7 Minute Read

Ways to Improve Candidate Experience

These expert quotes were originally featured on UndercoverRecruiter.

Want to improve your candidate experience? With all the advice and tactics floating around it’s hard to know what really works and what is more fiction than fact. So, we went right to the source to get the insights from major HR experts who really know their stuff! See what they had to say and start improving your candidate experience!

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Leela Srinivasan (@leelasrin)

If you did nothing but increase your responsiveness to all candidates throughout the recruiting funnel, your candidates would be doing cartwheels. Of course, it’s not as simple as it sounds. It requires your broader team (read: hiring managers and interviewers) to give swift, high-quality feedback so that you can get back to candidates with an update, fast. Equip your internal team with the technology to do it. Make sure they understand the importance of speedy feedback. And embrace your role as ‘bad cop’: if your hiring manager is procrastinating, the candidate probably isn’t ‘the one’.

Erin Wilson (@techmatchmaker)

Interview transparency is the key. The act of transparently sharing what to expect, with the candidate, from the beginning and then between each step of the process delivers the best possible candidate experience. What this does is act as a forcing function for having the interview process well-thought out in advance. The best candidate experience possesses the following attributes: transparent, collaborative, riddled with data equality.

Amy Volas (@AvenueTP)

It’s simple, the “Golden Rule”.  We’ve all been or will be in the shoes of the people we’re interviewing.

It’s important not to forget that and treat anyone in the process (regardless of outcome) how you’d expect to be treated if the roles were reversed.

Lars Schmidt (@Lars)

Be empathetic. Stop treating recruiting as a transaction and appreciate the fact that changing jobs is an emotional experience.

At the very least, update your application auto-response to include FAQs setting expectations on the process and addressing top candidate questions. That allows you to get ahead of most questions and set the tone for what to expect.

Chad MacRae (@HeRecruits)

Don’t be a jerk. Decline your candidates and give them feedback – no matter what. Don’t leave them hanging: that could affect your employer brand, not to mention your Glassdoor reviews!

Survey both declined candidates and hiring managers after each search, so you can learn what you can do better next time.

Stacy Zapar (@StacyZapar)

Communication. Candidates should always feel in-the-know when it comes to application process, interview process, candidate status, feedback, next steps, closure, etc. And make sure that communication is timely. I never let a candidate go into the weekend not knowing exactly where they stand, even if the update is that there is no news yet. Let them know you’ll give them a weekly update and have an open door policy in the meantime.

John Feldmann (@john_feldmann)

Treating candidates who don’t get hired with as much respect as the ones who do will make a big difference in the candidate experience. Due to the sheer volume of candidates, many recruiters deal with, it’s unfortunate that some disregard applicants who don’t make the cut. But a candidate who may not be a fit for one job may be perfect for the next, and treating him or her with apathy could burn a valuable bridge. Even if it’s only an email generated by the company ATS, notifying candidates of the outcome of their application lets them know that recruiters are concerned with more than just meeting numbers.

Maren Hogan (@MarenHogan)

Introduce culture and work ethic early on, not only through company social media but during the actual recruitment process. After each candidate goes through their interview, I introduce them to each of my team members. Even before they make it to the interview, I set a few hoops up to keep candidates engaged through the sourcing process. First, I have them set up a call with one of my team members through our conference line to see if they can follow instructions, then I give them an assignment specific to the position they applied for to get an idea of their process and skill set.

Craig Fisher (@Fishdogs)

My best tip to fix candidate experience is good communication.  The top complaint we ever see on any employer’s Glassdoor page from job candidates is that the company was unresponsive at various points in the process.  If you can teach your people or fix your process to provide good communication in a timely manner, even if the news is not favorable, candidates will appreciate you.

Will Staney (@willstaney)

Fixing candidate experience doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Most recruiters are told to overhaul processes or spend thousands of dollars, but it can be simple as not making a candidate wait a week or more to hear back about an interview, it could be starting an interview on time, or having the mindset of candidate first in your hiring process. When sourcing, interviewing and offering a job, keep in mind that the talent pool is more competitive than ever and the only way to get the best is to treat each candidate like they are your world.