Candidate Experience in Hiring
When it comes to hiring, we have always focused on this one thing and that is hiring is a two-way process. It is not just the candidates putting the effort to get hired, there are efforts from companies as well to find the right candidate. On the face or not for the company, what its candidate thinks about them matters a lot, doesn't matter if they are successful applicants or not but when they are applying, they are a part of the process for the company. Keeping these things in mind companies are trying to create a smooth candidate experience for all, but you may ask how it is possible to ensure the best candidate experience for all as the definition of 'Smooth' might differ from person to person. Another thing is even if you ensure that, what is the purpose of going the extra mile for applicants who are not even a part of the organization yet?
Why does candidate experience matter?
Think of the company as a shop and applicants as a customer, whenever you visit any shop do you buy everything that is there? There are times when you return empty-handed as well, yet if the collection, price, hospitality, etc. of that shop matches your expectations or even exceeds them, sometime in the future you will return and you might also recommend that shop to others. This is how the candidate experience operates as well.
According to a study conducted in 2017 by CareerBuilder, "Nearly 4 in 5 candidates (78%) say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people" While a candidate is still in the application process, they want a smoother process from the company, if their experience with the application process is great then it could benefit the company in following ways -
Create a good impression of the organization
Application is the very first step towards any organization, hence it is the first point of contact between the candidate and the company. Now you must remember the saying "First impression is the last impression", while we do not know that for sure but we sure know that the first impression is the lasting impression. Whatever image the candidate carries for that period stays with them for some time. A positive candidate experience is going to leave a positive impact. There are times when even after getting selected for a role the applicants do not accept the offer due to the bad impression that a bad candidate experience left on them.
Even in the case of an unsuccessful application if the experience of any candidate is good, they are inclined to apply again in the future according to the same report by hackereath.com "research states that as much as 67% of rejected candidates may still re-apply for a position at an organization if the recruiting experience has been positive". Word of mouth also comes into play as these candidates also encourage other applicants to go for it.
Creates a system within the company
Not just the candidates but it is beneficial for the company as well, as a system is developed within the organization. Systems such as constant updates, and a smoother interface help the company to stay updated with the process as well and smoother conduct from both sides is observed.
Now we know why a smooth candidate experience is important but how do you create that smoother candidate experience, is there any step or are there multiple steps for it?
Ensure a smoother candidate experience
Yeah, we all are aware of the HR jokes you haven't heard any one of them yet? We will get back to you later to explain that.
A general complaint any applicant has is that they are not even aware of whether they are accepted or not and they are expected to wait for an eternity to get a response. A valid issue as a candidate cannot wait forever to get that one call hence, they expect the companies to inform them on time about the next process most importantly the results.
Long story short, updating the candidates regarding the status of the application creates a hassle-free process of application. As they say, rejection mail is better than no mail.
For technical rounds use proper platforms
Until the interview is conversational no do not need any extra platform but during technical rounds where a candidate is expected to demonstrate their technical skills, they need something extra. While it is okay to ask them to write on a paper or a document but even you know they are not exhibiting their full potential as they are not used to writing codes like that. It is wonderful to invest some time and find a common coding platform with which the candidate will be familiar and will be doing most of the work in that kind of environment.
Friendlier interview process
According to hci.org "56 percent of applicants who were happy with the way they were treated by an employer when applying for a job said they would consider seeking employment with the company again and 37 percent said they would tell others to do the same." We understand the stress of an interview and we know how difficult it is to mess up even a simple question in the interview due to stress, hence a serious interview might wreck the candidate's entire preparation. Not only that if the interviewee can connect with the interviewers at a personal as well as professional level, their perception of the management, team, and the company becomes positive, and vice versa.
No one wants to wait for one company forever, hence a faster process is always preferred by applicants. It is understandable as the companies want to devote time to pick out the best match and rightly so any time dedicated towards recruitment of the right candidate is not wasted time, it is encouraged, we are talking about the elimination of the unnecessary delay. According to shrm.org "60 percent of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of their length or complexity."
Many a time companies are very slow with the hiring process and this does not only cost them the candidate in the present but also in the future as they might be reluctant to go through that time taking process again.
Hiring is like allying with your future employees, the induction process doesn't start on the first day of the job, it starts before applying for the job. To keep this alliance strong a great candidate experience has to be a game changer.