It All Begins With the Candidate Experience

The latest iCIMS blog post comes from our newest blogger, Catherine Titta!

Having only joined the iCIMS family in the past two months, my job quest and candidate experience is still fresh in my mind. Applying for jobs can be a tedious project with complicated twists and turns, but as I applied for numerous positions, I was very impressed by iCIMS’ approach to recruiting talent. The application process was simple to follow from the career site, my recruiter kept me informed all throughout the pre-hire process spanning from my phone interview to my job offer. Most significantly I felt engaged from the start with my recruiter seeming excited to share new updates about my progress in the application process. With this level of engagement early on I couldn’t wait to get further into pre-hiring procedures and it made my desire for the position even stronger. The employee engagement process had begun even before I was an employee. This showed me that the journey to achieving a job plays a large role in setting the tone for how a new hire perceives their position as well as the company they are entering into.

While I had a fantastic experience in landing my job; this is often not the norm for job seekers worldwide. Many applicants face confusing web-based application processes, large gaps of time between hearing from the hiring company during the recruiting process, and overall confusion as to how the candidate time period is structured by the organization. One of the biggest problems that organizations face in the war for talent is creating an engaging employee environment, and beginning an employee’s career with a less than satisfying candidate experience is not helping. According to a recent global survey conducted by Mercer, the number of workers contemplating leaving their current jobs has significantly increased across the world. The problem here is that employees are not feeling valued and are discontent with their overall work environment, but this can be avoided from the very beginning of the employee lifecycle. Rather than playing catch-up when the employee-employer relationship turns ugly, organizations can build a positive relationship in the earliest phases of introduction.

Far before a position turns completely lack luster for an employee, they must go through this initial candidate experience when applying for a position. While most people see the application process as a way for a candidate to make a first impression, this is also a prime opportunity for companies to begin making candidates feel engaged, because some of these applicants will inevitably become new talent. Creating an engaging environment for potential new hires earlier than ever before, as iCIMS did with me, gives the organization a head start on creating a happy staff member. By nurturing the employee relationship from before day one, the chances of a candidate becoming a more motivated, engaged, and satisfied employee are far more likely; and with employees being more engaged everyone wins.

Here are a few tips on how to create the best possible candidate experience:

Make it simple: by implementing a best–in-breed applicant tracking system the online application process will be easy and painless. Applicants that get frustrated with faulty online hiring processes are more likely to give up and not complete the required forms and applications.

Keep your candidate informed: applying for a job is always nerve racking, by providing the candidate with brief updates during the application process they will feel valued and appreciate your consideration.

Be engaging yourself: positivity goes a long way. If a recruiter seems excited about the company the applicant will want to be excited about it as well.

Maintain the momentum: don’t stop going the extra mile after the candidate has accepted the job, find creative ways to keep employees engaged during onboarding and throughout their professional career with your organization.

Form a lasting relationship: even if the candidate does not receive the position, make sure to contact them and let them know why. Offer them the option to have their resume remain in the system in case another job opportunity arises. By showing the applicant consideration and providing potential to become part of the organization in the future you are giving them the most positive experience possible without receiving a job offer. This is valuable to the recruiter as well because you never know when their qualifications may become most useful.

By incorporating these tips into recruiting procedures your employees will inevitably be more pleased with their pre-hire process, setting the precedent for their long-term image of the organization and raising the bar on their level of engagement. And not only will your workers be smiling each day, but the company will receive fantastic benefits as well, because happier employees mean better business results!

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