4 Best Practices to Improve Your Candidate Experience

What role do you have in shaping your company’s reputation? If you’re a hiring manager, you probably play a bigger part than you might imagine. After all, your job requires you to field external inquiries and even meet with professionals from outside of your company. Every interaction you have affects your audience’s perception of your company. This is known as candidate experience, and it’s more important than you may think.

As a hiring manager, you help create your company’s brand. You play a role in deciding who works at your organization, and you act in a public facing role. This means that your actions will always reflect on your company, so you need to be careful to avoid mistakes. Applicants can forgive a few instances of poor service, but if you constantly ignore their needs, they’ll tell their peers about it. This can make it difficult for you to find other candidates and even affect your company’s public perception.

So how do you adjust your hiring process to serve applicants better? You’ll need to examine your specific strategies to find the answer to that question. In the meantime, though, here are a few suggestions that can help get you started.

1. Make Your Application Process Clearer

Every step of your application process, from your job posting to your final message or offer, speaks to your company’s brand. Do you want great candidates to abandon your organization because it takes three hours to apply for a job?

You need to consider how your process affects applicants. Does your job posting tell them enough about your expectations? Does it convey some sense of your work culture? If you accept applications through an online portal, does it allow users to complete the process in a relatively easy manner? These considerations will help you attract a better class of candidates.

2. Communicate with Applicants

It’s almost impossible to give every applicant the attention they deserve. Your job posting will probably reach a large volume of people, which means you’ll need to prioritize some over others. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to outright ignore applicants. A little goes a long way, even if you can’t draft a personalized for everyone.

You should set up a form emails for early-stage applicants. When they submit their resumes and cover letters, they’ll automatically receive an email thanking them and outlining the response they can expect. Later-stage prospects deserve direct contact. If you don’t intend to follow through with them, call or email them in person and explain your reasoning in a brief, professional manner. This engagement is crucial in forming a positive candidate experience.

3. Your Employees Should Advise You on Your Hiring Process

Your employees have experienced your hiring process first hand. They can offer you insight into what attracted them to your company, how they felt about your interview practices, and what you could do better. A brief poll can go a long way in improving your organization’s reputation among candidates.

4. Maintain Good Relationships with Candidates (Even if You’re Not Hiring Them)

Great hiring managers don’t just hire for an immediate position. Instead, they think two steps ahead and look for personnel they might need months or even years down the road. You can’t do that, though, if you alienate candidates at every turn.

If you meet a candidate who might be better suited to another department, keep them in mind and let them know if another position opens up. A worker might not be the best fit right away, but in time they can develop into a top-shelf prospect.

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