delight candidates along every stage of their journey through the hiring process through effective candidate experience improvements, so they feel appreciated and engaged.

The candidates are the future of any organization. Suppose your company is unable to attract and retain the best talent. In that case, your requirement will remain unfulfilled no matter how hard you try. The task of attracting quality candidates is not very easy in this competitive world. However, some crucial aspects can help you achieve this goal as well.

This article discusses how advanced candidate experience can help in attracting potential candidates for the job.

What is Candidate Experience?

While there are many parts of the interview process to consider, candidate experience should be at the top of your list when looking for ways to improve your hiring strategy. So what is candidate experience exactly?

Candidate experience is the journey that candidates take when they apply to your company or go through the interview process with your organization. It is the perception job seekers have of your organization as they go through the interview process. While this journey varies slightly depending on factors like industry and job position, every applicant goes through some form of candidate experience.

The most common steps in the candidate experience include:

  • Researching and discovering open positions
  • Applying for jobs
  • Interviewing with hiring employers or other staff members
  • Getting an offer or receiving an email or phone call regarding their status after applying

Candidate experience is an important consideration for companies of all sizes, in all industries. But it’s particularly important for smaller businesses because they usually can’t compete with larger organizations on salary and benefits alone.

The best candidate experience ensures that job applicants are treated with courtesy and respect throughout the hiring process, from the first click on their website to their first day on the job. It’s important because candidates’ experiences with your company can impact how your employer brand is perceived and how talented people view you as an employer.

Reasons Why Candidate Experience is Important to Your Company

No matter how much you sweat over your company’s marketing campaigns, if you don’t focus on the candidate experience, the process that job applicants go through when interacting with your company, you may come up short when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

A good candidate experience is important for companies of all sizes, from small businesses looking to hire their first employee to large organizations with hundreds of open roles. Here are ways that improving candidate experience can benefit your business:

1. Attract Better Quality Candidates

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If you provide a good candidate experience, people will notice. They’ll tell their friends and colleagues about their experience, and they may even write about it online. This will turn into word-of-mouth marketing for your organization and help you attract better, more qualified candidates in the future. Remember, candidates don’t just want to work for a company that pays well, but they also want to find a workplace where they feel valued and respected. If you treat them well, they’re likely to share their experiences with others.

2. Keep Existing Talents

Do you know what one of the most common reasons people leave a job is? It has nothing to do with pay, benefits, or vacation days; it’s all about culture. If a company doesn’t treat its employees well, those employees are likely to leave at the first opportunity. And if they’re treated well, they are likely to remain there for a long time. Therefore employee retention will be high while employee turnover will be low.

3. Improve Employer Brand

Career branding is the way an organization markets itself to both current employees and job candidates. It includes everything from personal interactions with employees and candidates to job descriptions, career sites, social media channels, recruiting marketing materials, and more.

Many studies have found that a good candidate experience is vital to employer branding and talent acquisition. Candidates who have a positive experience with a corporation, even if they don’t get the job, will speak positively about their experience. And candidates who have poor experience will tell others not to bother applying.

4. Reduce Hiring Cost

Employers who provide a good candidate experience see significant cost savings in their hiring processes. Candidates who have a positive experience during the interview process are more likely to accept offers than those who have negative experiences. Additionally, they may be inclined to offer referrals or share their positive experiences online with social media friends and followers — helping you generate free marketing buzz for your business.

Tips onHow to Improve Candidate Experience

Your candidate experience is everything to your recruiting team. So how do you improve it? Here are tips to help your business improve on candidate experience:

1. Understand Candidates’ Reasons for Applying

Just because someone applies for a job doesn’t mean they will accept the position if it’s offered. Knowing what the candidate wants out of their next job will help you match them to the right position. Whether they are looking for a change in their career or a change in location, understanding their motivation is key to attracting top talent.

Candidates apply to companies for all sorts of reasons. Some are motivated by money; others are in search of a better job balance or greater opportunities for advancement. To improve the quality of candidates who apply, include information that appeals to their motivations and concerns in your job descriptions.

For example, include the salary range if applicable. Candidates who apply without knowing what pay they can expect may not be motivated by money, but applicants who want to know how much they will make will likely only apply if they like what they see.

2. Be Transparent and Honest

Showing your true colors is critical to building trust with a candidate and setting proper expectations from day one. Candidates should know exactly how long it will take for you to get back in touch with them, what benefits are included with the position, and why the position is open in the first place. Providing these answers upfront helps eliminate confusion and stress for everyone involved.

A big part of setting expectations is being honest about your hiring process. The most common mistake made by companies is not communicating enough with their applicants. This includes taking too long between interviews or even not responding at all after an interview is done. Candidates want updates on their applications.

3. Keep Candidates Updated

Keep candidates engaged by making sure they receive timely updates. Hiring employers should also know what their role is in the interview process and how involved they should be. The more transparent and informative you are with candidates throughout the hiring process, the better their experience will be. For example, suppose a company knows a decision won’t be made for several weeks. In that case, it’s important to let candidates know so they’re not waiting around.

4. Accurate and Up-to-date job Adverts

You need to sell your company to the candidate in order to attract them and make them want to work for you over your competitors.

An easy way to do this is by creating a detailed job description that sells the role and highlights its benefits. Include lots of information about your company and what makes it unique — what are its values? What does it stand for? If a candidate doesn’t know your company well, this will be their first port of call for learning about it.

Include as much information as possible in the job description so that there are a few surprises as possible for the candidate during the interview process itself.

5. Maintain an Easy Application Process

If your application process is too long or complicated, candidates will lose interest before they even get to the interview stage. This is especially true for millennials who are used to frictionless experiences in other areas of their lives.

6. First Impressions Matter

So when candidates visit your website, they should immediately know what you’re all about as an employer. That means showcasing your culture, values, and employee testimonials front and center on your careers page. And it should be easy for candidates to find information about job openings and apply online through desktop computers or mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

The first step in ensuring a positive candidate experience is showing them how unique the company is. Companies can create a welcome video on the careers page to show candidates what working for that company is like. It’s also important to have a team member meet with them when they arrive for their interview to know who they will be speaking with and have someone to guide them through their visit.

7. Keep Expectations Clear

People want to know what they are getting into before applying for the position. This can help them understand if they would be a good fit for the position and give them an idea of what to expect throughout the hiring process.

Keep in mind that while the job might be just another role in your organization, it means so much more to the person applying. They have hopes and dreams pinned on this opportunity, and they’re hoping they can make a difference at your company. They want to know what kind of environment they’ll be working in, what their team will be like, what kind of challenges they’ll face and how they can grow with the company.

Always keep candidates in the loop during every stage of the hiring process, even if you don’t pick them for the job. You’ll want to set realistic expectations with candidates, so they know what to expect at each step of the way. For example, explain how long it will take a hiring employer to get back to them with feedback or if they’ll move forward in the process.

8. Give Feedback

Applying for a job can be stressful, and when you don’t get selected for a position, it can be hard to know why you weren’t chosen. Giving feedback after an interview or letting an applicant know why they didn’t move forward in the process will help them better prepare for their next interview or application.

At the end of each interview, ask the candidate if they have any questions. If not, respond with something like: “I’d love to get your feedback on what we could do better in our interview process. Is there anything you’d like to share?” Be attentive and empathetic, so the candidate feels comfortable giving honest feedback. Don’t interrupt or offer excuses; just listen.

Bottom Line

Recruiting the best talent has become harder, particularly in a competitive job market like the one we are experiencing. Organizations need to do everything possible to attract and keep the best talent because the future of their companies depends on it.

Employers can take their candidate experience to a new level by focusing on particularly critical areas to candidates’ feelings about them. These include pertinent details such as transparent communication, an engaging and well-designed interview process; intelligent staffing practices; and compensation plans built around value rather than just cost-cutting measures.

Call-To-Action

Some of these issues seem like common sense, and many companies are likely already doing so. But perhaps the real takeaway from this list is that job seekers have changed to a point where ignoring or taking them for granted could hurt your company. If you want to attract the best talent in five years, strive to meet these requirements because they will move on to something better if you don’t.

Answers to Questions

What is meant by candidate experience?

The perception of a candidate’s experience with an employer throughout the hiring process.

What is the ideal candidate experience?

It is the equivalent of a courteous, likable, and productive atmosphere for the candidate.

Why is a good candidate experience important?

It creates an employer brand that determines the type of talent that you will attract.

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