The candidate experience of poorly designed career pages, limited communication with hiring managers alongside lowball offers are no longer the norm now commonplace. In todays competitive market, job candidates know that they are in high demand and in turn expect a much higher quality experience than in the past.
Finding work these days has become a matter of convenience. The convenience lifestyle is something we have all become accustom to. Buying a car, getting finance, planning a trip are all just a few clicks away. People expect a good and easy experience in all aspects of their lives and applying for a job is no longer any different. That is why auditing and assessing the quality of your candidate experience has never been more important.
Start with the application process:
You need to know how candidates are finding your jobs and what information they gather and consider before deciding to apply. To really put yourself in a candidate’s shoes and learn what the application process really feels like.
Here are some tips for auditing your application process:
Where is the job?
First things first, don’t let your browser trick you. The cookies that track your internet activities can skew the results of your audit. Put your browser in incognito mode before starting to give yourself a clean slate. This can be done by clicking CTRL + Shift + N on Google Chrome. Go to Google and search for the role. Make note of the top 5 places it appears, the highest one being the most likely for a candidate to click through.
Is the job posting on the first page of Google?
If yes that’s great, but if not perhaps it’s worth mentioning to your marketing team to give them the opportunity to improve their SEO.
Is the job posting on a career site or third-party job board?
This is both beneficial and an issue for companies. It does allow a wider candidate reach for your company but make sure you click through and see what it is like to apply for a job through the service. This will allow you to feel the process and see what shortcomings the third-party website or your own website has. Make note of how many clicks and how long it takes you to apply and of course any hiccups or hurdles you encounter. It’s crucial that the entire process is completed to you understand the entirety of your application process from start to finish.
Would the strongest of candidates complete the application?
After completing the application audit do you think that a high-level candidate would complete the process? If not, then you will need to make some user experience adjustments to the website. Pin point the issues at hand and get them remedied. When these issues are ironed out the next phase of the audit can be completed.
How long can you wait?
Now that you have applied for your own company, it’s time to find out how long it takes for your company to get back to you. Think about the time between your application submission and your company’s response, how long does it take to schedule an interview? Is there a lack of feedback after an interview? How long does it take the team to decide?
These are all times when your potential candidate is left waiting and is likely looking at other companies. Lack of contact can cause impatience with your hiring process.
Here are some things to look out for during the waiting phase:
How does it sound?
Don’t just make note of how long it takes to receive a response but also make note of how the response sounds when you receive it. Is it professional? Is there a call to action so that the candidates know what to do next or what to expect next? Is there clear and concise information that can’t be misconstrued?
Your Internal Mechanics
Has the CV you crafted reached the hiring manager? How are your internal mechanics of the process monitored and handled? Is GDPR complied with during every phase of the applicant’s journey?
Once you have completed as much of the journey as you can internally to audit the application and communication process it is time to get additional data. This can be done by surveying some recent candidates/new hires about their experiences with the process. Here is an example of some questions that can be asked.
- How did you find the company and apply?
- What did you like the most about the process?
- What aspect of the process did you dislike most?
- How much time was there between your application and your start date (excluding your notice period)?
- What would you change about our hiring process?
This will add additional clarity to the trends across candidate experiences and allow you to create additional remedies to fix the issues to hand.
Some added fixes
75% of candidates research companies across multiple channels before even deciding to apply. Company culture as well as company information is now a vital part of the candidate’s research process in todays competitive marketplace. This is a great opportunity to update your websites career page. Make important information readily available, highlight your company values and add testimonials from employees highlighting the aspects of the company they enjoy and value most.
In addition, another aspect that can cause impatience is duplication, if two different people need to interview a person but a lot of the questions are duplicated this can be annoying. Is CV information requested more than once? These issues can be ironed out with a simple team meeting with the HR/Recruitment team and make for a more streamlined and efficient process.
Customise and Personalise
Do you send the same information to everyone in a type of blanket statements during each phase of the application process? If so, you are missing out on a vital communication opportunity to positively impact your candidate experience process. There are many automated systems than can provide some additional personalisation including adding in a first name. These little touches make a difference.
When extending an offer to a candidate there are many ways of making the communication exciting. Make sure a candidate is excited about starting their new role. Have people on the team they will be working with sign a congratulations card or invite them for a team lunch before they start. These little touches can provide an additional layer of positivity to your candidate experience but also for onboarding.
There are many ways that a candidate experience can be improved. Using a recruitment agency that has a strong focus on candidate experience can also be beneficial. If you would like to discuss our candidate experience further feel free to contact us here.