You've been hearing the buzz about building employer/company brand among candidates. But you haven't seen any tangible results on this and that makes you skeptical about this whole phenomenon. With some experience on hiring the first few employees for my company, I can say that though the results are not tangible at first, you'll see how your employees respect your organization and speak highly of it which ultimately does good for the employer brand. Providing the right candidate experience from the sourcing to onboarding, your candidates can be your brand ambassadors.
Most recruiters just rely on defining candidate experience as the journey of the candidate until they reach your career site. Candidate experience means more than just that. It is the sum total of every interaction and activity between your company and the candidate even before you start sourcing to the orientation program on day one and the days after that.
Almost 82.4 percent candidates complain about not having a good candidate experience. It's not rocket science to provide them the experience they look for. It can be quite tricky to arrive at a conclusion and say, 'This is it! This is how I can give them the best' but it’s possible to arrive closer to that point. 78.6% of candidates surveyed would definitely tell their inner circle about a positive experience (62% would share a negative experience) and 28% would share a positive experience on Social Media (17% would share if it was negative). These are very big numbers to let go.
I've put together a few tangibles (stats) for you and a few pointers on how you can provide a good candidate experience to your to-be employees (or not). And this can be your success mantra to create the perfect employer/company branding and an organic talent pool.
Before I delve into the components of getting the candidate experience right, here's one point that supersedes all and also catalyzes the process. 'Think from the candidate's perspective,' this could help you achieve your bigger goal of creating a better employer brand. Think of the time when you applied for a job, how you felt about the process you went through, if it was bad - think of ideas that can make it better for your candidates. If your experience was good - come up with a plan to make it better anyway! Experience is a continuum, it doesn't reach saturation, and hence, it is imperative that you evolve with time and your candidates.
So, what comprises a good candidate experience? There are a various important factors, here’s the breakdown based on a research report by Business2Community on candidate experience.
- Better Communication (34%)
- Being Told That They Didn’t Make It Through (28%)
- Hiring Process Steps (21%)
- More Human Contact (14%)
- Quick Replies (13%)
- Easy-To-Understand Job Descriptions (12%)
- Updates (10%)
- Application Confirmation (9%)
- Short Application Form (7%)
Start with these stats; make amends to your current process until you plan one with your boss. It’s important to come up with your own plan because every brand has a different necessity and its own pain points. Addressing these pain points should be the agenda of the new plan.
1. Make the interview a two-way street with candidate engagement
It’s not a decision you can jump into today- it’s a strategy, a process. It needs a good amount of thought put into it. Start with an internal survey; make it anonymous. Bad responses are good; it’s the only way to rectify the problems in your hiring process. Engaging candidates with articles, photos of the good times at office, starting a buddyup system to introduce the new hire to the entire group is just a start on engaging candidates. Trust your instincts and go with the flow, you’ll know what will work, eventually.
2. Personalize the interview process - look up on the internet before the f2f
It’s really that simple; you spend a good amount of time sourcing the candidate. Why not spend five more minutes on their LinkedIn account? Or any other professional sites they are on before meeting them for the HR round? Just a hint that you know something about them that’s not mentioned in the resume will give them the impression that it really means a good deal for the company to have them onboard. Most of the times, candidates are asked questions on information that is furnished in the first page of the resume.
3. ‘Applying for a Job is like throwing anticipation into a Black hole’ - Break this Myth
Notify candidates when you receive their application, when they are not selected, or when they are on hold. Keep them updated. Work towards proving that recruitment process is not a black hole. 86% of the candidates who applied for an open position have never heard back from the company. So always, always reply to emails - even an automated one will do if you can’t personally reply. Something is better than nothing. But if you are putting efforts to improve the brand health, why not go all the way? Hire someone to do this or find a technology that helps you inject personalization into the automated emails.
4. Impression once made is made - Be careful not to throw your chance the first time
The first impression rule applies here as in any other field, and the first day of work is too late to impress employees. Try engaging them earlier, during the recruiting process, and you will have a pool of qualified and motivated candidates to choose from. The perfect candidates that you have been looking for are constantly deterred by bad cadidate experiences. Sure enough not all candidates are perfect for the roles they apply for, but they could be perfect for another. Bad experiences are only going to discourage them and their friends to apply to your company. Here, you are not only losing out on employer brand; you are also stopping the talent pool from replenishing itself organically and effortlessly.
5. What Happens Once Good Candidate Experience is in Place?
- Builds Brand Health and hence, Brand Loyalty
- Your Company’s Bottom Line
- Influences Retention and Attraction
- Encourages Referrals
A good, early, and “human” candidate experience can help companies build a consistent talent pool, stronger employer brand, and happy brand ambassadors. And as a bonus, along with other perks of offering better experience you can also win various innovation awards in the long run.