6 tips on how to create an excellent candidate experience

The recruitment process is not just about sourcing top talent.

Recruiters should also ensure that jobseekers have a fantastic candidate experience.

That is according to Sophie Adelman. She is the General Manager UK at the tech job board Hired. She believes that not only will a great candidate experience ensure that potential employees really look forward to working for you, but it will also make it easier to attract new talent in the future.

Adelman tells Executive Grapevine: “If candidates have had a good experience, then what we hear again and again is that they will tell their friends that about how great the company is, and that they would love to work for them.”

She is not alone in thinking that creating good candidate experiences is important, 73 different organisations recently signed up for the REC’s Good Recruitment Campaign.

So, how do you create an experience for the jobseekers that will make them talk about you to their friends?

Executive Grapevine reached out to experts in the recruitment sector to find out what their top tips are on how to create an awesome candidate experience. 

Explain the recruitment process

Adelman says: “Be upfront about what the interview process will look like.” She explains that candidates should be aware of how many interviews and tests they will have to go through.

Howard Murfin, Talent Acquisition Director at Uniting Ambition, agrees. He tells Executive Grapevine: “Give total clarity on the process (dates, format, parties involved) in order to set the expectations from the start. This way there will be no surprises and everyone in the process knows why and when things are happening.”

Sell the role

Adelman says: “One of the mistakes that many early-stage companies do is that they talk about what they do. But candidates, developers in particular, are not really interested in what the company does, but about the problems that they are trying to solve. They are interested in the actual role.

“Sometimes people really care about the big vision, but mostly they are looking for something that is more personal and specific to them.”

Use new technology

Simon Hughes is the Co-Founder of the video recruitment software company Jobatar. He recently told Executive Grapevine that in order to create an excellent employer brand, recruiters must embrace mobile recruitment. He says that implementation of new technology can also help to create an awesome candidate experience. Hughes tells Executive Grapevine:  “Use video to enhance the overall recruitment process and give candidates the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the pack through their video interview.”

Talk more

Hughes says: “Nothing is worse than a lack of communication. Candidates expect to hear from employees in the run-up to an interview, and within hours of attending an interview (even if it’s just to say ‘nice to meet you’). Questions should be answered promptly, and if a role is offered, then a steady flow of on-boarding emails go a long way to assuring candidates that they have made the right decision in accepting an offer.”

Manage expectations

Adelman says: “Make sure that everyone is clear about what they are expecting out of the role. It is not about having a role description, but informing what the role will involve. For example, company culture and salary expectation. Having that conversation upfront is really important so that you don’t end up four or five interviews in with a misalignment in terms of salary."

Hughes tells companies to let the company culture and the type of people that work there shine through in every email and phone conversation they have with candidates. He continues: “It would be unfortunate if a candidate’s perception of a business, created through pre-role communication, didn’t match up to the reality of the job.“

Offer feedback

When the interview is done and the roles are assigned, make sure that all candidates are given constructive feedback whether they are successful or not.  Murfin explains: “They need to know what they’ve done well and what they need to improve or change. Just because a candidate isn’t right now, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be right in the future. Their experience of your brand needs to be remembered for the right reasons so they will consider re-engaging with you in the future.”

Comments (0)