Key Tips for a Better Candidate Experience

Topics: candidate experience, recruitment strategies, interviewing

Posted by Lisa B. Radloff on Sep 5, 2019 12:56:28 PM

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In the world of recruitment marketing, the phrase “Think Like a Candidate” is quite familiar. As a forward-thinking organization, you’ve likely assessed procedures in some areas of your hiring process and made adjustments. But have you taken a holistic look at the candidate journey?

In HR recruitment, it is vital to understand what candidates expect—and to deliver on their expectations. Because if you don’t, another company certainly will. So, how can you improve the candidate experience? Let’s focus on the essential elements of the initial phase of the candidate experience.

What you’re doing right

Candidates today typically start their job search in three ways: with a search engine, social platform or your career site. They want information fast and expect to find it. You need to make sure you’re in front of them as their job search begins. Give yourself major points if you’re:

  • Posting your jobs on sites that yield high search engine exposure (Google for Jobs and Indeed are leaders in this area)
  • Using a sophisticated recruitment marketing platform designed to reveal jobs hidden behind your ATS and expose them to search engines
  • Using candidate-centric design elements on your career site; if your Search Jobs button
    is hard to find, your candidates will be, too
  • Using paid promotions such as Google Ads and Facebook campaigns
  • Deploying a programmatic media buying strategy for highly targeted exposure of your jobs
  • Promoting career-specific, engaging content on social platforms: the big 5 are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube

What you’re doing wrong

As in life, “One Size Fits All’ usually…doesn’t. This particularly applies to recruitment advertising. You need many irons in the fire, as it were, in terms of strategy in order to yield holistically effective results. It’s time to schedule a check-up of your recruitment efforts if you’re still:

  • Putting your eggs in one basket by not taking advantage of a multi-pronged recruitment strategy across varying platforms and channels
  • Relying on a singular post-and-pray tactic in terms of job postings (for example, one posting on one site with no additional exposure)
  • Following the (questionable) leader in terms of branding: your company is unique and your messaging should reflect as such. How many more variations of “jumping in the air/cheering wildly,” “fist-pump” or “high-five” pics do we need? The answer: none.

fist pump

Just…no.

Making the interview process painful for candidates. Hall of Fame pain points include:

  • Interview questions such as “What’s your biggest weakness?” (The real answer: your clichéd interview questions.). Here are some interview questions you should stop asking.
  • A disorganized interview process: Who’s on your hiring team? Are the ultimate decision-makers involved in the interview process? Are they asking the right questions? This process should be thoroughly vetted and firmly in place before the first candidate interview.
  • Not being a gracious host: In addition to reviewing etiquette tips with your interviewer, personal touches go a long way. Why not take your interviewee on a brief office tour to meet a few people they may be working with? And by all means, have coffee, tea and water on hand to offer. If they liked you, they’ll probably tell their friends. If they didn’t like you, they just might tell everyone on Glassdoor.com.

From the first touch point with candidates – from how you initially interact to how you communicate throughout the process – how you act and react defines the essence of your employer brand and company culture. Details are important.

As in life, the little things are often very big things.

Lisa B. Radloff

Since joining NAS in 1998, Lisa has used her strong conceptual skills, sharp ear for dialogue and keen understanding of candidate behavior to produce concepts and copy for print, radio, television and online media for a vast range of clients across many industries.