How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience

Posted by Pat Tovo

Parsons Cleared Job FairJob seekers today are very consumer savvy and highly discerning.  They are looking for an organization to work with in much the same way they shop for a computer or car — considering reviews and ratings in determining which company offers the most promise.

The power is shifting from employer to job seeker and the competition to attract top talent is fierce, especially in the technology field.  This shift means that recruiters need to amp up the candidate experience they are delivering if they want to flex their hiring muscle.

Here are a few tips to get your started:

Review Your Job Posting

The information you provide in a job posting rewards the recruiter in a couple of ways.  First of all it cuts down on unqualified candidates, and second, it is the first impression you make with the job seeker. First impressions count!

The job description should succinctly outline the position along with requirements.

A job seeker’s time is valuable, too, and they don’t want to waste efforts on a position or a company that isn’t a good match.  While you want to feature a broad spectrum of responsibilities and qualifications, you should be direct about what is required and what is preferred.  If a skill or clearance is non-negotiable, state so.

Here’s an informative article that outlines writing tips for your job postings.

The Application Process

Don’t inflict job seekers with a cumbersome application process.  Make it as easy to apply as possible – even from mobile devices likes phone and tablets.  If you are determined to have a strict screening process, make it the upfront portion of the online process.  Don’t make a candidate work through a complete employment history then bump them out at the end because they don’t meet a minimum requirement.

If your organization feels a personality profile is a hiring mandate, save that step until after the initial interview process when you have whittled the talent pool down to a handful of promising candidates.  Nothing will turn off a high achiever faster than sitting through an hour of online questions about personal traits and preferences.

Make the Interview Candidate Friendly

Yes, the recruiters life is a busy one, but be flexible when scheduling interviews.  Many candidates have current jobs they will need to work around.  By recognizing that their time is also important will go a long way to improve the candidate experience and will let them know that your company places a value on their employees.

Let the candidate know what to expect at the interview.  Will a team be participating in the process?  Who will be on the team and what is their role in the company?  Will the job seeker go from one interview to the next or meet with everyone in a group?  Whatever can be done to put the candidate at ease will maximize their experience and create a more relaxed environment.

Timely Communication

A recent survey reports that 83% of job seekers say that timely and accurate communication greatly improves the candidate experience.  Be prepared to let them know how your hiring process will work, including timeframes.  Follow up with candidates in accordance with that timeline; don’t leave them hanging because that will only encourage them to look elsewhere.

If a candidate doesn’t make the cut to the next round, let them know quickly.  A professional and courteous dismissal takes the sting out of the rejection.  You want to leave them with a good impression of the company.  This job may not be the right one, but something could become available next month that is.  Also in the world of social media and public sharing, a bad experience can quickly be communicated to the talent pool.  Reputation and referrals are two of a recruiters best tools.

Hopefully these tips will help you improve the candidate experience you deliver to job seekers.  Happy (successful!) recruiting.


This entry was posted on Sunday, September 03, 2017 4:08 pm

One thought on “How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience”

  1. Great article… Engaging the Candidate via text keeps them updated in real-time instead of annoying phone calls during the day and or night while they are spending time with the family.

    Provide honest feedback of the skills needed to be successful in the job versus their current KSAs. Don’t sugar coat the reason why they were not selected! People respect the truth and need feedback to evaluate skills necessary to grow in their profession.

    If possible provide role play preparation for interviews. The Recruiter will be able to gage if the Candidate has the right answers to set them apart from the other Candidates. Providing qualified Candidates to the Hiring Manager is a must for creditability. On the flip side, set the expectations of the Hiring Manager… don’t promise them the A player if they can only pay for a C player.

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