Recruiting & Hiring Blog for HR Professionals

Am I Creating a Positive Applicant Experience?

HR teams are understandably concerned with filling positions quickly while finding the best candidates possible. Delivering a positive applicant experience is a proven way to achieve these goals, as well as to reinforce the organization’s overall brand and create goodwill. But what does it take to create a positive applicant experience? 

Here are four questions HR teams can ask to evaluate whether they’re offering candidates a favorable experience, as well as some recommendations about how to make improvements if necessary.
  1. How easy is it for candidates to find open positions at your organization? The applicant life cycle begins as individuals search for jobs of interest to them. Job seekers should be able to easily find open positions on the company’s career site, as well as on job boards. If this isn’t the case for your organization, evaluate what barriers exist for posting jobs. In many cases, HR teams simply don’t have the time needed to create a branded website or to manually add positions to job boards. If this is the case, an applicant tracking system may be the answer, as it allows busy HR reps to post open positions to top job boards easily.
  2. How difficult is it for candidates to apply for positions? Time is as valuable to applicants as it is for HR teams. Paper application processes are outmoded, and cumbersome online applications are no better from a candidate perspective. An easy-to-use, streamlined, online application process suggests an organization is interested in leading-edge technology and in using candidates’ time wisely. Although most recruiters would like to deliver a user-friendly, electronic application, many are unsure where to begin. IT resources usually have more work than they can handle, without taking on new projects for HR. A system that allows for streamlined application processes can be implemented quickly and easily without heavy lifting from the in-house IT team. 
  3. Do applicants feel they always know where they stand in the interview process? One of the central aspects of delivering a positive applicant experience is making candidates feel they are respected. That can be achieved by implementing processes that use their time wisely, as well as by ensuring applicants always feel well-informed about the status of their application. If your team relies on snail-mail postcards to let candidates know their applications have been received or plays endless phone tag as they try to set up interviews, you can be certain applicants don’t feel up to date. A better solution is an automated process that instantly sends out acknowledgment emails when applications are received and uses electronic communication to quickly and efficiently set up interviews. Many applicant tracking systems deliver this functionality out of the box. 
  4. Once an offer has been accepted, is there an onboarding process that is straightforward and makes the candidate feel they’ve made the right choice? After a candidate accepts a job offer, the candidate experience doesn’t end. It’s important to maintain proactive communication with the applicant and make the transition from candidate to employee as seamless as possible. Manually assembling and sending onboarding packages to new hires can be time consuming for HR teams. Automating that process gives recruiters more time to spend on more value-added activities, like in-depth phone conversations with new employees. A comprehensive applicant tracking system can address every aspect of the candidate experience— including onboarding.

Focusing on the candidate experience can generate significant benefits for HR teams, hiring managers and the organization overall. To learn more about how to attract the best talent, download our eBook “5 Tips for Hiring Rock Star Employees” today.


Topics: Candidate Experience, Hiring Process

This is disclaimer text. We’ve shared these tips to help educate you on social media employment screenings and considerations for your business — this information should not be construed as legal advice. But if your company chooses to screen applicants on social media or want to explore the topic even further, consult with an attorney for advice related to this screening tactic.

Photo credit: photographer via website

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