In our previous two articles on the candidate experience (read Part 1 and Part 2), we discussed what a good candidate experience is, why it’s important and how to create it. The final piece of the procedure is evaluation – though perhaps “final” is misleading, as this analysis should be done all of the time! Don’t wait until certain problem areas exacerbate and you develop a bad offline and online reputation; always be on the look-out for any disconnects in the process.
We’ve put together a list of sure-fire tips to help you measure your candidate experience efficiently and correctly:
1. Put yourself in the applicant hot seat, and run through the process yourself. Start from the beginning – a systematic assessment gives you an inside look at what may need to be updated. And since it’s your company, you have the advantage of being able to actually “apply” for a job and see the entire process all the way through.
Focus on the components we discussed in the previous post – continuous communication, touch points with the recruiter/company, easy application form, initial interview, and timeliness. Ask yourself questions such as: is the website user-friendly? Are there ways for me to get in touch with the recruiter? Is the application form too long? Do I understand the messages of e-mail updates? Is the interview at a convenient time for a candidate who is working full-time (as in, is it in the early morning or late afternoon?)
*Hint: Consider making the process more transparent by updating candidates more frequently.
2. Now that you’ve gotten a feel for your own organization’s candidate experience, take a step back into the playing field and focus on those of your competitors’. You all have your eyes on the same prize: that core group of top talent. So check out their career websites to get a feel of how they attract candidates and present their application process. We wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that your reconnaissance activities should include actually applying for a job, but at least get a look at the initial stages, such as user-functionality, page layout and messages.
3. Proactively solicit feedback from hired and not hired candidates in e-mail or website surveys. This is especially important as the Gen-Y presence continues to grow in the workplace; they thrive on feedback, and are likely to be forthcoming in their responses.
Possible questions include: what did they appreciate/not appreciate about the hiring process? What did they think the time frame was like? Did they receive sufficient details about the position? And for those who were extended an offer but did not take it – why not?
As Balazs Paroczay and Jillyan French-Vitet of KellyOCG recently put it, you are not selling a position – rather, you are selling the candidate experience. Only one person walks away with a job, whereas everyone who undergoes some stage of the process is impacted by the impressions they receive from your organization. Ensure that each of their candidate experiences is top-notch – after all, they make up the same pool of people who may very well apply for future positions.