For all but one job applicant – the one who ultimately gets the offer – the impression your company leaves will rely entirely on the quality of your communication during the application and interviewing process.
From writing your job description to delivering your final decision, keeping candidates in the loop throughout the hiring cycle is key to an excellent candidate experience and, by extension, successful recruiting. After all, according to a report by the Aberdeen Group, companies that prioritize the candidate experience are 2.1 times more likely to improve their cost-per-hire on a year-by-year basis than companies that don’t.
Not to mention, since 72% of candidates who’ve had negative hiring experiences share them on social media, an employer review site, or directly with a colleague or friend, getting the candidate experience right is crucial to maintaining a positive reputation.
Here are eight steps recruiters and hiring managers can take to keep candidates content and informed during the hiring process.
- Nail the Job Description
Communication with candidates starts with a clear, concise job description. Write one that honestly details the role, along with all required skills, responsibilities, and qualifications. This will help jobseekers determine whether they are a good fit. It can also cut down on the number of unqualified candidates who throw their hat into the ring. Download our eBook to learn more about how to create a winning job description.
- Simplify the Application Process
Aim for the path of least resistance by creating an uncomplicated application processes. Avoid forms that have too many steps, too many initial questions, and too many hoops to jump through. These will frustrate candidates and could deter some good ones from applying at all.
- Acknowledge Every Application
According to Phenom People, a staggering 95% of companies don’t send applicants updates on the application process. A simple auto-generated email confirming delivery should be sent to each candidate as soon as the application is received. No one wants to feel as if they have just thrown their resume into a black hole, so be sure every candidate knows that their materials have been received via an email. This email should inform candidates that they will be contacted if they are a good fit. It should give a timeline in which they can expect to be contacted. This email can also link to your company’s social media accounts, company reviews and other information that might be of interest to a jobseeker.
- Promptly Notify Candidates Who Have Been Eliminated
Set up a rejection notice template for candidates you don’t plan to interview. In it, thank them for their interest and explain, very simply, that they weren’t the right fit for the job. Linking to your company’s job board and encouraging this pool of jobseekers to check out other job opportunities is also a nice touch.
- Orchestrate the Onsite
For those candidates who get an onsite an interview, prior to the interview, provide the candidate with a list of people they’ll be interviewing with and how much time they should block off for the interviews. According to an article in Recruiting Daily, a shocking 62% of candidates who receive pre-interview information don’t receive anything other than date and location of the interview – no word on interviewer names, how long the interview will take, or how many interviewers will be on a panel.
- After the Interview
When all of the interviews have been completed, touch base with the candidate before they leave. Give them your contact information for additional questions and outline what lies ahead, specifically, if there are next steps – such as a second round of interviews – or when a decision will be made.
- Breaking Big News – Good and Bad
Once the interview process is done and you’ve chosen a candidate, follow up promptly. If you are offering good news to a candidate, always relay the news in a phone call, not an email. If you are sent to voicemail, ask the candidate to call you back. Do not break the news and make the offer in a voicemail. For finalists who are being passed over, call them and explain why. While not easy to do, your transparency will go far with candidates who have invested a lot of time and energy – and possibly some lost sleep – during the interview process. An honest yet sympathetic manner will leave them with a positive impression of your company.
- Ask for Feedback
Even those candidates who aren’t being hired can offer some valuable insight into your recruitment process. Consider issuing a survey to candidates on what worked and what didn’t during the hiring process. This allows candidates to make their voices heard after the decision is made. You should always be thinking about ways to evolve and improve your recruiting and hiring process, and feedback – even negative feedback – can allow you to better the handle candidate communications moving forward.
Want to create a better candidate experience? MightyRecruiter offers tools and advice that can help your company streamline the application and interview process and leave candidates feeling empowered. Try it for free today!