The term candidate experience refers to a candidate’s perception (positive, negative or neutral) through the recruitment journey.
Candidate experience is a journey; it starts from the first interaction with a candidate until after the onboarding process. So, how many opportunities do companies have to create a positive experience through the candidate process?
Candidate experience is how a job seeker perceives a company’s brand throughout the hiring process — from the job description to the interview process to follow-up communications. Each step provides an opportunity to build stronger candidate relationships and show job seekers why they should want to work at your company.Jen Dewar
Why Candidate Journey Experience Matters
There are many opportunities to engage with candidates and contribute to a positive candidate journey, from when candidates find out about the role, take a sneak peek at the job ad, apply for a job, get a job interview invitation, receive post-interview feedback, etcetera. You can get the picture!
A Positive Candidate experience makes the recruitment process more enjoyable for all parties involved:
- It matters for the candidates: 6 out of 10 candidates admit having had a poor candidate experience.
- It matters to the companies: A bad candidate experience leads to a bad reputation. Bad recruitment branding, over time, makes recruitment more difficult for companies.
To improve your candidates’ journey experience, you must look at your company’s culture and how well you communicate it as part of your recruitment branding.
How to communicate your company culture while recruiting
Company culture matters more than ever for two reasons: the shortage of skilled digital and IT professionals and the shift of expectations from candidates, who expect more from companies than a competitive salary.
Company culture is more important than ever for companies looking to engage with the skilled talent they hope to recruit. To do so, they need to look at what attracts people to their company and emphasise it in their recruitment process.
These days, people don’t go to work just to earn money. They want other things that matter to them: career progression, a development plan, more flexibility, etc. Companies need to get the message across their careers page, the job adverts or the testimonials.David Berwick. Adria Solutions Director
Your Company’s Careers Page should be a reflection of your Company Culture
Does your company have a career page? Career pages are an essential tool for companies to stand out from the crowd and explain the company’s culture and the “selling points” of joining their team, which might include information about the key benefits it offers, growing opportunities, their commitment to flexible working, or if it provides attractive company perks to attract diverse profiles, such as generous parental leave, health plans, bonuses, or stock options.
Your Recruitment Partner can Reinforce the Message
Whether you have a company’s career page, your trusted IT Recruitment partner is your secret ally. For instance, our recruitment consultants at Adria Solutions can help you communicate your benefits and culture to your potential candidates, emphasising the benefits we believe will be more interested in, depending on their personal and professional needs.
If you already have a company page, Adria can reinforce and expand the message to our vast talent network. At the same time, we’ll make sure the job ads we post on your behalf accurately reflect your workplace culture and mention the most sought-after company perks your company offers.
Take the example of Adria Solutions company culture:
- We are a friendly, trusted, and professional recruitment consultancy.
- We are not pushy. We listen and build rapport with clients and candidates.
- We provide 360-degree recruitment solutions.
- We have 20 years of experience in Tech, Digital and Marketing. We know everything there’s to know about recruiting in those three areas of expertise!
Transparent Job Descriptions Improve the Candidate Journey Experience
Hiring managers need to be clear about what they expect from their candidates to make sure the candidates applying for the role and those head-hunted by recruitment professionals are what the company needs.
This topic could easily deserve a whole article, but to keep it short, we’d say that a good job advert should include the following:
- The right job title: right to the point, clear and concise.
- Your “must-have” and your “nice-to-have” requirements.
- The responsibilities and tasks of the new hire = the expectations and responsibilities.
- The salary information: our team always encourages our clients to include it, although sometimes firms hide salary details for specific reasons.
- The benefits and the company’s culture to sell the role.
Because of our innovative recruitment technologies, we can offer our clients specific advice on why a job isn’t receiving the attention it should or find out what’s preventing interested candidates who have clicked on the ad to get more information from submitting their applications. We can then make informed decisions and adjust your company’s recruitment strategy by looking at the data and insights.
Main Obstacles in the Job Application Process
Let’s analyse this situation together: A candidate sees a job ad. It sounds perfect, so they apply. First, they need to fill out a long and complicated online form, then, at the end of the job application process, attach a CV, maybe a motivation letter or a portfolio. Sometimes, record a short video or do a solo video interview for candidate screening purposes. Then, there might be online skills assessments, several interviews, and a long wait for the hiring decision.
It sounds painfully long and tedious, right? You don’t want your favourite candidates getting tired halfway through their candidate journey experience. You want them happy and engaged!
And, what is more, what if the decision comes when this candidate has already accepted another job offer from your competitor?
Biggest Obstacles to the Job Application Process
- Too long application forms
- Multiple rounds of job interviews
- A too-complex or too-long process
- A lack of transparency in the process
- A lack of communication and feedback
- Unnecessary delays in making the hiring decision
It doesn’t necessarily mean that your hiring process has to be short. You must still engage with the candidate and confirm it’s a good fit. A bad hire can be expensive!
Our team of experienced IT recruitment specialists can partner with your internal teams to review your existing candidate journey and remove any obstacles so that you don’t miss out on the top tech talent.
Benefits of using the right recruitment software
There are several reasons why a company should use the right software for talent acquisition and recruitment:
- To advertise your role and get to more candidates.
- To save time, money and human resources, and reduce time to hire – E.g. if a hiring manager receives too many job applications, how long will it take them to go through all the CVs and arrange all job interviews?
- To access a wider talent pool that includes passive candidates.
- To simplify the recruitment tasks, such as CV screening, candidate shortlisting, interview scheduling, interview feedback…
- To ensure all data is protected and communications are private and confidential.
Main Advantages of Using the Latest Recruitment Technologies
Without naming the particular software tools that Adria uses, we can give you examples of how recruitment technologies help us improve our job:
- With the help of AI tools, our recruitment consultants can search databases in seconds to find the best candidates for a tech, digital or marketing role. We can search for local talent and expand our search to candidates in other areas that might be looking for remote opportunities.
- We can reach 3x more candidates through personalised email or LinkedIn’s In-Mail, automating some of the manual tasks of traditional recruitment, and then use all the extra time to build meaningful relationships with our candidates and clients.
- We can utilise our video interviewing software for solo video interviews, where candidates can comfortably record their answers or video interviews, a trendy option since the pandemic.
- We can encourage candidates to subscribe to job alerts, unsubscribe and control their personal information.
We invest heavily in innovative recruitment tools. We’re all about bringing premium recruitment solutions to the table. It gives our clients the keys to the elite talent club without the hefty price tag!
Helping candidates get a positive experience
At Adria Solutions, we have a golden rule: “Treat people how you want to be treated yourself”.
When we talk to candidates, this means trying to find out about a candidate’s skills, experience, ambitions and personality. Listen carefully to their needs, personal situations, preferences and salary expectations.
Example questions you might ask:
- What type of company would you enjoy working in?
- (If they apply to a senior position) Do you want to lead a team or accomplish complex tasks in your speciality?
- Would you like to mentor others in their role?
- Do you want specific training in a particular area?
- Is there any specific area or industry you prefer?
- What type of benefits interests you the most?
Focus on Building Relationships and Trust
It’s not only about asking questions like those abovementioned. You must listen carefully, understand the candidates and have an honest conversation to build rapport.
- Offer helpful advice about the candidate process and help them stay calm, offering your support.
- Be patient and flexible when you need to be.
- Keep candidates informed and offer constructive feedback as soon as it’s available.
- And never push a candidate to attend an interview or take a role they don’t want to.
At the end of the day, we want to create a solid and honest relationship to keep the candidates happy and engaged through the candidate journey. This positive experience boosts employee retention from successful candidates.
We are proof of the success of this approach. Many of the candidates we have placed in jobs return to us later in their careers as clients or candidates and recommend our services to their colleagues and friends.
Fostering a Positive Experience during the Interview Process and delivering Post-Interview feedback
The job interview is a critical moment in the candidate’s journey. What happens at this moment of the process will affect the final experience of the candidates.
If you are a hiring manager, we recommend planning the interview questions according to the top skills for the role listed in the job description. This way, you’ll be able to evaluate and compare each candidate’s skills: their must-have skills, their nice-to-have skills, their tech skills, and their soft skills.
You can use competency-based questions to get candidates to give a response that tells a story about how they react to real-life scenarios. Their answers will provide valuable insights into an applicant’s skills, knowledge and attitude.
You should also inform candidates and recruitment consultants about the stages of the interview process to give candidates a chance to prepare accordingly. You don’t want to catch candidates off guard, be underprepared, and make everyone (candidates, recruiters, yourself, and your company) lose their time. You want candidates at their full potential and receptive.
Create a Comfortable Interview Environment
You want to use the job interview to sell the role to the candidate and explain what to expect from the position, your current projects, and the office culture. If you have the opportunity, show the candidate around the office. This candidate might already have some other interviews or job offers, so your ability to catch their interest might decide the balance on your side.
Today’s Unsuccessful Candidate can be Tomorrow’s Ideal Candidate
After the interview, remember to offer post-interview feedback to the successful candidate and, especially, to the unsuccessful candidates as soon as it’s available. Today’s unsuccessful candidate can be tomorrow’s ideal candidate.
Measuring candidate experience to improve the candidate’s journey
Many people believe the job of recruitment consultants is all done after the company produces a job offer without measuring the candidate’s journey experience.
At Adria Solutions, we support our candidates through onboarding to ensure they have the best experience, which allows us to engage with the candidates for the last time. We clean any misunderstandings and double-check that all unsuccessful candidates have received their post-interview feedback and that successful candidates are happy with their final offer.
At Adria, we focus on Happy Hiring
All companies, big or small, should try to help candidates through onboarding to ensure the new hire adapts to the company and the office culture and that their new role meets their expectations. The goal here is to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible.
Our recruitment consultants can negotiate a salary or additional benefits for the candidate, such as more flexibility, a bonus based on your productivity, paid learning opportunities, etc. This final step is essential for a successful candidate journey. Your company doesn’t want the new hire starting their job thinking they could have gotten a better offer. We want to focus on happy hiring.
How to gather final feedback
Hiring managers can use this moment to gather feedback on the performance as a company; this is, seek input from both the successful and unsuccessful candidates. Or you can use a candidate experience survey.
An anonymous questionnaire is a helpful tool to gather information about the candidate’s journey to discover any weaknesses of your process and how to improve it. You can include the successful and the rejected candidates in the feedback process to learn more about weaknesses in each stage of the hiring process.
If a candidate dropped out during the process, you can analyse why this happened. Was there something wrong with the interviewing process? Was it too long or too complicated? Was there a problem in communicating the company’s culture? Was there anything they’d like to have known in advance? Or, the timing was wrong.
Sometimes, candidates feel they can be more direct with their trusted recruitment consultant than the hiring manager because they already have a relationship with us, so candidates often talk more openly about the issues with us. If you are a hiring manager concerned about this, we can discuss it.
Why to Encourage Internal Candidate Feedback
It’s best to encourage candidate feedback internally rather than being surprised by a bad public review on Trustpilot, Glassdoor or social media from an unhappy candidate. You don’t want it to harm your reputation, and anything you learn from the feedback can help you improve your candidate experience for future processes.
Final thoughts on improving the candidate’s journey experience
We hope you found our guide helpful and that our professional expertise helps you create a great candidate experience and improve your recruitment strategy.
You can watch an online version of our guide on improving the candidate’s journey experience on our official YouTube channel. Or get in touch for a complimentary consultation on your employment branding to enhance your recruitment strategy.