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Tips To Improve The Candidate Experience

Published: Wednesday 7th October 2015

Interviewer shaking candidates hand

As a recruiter, attracting the best talent for your clients is your key aim but have you ever thought about how the way you are recruiting looks through your candidates’ eyes?

Understanding fully what the candidate experience is like can only improve the service you offer – and that will result in happy clients and satisfied candidates. And what better way to enhance your reputation and beat the competition than to have content candidates who hopefully spread the word for you?

Creating a positive candidate experience is essential in attracting and placing the best people. But to understand what the candidate experience of dealing with your recruitment agency is like, you have to put yourself in their shoes and it may have been several years since you were on the other side of the desk. You also need to know how the experience your agency offers compares to that of the competition.

There are several steps in the process of looking for a new job and the experience at each stage can generally be improved for candidates. You need to be sure the process is the best it can be when people think about applying for the positions you need to fill.

Step 1 – The first point of contact
Whether it is an advert, a social media post, a jobs fair or a meeting at a conference, like all first impressions, the candidate’s initial point of contact with you is important. If it is an advert, look at it and ask yourself, would you apply to this, or to a competitor’s ad? If you are seeking to attract people at a jobs fair, are you looking approachable and professional? If you are hoping use social media have you created something that is compelling and different?

Step 2 – Your website/online application process
Studies have shown that a vast majority – some say 90% – of candidates who reach a career site do not go on to complete an application. It can’t be the case that they are ALL simply browsing to see what’s available to them. If you are investing time and effort to get people to visit your site, why not have the online tools they need to complete applications swiftly and painlessly? Go through the application process yourself and note any technical areas that can be improved. Also, advising candidates on how long the online process is likely to take and what information they need to have to hand will also manage expectations and improve the experience.

Step 3 – Interviewing
This may be something you do every day, and you’re most likely very good at it. But can the same be said for every member of your team? Training sessions to educate staff on the meaning of the candidate experience are beneficial, as is videoing mock interviews so they can see how they come across.

Communication is key for candidates throughout the recruitment process so remember to keep in touch with candidates through every stage. Perhaps you could devise an ‘interview tool kit’ with branded, customised thank you cards and e-cards to send to candidates before or after interviews. And often, the time between an offer of a position being accepted and the person starting the job is when communication ceases – job done in the recruiter’s eyes? As you can imagine, the candidate may start to have second thoughts so be sure to keep in touch at that point. Remember it’s the little things such as this that will set you apart in a highly competitive market.

Step 4 – In The Job
And that’s that, right? Wrong. Employees decide if they’re happy in their new post within the first three weeks and 22% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days. Even a ‘settling in’ phone call can go a long way towards making someone believe they have made the right choice and reduces the likelihood that your placing won’t work out. Continual communication during the first few months of a placement can really aid retention.

Zoek is the smart job-searching app that can connect candidates with recruiters at the click of a button. If you are a recruiter why not Register Here to let Zoek help you achieve faster, smarter recruitment.

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