Candidate Experience Matters! 6 Tips For Hiring And Onboarding Applicants
On the matter of jobseeking, employers expect applicants to always put their best foot forward at any point in the hiring and onboarding journey. They must be respectful, be communicative, and show that they are willing to do anything to make the best possible impression to their potential employer.
While these expectations and qualities are true most of the time, employers tend to forget one other important thing in the process: It’s not always about impressing you. It’s about the applicant and the candidate experience too!
In essence, the candidate experience is the feeling or impression that the applicant has about the hiring and onboarding journey. Was it easy for him or her to learn about your job opening? Were you responsive to the applicant’s inquiries and provided adequate information about the job at hand?
Why is the candidate experience important?
There are countless more questions or measures that can evaluate the perception of an applicant towards the jobseeking process. But first, why does the candidate experience matter anyway? Shouldn't the whole application be on making sure a company is getting what it wants, regardless of the other party? We sum up the reasons for having a good candidate experience in the following points.
You’re attracting potentially great employees
Just as applicants’ chances of getting hired tend to get higher by making good first impressions, companies and employers who build good candidate experiences are more likely to attract top talents. Thus, avoiding hiring the wrong person for the job.
You may be a restaurant offering gourmet food, a mobile app delivering food in the city, or even an amusement park providing leisure attractions. By focusing on providing top-notch service to your clients—in this case, jobseekers—you’re opening up your business to quality customers who will take the extra mile to return the favor. In doing so, you can also guarantee that whoever you will end up hiring for your company mirrors this quality.
You’re enhancing your brand reputation
Building a good image for your company often starts with how great your products or services are. But let’s face it, these do not matter without the talent to deliver these. With that being said, companies who invest in resources to ensure a good candidate experience are more likely to have a positive impression. Not just towards the latter, but the industry in general.
Business-wise, nobody wants to collaborate or even be associated with a company notorious for allowing negative candidate experiences. And while you think a simple word of mouth, whether online or offline, will do you no harm, think again.
You’re building a stronger company culture
Okay, let’s say you’ve been managing to provide applicants with the candidate experience that they deserve. Does it necessarily reflect in the way you run your company? Will it mean that your employees will stay in the business longer? While you can’t tell for sure, you also can’t deny the fact that it does provide a strong manifestation. When companies build good relationships with their applicants, this very energy can carry into other aspects of the business, creating a more secure company culture.
On the other hand, if the candidate experience is bad at the onset, what’s the likelihood of the successful applicant staying with the company after the first few months? That’s something to ponder on. Build a good candidate experience, grow employee retention!
Also read: How To Make Yourself Indispensable At Work
What to do in building great candidate experience
By now, you might be asking: So what does it take for me to build a good candidate experience when hiring and onboarding people in my company? The good news is that there’s a lot that you can do, that is if we’re really going into the nitty-gritty of it. But let’s place our attention on those that you should be wary of.
1. Set clear expectations
Whether it’s the hiring or onboarding timeline, applicants appreciate companies who are detailed and realistic with what they can offer them during the candidate journey. Provide too little information, and you’re likely to be seen as uncredible or even suspicious. Provide too much, and you may end up overwhelming the applicant before he or she even thinks about sending you his or her resume.
The bottomline: make the initial process as pain-free as possible so as not to turn away jobseekers–and potentially lose a quality candidate along the way.
2. Communicate in a timely manner
As with everything else, communication is key. If an applicant is taking the time to reach out to you to inquire or express interest in a position, don’t ignore them. Yes, no matter how trivial you may think their concerns are. One of the worst things that you can do to an applicant is to leave them hanging anytime throughout their application up to the pre-employment period. Be honest. If you are rejecting a talent, don’t just send them an email if you can afford to call them too. If the position they’re applying for is no longer available, let them know.
Learn how to use JobStreet’s SiVA Recruitment Center to give feedback to candidates.
3. Don’t “wing” the process…
Companies with no standard hiring and onboarding procedures are a big no-no. If you can’t make an effort to build them, then why should applicants spend the time to apply and possibly work for you? Set standards and guidelines early on so that you and your hirers will have something to turn to. Before you ask, yes, that includes everything from posting job ads and setting up job hiring pages, to integrating new talents into the company on their first day at work.
4. …Or, overdo the process
At the other end of the spectrum, there are employers who tend to make the hiring and onboarding experience needlessly challenging. That is, by asking too many things from applicants meant to help them “get to know” the latter better. Thinking about asking them to create an online portfolio or resume when they already submitted one? What about requiring them to send a hoard of employment documents within an impossibly demanding timeframe? Stop right there. Although they can be helpful at times, they can also over-complicate matters for the talent. As the cliche goes, there’s beauty in simplicity too.
5. Respect your candidates
You may never mock, ridicule, or underestimate applicants just because they need a job. In other words, don’t treat them as inferior to you. That’s regardless of the position they’re applying for and who you are in the company. Again, it’s not just them who need to get hired. But, it’s also you who needs them to help you in your business. Hence, show them the same level of respect as you would other authorities in and outside your organization.
A great place to start is to eliminate bias from your job ads.
6. Always listen to feedback
As hiring is a two-way process, never forget the part that you should always be open to opportunities for improvement in how you treat candidates. Or, how the overall hiring and onboarding process went. Encourage applicants to provide a review of theirs in whatever platform they are most comfortable or feel safest with. It's the 2020s, everyone should know that we shouldn’t be afraid of feedback, especially when they’re constructive!
Time to start hiring!
Think you can pull off a great candidate experience? Are you ready to hire your next top talent? Then, get hiring with JobStreet, the Philippines’ largest job portal and Filipino Employers’ partner in quality recruitment for over two decades running.
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