Candidate Experience

Every single job candidate, whether they wind up getting an offer or not, is a potential advocate for your company. And their choice to punt your brand or put it down is closely linked to the impressions that you give them throughout the online and offline hiring process. This candidate experience should be taken seriously by not just all HR professionals, but all professionals in your company.

A bad candidate experience can turn a jobseeker into a brand detractor – someone who will talk negatively about your firm to others and perhaps even boycott your products. A great candidate experience can have the opposite effect, and leave even candidates who weren’t offered a position in a state of mind to recommend and support your company.

Many recruiters are familiar with the so-called black hole, the cardinal sin of candidate experience and a term that jobseekers use to describe the lack of communication from a company after they submit their application or go for an interview. Eliminating all black holes in your recruiting workflow matters, but today I want to focus on a less talked about division of the candidate experience: the nuances of the in-person candidate experience.

Why does this matter? According to a 2015 study by CareerBuilder, a whopping 69 percent of people are less likely to buy from a company if they’ve had a bad experience in an interview. That’s more than the 58 percent who said they’d act the same way if they didn’t hear back after submitting an application, and it’s more than the 65 percent who’d behave similarly if they didn’t hear back after an interview.

With such importance put on the quality and success of an interview, it’s easy to see how fumbling the process or making it confusing for an applicant would be a major detriment to a good candidate experience. Here are three tangible tips to make the experience of interviewing at your company better.

  1. A Friendly Welcome
  2. Going to a job interview shouldn’t feel like going to the dentist – a candidate shouldn’t have to wait too long in the lobby before being greeted and brought inside by a hiring manager. Greeting candidates warmly, treating them with respect, and making them feel as though the interview is as important to you as it is to them will not only make the candidate feel wanted, it’ll also make them feel like this is a place they might want to work.

  1. Clear Framing of Expectations
  2. An interview is a great source of anxiety for jobseekers, but you can mitigate their nervousness (or at least not add to it) by communicating your expectations for the interview. Will the interview last more than one hour? How many people will the candidate be interviewing with? Should they bring anything with them? Delivering this information to candidates beforehand and/or providing further details at the start of the interview will help ensure the candidate experience stays positive.

  1. Better Accommodation, Simpler Evaluation
  2. While it’s always a good idea to be friendly, at the end of the day the interview is an evaluation. It’s a structured meeting dedicated to answering the question Would you make a good employee at this company? But when hiring managers are accommodating and hospitable – offering bottled water, coffee, and a nice room in which to conduct the interview, for instance – that evaluation process feels more personal and less clinical. Quality accommodation will allow the interviewee to focus on the interview itself.

In a nutshell, when people are treated better, they’re more interested in your company, and you’ll bring yourself closer to filling that important position. So when the candidate walks into your office, every detail should make them think, “I can work here.”

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