In today’s digitally connected world, candidate experience is of paramount importance for any organization. Recruitment is a two-way street. As much as you desire to recruit the top talent who seamlessly fit into your company culture, talented job applicants are also looking for organizations which match their own values and provide them with exciting growth opportunities. Almost 75% of the companies admit that they hired the wrong candidate, which is an expensive mistake for the organization. Finding a mutually beneficial match in the plethora of candidates can be extremely rewarding in the long-term.

Attracting the right talent isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be complicated either. When you’re competing to score the top talent, there’s no room to adopt the traditional frustrating hiring process. Any negative experiences can destroy the perception of your brand that candidates once liked while even a single positive experience can make them your brand ambassadors for life. Hence, improving the candidate experience for all individuals involved in the hiring process will dramatically increase the percentage of successful, long-term hires. In this post, we explore quick ways to improve the candidate experience.

  • Test your hiring process from their perspective

An active candidate is simultaneously applying for multiple roles at different organizations which means they have to fill out many long application forms. Make your application form is easier for them by first testing out the application yourself before releasing it for the applicants. A study showed that 64% of the applicants share negative application experiences, out of which 27% actively discourage others from applying. Here’s how you can test out your application procedure:

i) Device Compatibility: Fill out your application form on mobile devices and ensure that your form is compatible across multiple devices.

ii) Form Instructions: Double check all the instructions and provide additional information where required. 93% job seekers admitted that unclear instructions are often the primary cause of bad candidate experience.

iii) Time Factor: Track the time it takes to complete the application form.

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iv) Make it easier for passive candidates: Remove barriers and extra steps to make it easier to fill the form for passive candidates.

v) Keep it engaging: If your form is too long, divide them into smaller sections and multiple steps. Once the candidate has completed their application, urge them to explore more about the company culture and engage with them by sharing relevant links to content on your website.

  • Value candidate’s time, accommodate their schedules and treat them as your customers

Treat your candidates like your customers and first understand their requirements & motivation factors to apply for a role at your organization. You can start off by scheduling phone interviews with candidates to understand about their expectations in terms of their mission, their values, their requirements in terms of career growth, what kind of compensation they expect and so on.

Many active candidates are also working full-time while applying for jobs. It’s not always easy for them to leave their workplace to have a phone interview with you. A great way to express that you value their time is to work with simple online interview scheduling tools. You can easily configure your available time-slots and send the link of your schedule to the candidate. The candidate selects the time slot most convenient to them and schedules the interview. These types of systems also send automated reminders before the interview. This ensures they’re well prepared and by the phone on the scheduled time.

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When inviting the candidate to your office for the next few rounds of interviews, use the same interview scheduling tool to automatically coordinate schedules of multiple executives and allow candidates to book a time most convenient for them. Send quick follow-up emails to the candidate via the system to thank them for their time and share details about the expected timelines of the recruitment process. This will ensure that you don’t have to write an email every time you interview the candidate and will also give clarity of recruitment process to the candidates, hence, eliminating unnecessary phone calls and emails from their end to follow-up with you.

  • To attract top talent, treat all candidates like top talent

How you conduct the interviews, your application procedure and all the interaction points within your organization have an impact on a candidate’s experience. When you’re trying to attract the top talent, treat all your candidates like they’re the top talent and they will value working with your organization. Here are a few steps on how you can build positive sentiment about your organization:

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i) Engage with them via different mediums: Share relevant links with them to help them in learning more about the culture at your organization and encourage them to connect with existing employees. Let your employees be your brand ambassador and build positive vibes in candidates.

ii) Be honest about your procedure and timelines: Many candidates end up frustrated when they don’t hear back from an organization for a long time. Even if you have rejected their application, take time to let them know about it. Be transparent in displaying the steps involved in the recruiting procedure, share application instructions via interactive elements like videos, GIFs, etc. and request them to call you back if they haven’t heard back from you in a certain timeframe.

iii) Conduct friendly interviews: While conducting interviews, a warm and friendly interview can go a long way in leaving a long-lasting impact on the candidate’s mind. No one wants to work in an intimidating and unfriendly environment, and conducting stressful interviews can drive away even the top talent.

  • Be open to giving and receiving feedback

Not sure how your candidates perceive your existing recruitment process? Set up a quick candidate feedback survey and learn more about how your candidates perceive your process. Identify your gaps and aim to deliver a candidate friendly experience in your recruitment procedure.

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In addition to accepting feedback, request executives who perform candidate interviews to jot down simple feedback points after every interview. When you send rejection messages to candidates, share constructive feedback with them to help them improve in their future interviews.

Candidates value such organizations who maintain transparency and help them in working on their improvement areas. This leaves a positive impact on them and makes them more inclined to speak positively about your organization within their network.

  • Provide an easily accessible single point of contact

In most cases, there will be multiple departments and many decision-makers involved in the hiring process. While it is okay to depend on multiple people, for the candidates you should provide a single point of contact who can clearly communicate with them at required intervals of time. Any time a candidate has questions or is confused, they can easily reach out to this POC rather than ending up emailing many relevant people who have no idea about the recruitment process.

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In today’s competitive landscape, improving the candidate experience is not an optional activity but a mandatory one. Actively work on improving your recruitment process and delivering a positive impact on all job candidates.

This article was originally published on Article Event.