Why Candidate Experience Matters – And How To Make It Great

Want to stand out in a crowded field? Treat your candidates right. Credit: Oleg Chursin

If you ask anyone in business how important customer service is, they’ll all answer the same way: very. That’s because they know a bad interaction with a customer has ripple effect, as not only will that customer not come back, they’ll tell their friends and family not to come back either.

So why isn’t this same approach taken in the hiring process?

Quick story. I applied for a job at a Fortune 500 company a few years ago. To apply, I had to create a profile, submit my resume (which obviously had my education and work history on it) and then enter all my education and work information again on other forms on their website, answer a few multiple choice questions and then write a paragraph on why I wanted to work there.

I was actually overqualified for the position and yet, a month later, I never heard anything from the company. I logged back into their system and found that my resume was no longer being considered. On top of that, since I gave them my email to apply, I was put into a marketing campaign and was getting their marketing emails until I eventually unsubscribed. Meanwhile, I would have just settled an email telling me I was no longer being considered.

Whenever I think of that company now, despite being a lifelong fan of their product, I’m a little sour. And I probably will never apply for a job there again either.

My experience is not alone. Recruiter Box reports that 60 percent of job candidates report not getting regular updates about their application and 38 percent of candidates who had a bad experience in the hiring process are less likely to buy or use that product or service again.

No company would treat a customer like yet. Yet they’ll treat an applicant like that. And that doesn’t make sense.

What Applicants Want

Obviously, what applicants really want is the job they are applying for. But most will be happy enough to settle for at least some communication from the company and, in a perfect world, a voice to make their argument.

The problem is there is almost no way to do that on your own. You need some software. With the right tools, you can easily keep everyone updated of their status, while even giving everyone an opportunity to make their case. This will both improve your candidate experience and, perhaps more importantly, give you more information to make better hiring decisions.

How?

As mentioned, candidates want to know where they stand in the process, even if it means they’ve been eliminated from it. To accomplish that, it is time to look at marketing, which is always using automation software to keep prospects and customers engaged.

Good ATSs or even some candidate screening software can work as your automation software, as they will email people that their resume has been received, if they will be given an interview (and whether it will be in-person or an automatized one), if they’ve been eliminated from consideration and even just along the way to keep them interested. That makes for a very engaged candidate who remains eager to work for your company throughout your process.

Secondly, everyone wants an interview, and in a perfect world you’d give everyone one, so the screening process isn’t just resume-based. The best way to do that is some sort of automatized screening interview where everyone gets a voice. It also is far more user-friendly than having candidates fill out form after form on your website.

If a candidate is consistently updated throughout the process and gets an interview, they are going to feel good about your hiring process. And that’s a good thing, because nearly all candidates are going to tell their friends and family about their experience applying for a job at your company, and a good percentage are going to Tweet or Facebook about it.

If it is positive, it is going to mean a better applicant pool the next time you look to hire and more customers. A win-win-win for your brand, HR and your candidates.

About VoiceGlance

VoiceGlance is a cloud-based hiring tool used by forward-thinking companies to hire smarter, instead of harder. Learn more here.

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Tags: Candidate Experience, HR, Human Resources, hiring

Comment by Keith Halperin on July 14, 2014 at 7:49pm

INFOMERCIAL ALERT! INFOMERCIAL ALERT!

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