“Candidates are the most important stakeholders for any organization” says Prithvi Shergill, Chief Human Resource Officer, HCL Technologies in a People Matters TA Leadership League Twangout on Creating & Deploying Superior and Differentiated Candidate Experience. Not only are candidates important to the HR function but to the business as well. They are the ones who can make or break an organization’s talent brand image depending on their experience with it and that is why Prithvi strongly believes that it is essential to treat candidates like an organization would treat its customers.
While strategizing recruitment processes, it is imperative to understand and keep in mind the touchpoints a candidate goes through during the process. Organizations may have their own pressures and limitations but HR should always strive to provide the best candidate experience across all levels. Prithvi says, “Recruiting strategies and candidate experience cannot be ensured in the same way across levels”. At entry level it’s the ease of application process, experience one has at the front office, experience while applying on the website, availability of an interviewer on the given time and clear information about the next set of steps to be followed after an interview are a few things that can go a long way in creating a unique experience for the candidate. While at the senior level, it is more about communicating the job context well, valuing the candidate’s time, allowing them to ask as much as answer are the things that matter a lot. All this can only be ensured with a proper standardized procedure in place. As Prithvi says, “Good candidate experience is the outcome of a good process. While the candidate enjoys being valued, it’s the organization that is following a strict process at each step”.
While it is very crucial for an organization to create a unique candidate experience, it is equally important to measure the same. A lot of organizations are doing so through ‘blind candidate experience’ which is similar to the concept of ‘mystery shopping’ that auditors do. This activity clearly reflects what your candidates might be facing be it good or bad. It mirrors back your behaviour!
Talking of creating a unique candidate experience for the rejected candidates, Prithvi shares a very meaningful thought, “Never consider a candidate rejected”. In times of stiff competition each individual is open to robust learning and need not be a reject forever, hence it is important to keep your non-selected candidates engaged as well. Organizations should maintain a database of such individuals and keep them regularly engaged through online initiatives. This could come handy as a ready pool of talent to explore in future whenever required.
Candidate experience is not just restricted to the selection or assessment phase. It goes beyond. Post-selection candidate experience is equally important. Having a set process in place for the same helps create the right kind of experience for the candidate that makes him/her feel valued and excited about becoming a part of the company. It also strengthens the organization as a talent brand. Here are a few tips to ensure the same:
- Check if the offer letter reached in time
- Mutually discuss and confirm the joining date
- Introduce a buddy to the selected candidate even before the joining
- Email all the recent developments and status of the company to the candidate
With organizations focusing on creating a perfect candidate experience, the future of recruitment is also going to change positively, as organizations are going to be proactive and focus more on technologies like social and virtual media for recruiting, gamification, video resumes etc. With all this coming in, it’s easy to foresee that candidate experience is surely going to be the most critical criteria for any organization striving to be a strong talent brand.