Building a workforce that will drive business success begins with attracting, screening, and hiring the right people. As organizations navigate employee recruitment, it is crucial that they consider the process from the candidates’ perspective and take steps to create the best possible candidate experience—even for those who are not offered a position.
The candidate experience encompasses each step in recruitment, including the first information that a candidate sees about an open position, initial contact with hiring managers, interviewing, follow-up, and if applicable, new hire onboarding. Organizations that offer a positive experience for job candidates may enjoy several benefits, such as lower recruitment costs, a stronger reputation and employer brand, more qualified hires, and time savings when filling open positions. On the other hand, in today’s hyperconnected world, a negative candidate experience has the potential to quickly damage an organization’s employer brand, harming its reputation among other applicants and even customers. This is because job candidates who feel that they have been treated poorly during recruitment could post critical reviews on Glassdoor and other review sites or share their experiences on social media.
From sourcing potential candidates to onboarding new employees, how can organizations create a recruitment experience that will boost their employer brand among current and future candidates? Here are a few strategies:
- Write clear and accurate job descriptions. When advertising an open position, provide clearly written, jargon-free job descriptions that accurately represent what the position entails. Do not oversell the position or the organization, as this could lead to turnover among new hires when they realize that the job is not what they expected.
- Focus on transparency and communication. Lack of communication from hiring managers is one of the most common complaints that candidates have about the recruitment experience. Be honest with candidates about what you are looking for in an employee, thank them for applying, and keep them updated on the status of their applications. Personal messages from the hiring manager are best, when possible.
- Share important information with candidates. Consider helping candidates—particularly those who have been identified as “high-potential”—prepare for interviews by offering them the information that you want them to know about your organization. For example, share with them the organization’s core mission and values, what employees love about working there, information on the hiring managers that they will meet, and insight into the company culture. Applying for a job is a stressful process, and equipping candidates with some of the tools they need to succeed will significantly improve their perception of your organization.
- Reject with respect. When turning down a candidate, respect is key. Remember that even if candidates are not right for a particular position, they could be ideal for future roles—and at the very least, they now have insight that could impact your organization’s reputation as an employer. Consider making a personal phone call, particularly for individuals who have been interviewed. End the conversation on a positive note, encouraging them to stay in touch if you think they may be right for your organization in the future. However, in order to avoid allegations of discrimination, confer with an attorney or HR expert before giving feedback about why a candidate was not offered a position.
- Ask for feedback. Through questioning at the end of the interview process or a follow-up survey, ask candidates for feedback on their recruitment experiences. Not only does this show candidates that you care about them, but it helps to provide your organization with the information needed to improve recruitment.
- Onboard candidates quickly and constructively. Create a helpful and engaging onboarding experience that begins as soon as candidates accept a job offer. The goals of onboarding are to make new hires feel welcome and provide them with the tools they need to succeed in their roles. For an effective onboarding process, be sure that new employees are personally introduced to their coworkers, provide them with any necessary training materials, and designate a point of contact who will be readily available to answer questions. It is also important to have systems in place to streamline the processing of new hire paperwork, such as immigration and tax forms, so that new employees may become productive members of the workforce as soon as possible.
Is your organization taking steps to ensure that job candidates have a positive experience at each stage of the recruitment process? The HR professionals at Creative Business Resources (CBR) can help you optimize recruitment efforts by finding and screening the most qualified applicants, creating a better candidate experience, onboarding new hires, and more! Contact CBR today to speak with a member of our team.
(Sources: https://www.inc.com/jerome-ternynck/5-tips-to-improve-the-candidate-experience.html, https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/talent-acquisition/pages/make-candidate-rejection-pay-off.aspx).