The candidate experience is something many organizations overlook during the recruiting process. Yet, a positive experience can have far-reaching business consequences. A survey by the Talent Board found that more than half of candidates (61 percent) who had a positive applicant experience would actively recommend an organization to their peers for employment opportunities. While half of the candidates who have a positive experience share that information with others, close to a third (32 percent) of those who have a bad experience communicate negative word of mouth about the hiring organization.
So what aspects of the candidate experience are most important to applicants? NorthCoast 99 annually recognizes great places to work in Northeast Ohio. They surveyed applicants and found the variables that contribute most to a positive candidate experience relate to the hiring process timeline and expectations, as well as communication during the selection process. These are also the variables that contribute to some of the most common mistakes hiring managers make throughout the candidate experience.
Here are four common hiring pitfalls that can tarnish the candidate experience and ways to avoid them:
1. Failing to Convey Information About Your Culture and the Job
Before candidates apply for a position, they want some insight into the culture of the hiring organization and the specific job expectations. A good fit along both dimensions – culture and job requirements – leads to greater employee engagement and satisfaction. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t take time to convey their employment brand to applicants. While this may sound challenging, it doesn’t have to be.
Good applicant tracking systems enable companies to create customized, company-branded careers pages. This is an easy way to show candidates what your organization and your jobs are all about.
2. Creating a Time-Consuming Application Process
Candidates appreciate a hiring process that is efficient, well organized and respectful of their time. Online job applications are usually where people start. However, some application processes are easier than others. No one likes to spend time jumping through administrative hoops before they can apply for a job. Many employers require candidates to develop an exhaustive profile or create yet another login and password. A better approach is an applicant tracking system that streamlines the process and eliminates unnecessary speed bumps on the road to a new job like passwords and profiles.
3. Taking Too Long to Schedule Interviews
Research has found that candidates appreciate hiring processes that follow a reasonable timeline and that have clearly defined steps. Scheduling interviews can be one of the toughest aspects of hiring because it requires coordinating schedules for busy people. Rather than making your HR staff play phone tag with candidates, a better approach is to use online resources to schedule interviews. Some applicant tracking systems, for example, include modules that automate interview scheduling. Recruiters simply identify potential interview times and the system takes care of communicating with applicants and confirming time slots.
4. Not Following Up with Applicants
When candidates are frequently updated about the status of their applications, they are more likely to view an organization favorably. Although staying in touch with applicants is certainly a best practice, staying on top of numerous positions and emailing people could become a full-time job. A better solution is using an applicant tracking system that includes both automatic confirmation emails and applicant messaging.
With automatic emails, it’s easy to keep applicants informed about where they are in the hiring process. In an ideal world, your ATS will allow you to customize those messages, so your unique employment brand is reinforced through every touch point with a candidate. Applicant messaging is a good complement to automated emails because it makes it possible for recruiters to communicate with candidates right from the applicant tracking system.
The hallmarks of a positive candidate experience are efficiency, organization, timely communication and a streamlined application process. Many organizations have found that leveraging technology is the best way to achieve this vision and to make a positive impression on applicants. Not only does this approach lighten the workload for your department, it can also pay dividends indirectly through positive word of mouth and a positive applicant experience.
If you’re in need of a hiring process that creates a positive experience for your applicants, we’re here to help. Click here to learn more about Hyrell’s all-in-one applicant tracking solution.