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Why candidate experience is important

Why is Candidate Experience So Important?

A great candidate experience has today become the basic requirement for all organizations. Recruiters have to make sure that candidates who become a part of the hiring process do not go away disgruntled with the process.  HR managers have to make sure that employees feel good about working in the company. It is essential to know why candidate experience matters so much and what are the benefits of providing a positive candidate experience?

  1. What is Candidate Experience in Recruitment?
  2. The Impact of Candidate Experience

What is Candidate Experience in Recruitment?

Candidate Experience can be defined as the way job applicants react to employers’ recruitment process that includes sourcing, interviewing, offer, and onboarding process. However, it is not limited to the recruitment process itself, as the interactions a candidate has with the company even before applying to a job there can also be classified as a part of candidate experience.  Candidate experience has been found to directly impact the recruitment performance, which is why it has become a favorite topic of all talent acquisition leaders these days.

(Also Read: How to Measure Candidate Experience )

The Impact of Candidate Experience

About half of the 7000 job applicants who were surveyed as a part of an IBM research responded that they had some sort of interaction with the hiring company even before applying for the job there. The same research tells that job applicants who failed to receive an offer are 80 % more likely to apply again if they had a positive experience with the company. Here are some other points found in the research that tells us about why candidate experience matters:

 


Positive Candidate Experience increases offer acceptance rate

Companies incur huge capital expenditure in the form of job advertising budgets and other recruitment costs just to get the best talent out there. With the growing competition, these costs are going to rise even further. However, if your candidate experience is sluggish, all these efforts and expenses are going to waste. As per the research, candidates who are satisfied with their hiring experience are 38% more inclined towards accepting the offer. Thus investing in positive candidate experience can not only increase your hiring rate and quality of hire, but also avoid wastage of time and money.

Candidate Experience matters because it is linked to advocacy

A hiring process has the ability to affect candidates in more ways than one. One of the important outcomes is advocacy. Just like satisfied customers would recommend the product to other people in their social circle, candidates who have had a great experience would be willing to recommend the organization to others. The IBM research tells us that candidates who were overall very satisfied with their experience are 34% more likely to recommend the organization to others also. Thus, positive candidate experience is linked to stronger advocacy.

Best in class Candidate Experience enhances Employer Brand

Candidate Experience is not only about the candidate-recruiter relationship. It extends much beyond as candidates most definitely talk about their experiences. Over 60 percent of the job applicants surveyed by IBM share their experiences with others irrespective of whether they had a positive or negative experience or whether they received an offer or not. This word of mouth publicity will have an impact on the employer brand. Needless to say, positive experience will result in positive publicity which will end up enhancing the employer brand.

(Also Read: How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience with HR Technology)

Positive Candidate Experience is linked with Increased Sales

The impact of candidate experience is far-reaching and affects areas other than recruitment also. While these may not be the immediate consequences, we must consider them nevertheless. 53% of candidates who have had a positive experience are more likely to become a customer of that company against applicants who suffered a negative hiring experience (only 25% say they will be interested in being a customer).  This is glaring evidence that candidate experience can directly impact the business metrics such as sales and since candidates will spread the word around, the results can be amplified.

Given the impact of candidate experience on so many areas, it is imperative for organizations to improve their candidate experience whenever and wherever possible.

 

How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience with HR Technology

How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience with HR Technology

If we are to go by what experts are predicting for the recruitment industry in 2018, improving employer brand is going to be one of the topmost tasks. This essentially means that as a recruiter you will have to, in addition to other activities, work hard on enhancing candidate experience. In this age of constant competition, you as a business can only grow when you have top talent working for you and it doesn’t take an expert to decipher that to attract the best, you need to provide them an experience they deserve. Technology can go a long way in helping you achieve this goal.

Here are 4 simple ways to use technology to create a good candidate experience in recruitment:

Using technology to communicate is one of the best ways to improve candidate experience

Using technology to communicate is one of the best ways to improve candidate experience

A research by Software Advice reveals that out of the many grievances that applicants had, communication or lack of communication was a major reason for a poor candidate experience. Over one third of the respondents to the survey said that they would prefer more communication in the entire hiring process.

Sometimes we can’t even blame the recruiters for this communication gap as there are so many stakeholders involved and considering hiring is such a time consuming process, it is actually quite a task to maintain track of 100s of candidates who have applied to a particular role. In a scenario where at any point in time there are at least 10 or more openings in a SME, we can only imagine the kind of efforts that are required for maintaining a lag free communication.

If you are interested in a particular candidate and you do not convey the results within the due time, he might find employment elsewhere. This is where technology comes into the picture. Recruitment software will allow you to generate automated emails that can be scheduled to be triggered on particular events such as success or failure to pass a particular stage of hiring. You can personalize these emails with your logo and company colors to reinforce the brand.

(Also Read: How Recruitment Software Works, its Benefits and Main Features)

Using technology to improve employer branding is one of the candidate experience best practices

Creating a strong employer brand is essential if you want to communicate to prospective employees that your company is a desirable place to work.  Giving insight into your work culture and ethics to jobseekers is actually helping them make a decision regarding their suitability for a role in your company. This assistance will create a positive candidate experience and help you grow your reputation as a recruiter. While the basic purpose of an applicant tracking system is to organize and track resumes, the software can be customized to increase brand awareness.

A recruiter can promote a more pleasant applicant experience by merely providing clear details of the benefits that come with the job and what’s it like to work for your business. Most ATS come with the capability to create and integrate the company career site. You can use this section to communicate company brand to candidates through “What’s it like to work here” videos and other details regarding the company’s vision and values.  Most applicant tracking software vendors will assist you with personalizing the hiring process through use of company’s logo and company colors. This ensures uniformity and conveys a seamless application process, right from filling the application form to responding for interviews.

(Also Read: 5 Must Haves for a Company Careers Website)

Using technology to improve recruitment process is a great tip for improving candidate experience

Using technology to improve recruitment process is a great tip for improving candidate experience

The same research by Software Advice cites unclear application instruction as the top cause for negative candidate experience. For example if the job application instruction does not clearly indicate the eligibility for the role, it can create a lot of heartburn for the applicants. Using technology, recruiters can address this very basic hiring mistake. Applicant tracking systems allow recruiters to create and store templates of all the past job requisitions within the system, which can be used time and again without the need to create a requisition from scratch every time a new vacancy arises. This not only reduces the error rate but also reduces the workload for recruiters.

Plus, a candidate applying for the role through recruitment solution can complete the entire process without much effort by filling in the required fields and uploading the CV instantly. Once a jobseeker clicks on the Apply button, they can instantly fill the application form and upload their resume instantaneously. Not only does it reduce the work on a candidate’s part as he won’t have to manually email their CV but also improves recruiter’s productivity.

(Also Read: Suggestions to improve recruitment and selection process)

Using technology to reduce hiring timelines is a good idea to improve candidate experience

Using technology to reduce hiring timelines is a good idea to improve candidate experience

21% of the surveyed candidates said that improvement in hiring timelines can greatly impact the overall hiring process. There are no prizes in guessing the usefulness of applicant tracking software in improving speed of hiring. With every aspect of the hiring process automated and system controlled, there is a huge improvement in the time lost between getting approvals of the stakeholders involved which ultimately tells on the hiring speed. Plus, quick communication as we have already discussed, further reduces the total time taken to fill an open vacancy. This is just a classic win-win situation for all the parties involved, from candidate, who gets a better experience to the recruiter who improves his productivity and contributes positively to business bottom-line.

(Also Read: How to reduce hiring cycle time)