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Candidate Experience in Recruitment: What, Why & How

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What Is Candidate Experience in Recruitment?

The candidate experience in recruitment is generated by all the different points of contact that any given candidate has with your company or brand during the recruitment process. Each of these interactions creates another piece of the overall perception and reaction that the candidate develops regarding your company. More specifically, candidate experience usually includes the following elements:
  • Your company website
  • Your job postings
  • The application process
  • Any communication from your applicant tracking system
  • Your interview process
  • Communication with HR professionals, team members, and/or leadership
  • Notifications about the candidate’s application status
  • Candidate rejection letter or job offer
  • The onboarding process

Why Is Candidate Experience Important?

In a post-Great Resignation world, the candidate experience affects how well your company will boost candidate attraction and conversion rates. This will positively impact your ability to compete for top talent. A positive candidate experience can also help raise your profile and increase employer brand awareness. Read on for our take on candidate experience best practices.

How to Improve Candidate Experience: 5 Best Practices

Improving the hiring process for the candidate just takes a bit of candidate experience management. Here are five best practices for creating a positive candidate experience.

Candidate Experience Best Practice #1: Perfect Your Job Descriptions & Landing Page

A good first step is to perfect the registration page for any upcoming hiring events. Your registration page is where potential candidates become candidates; it’s where they get all their information about the event. Your registration page should include essential information such as event details, a sign-up form, and custom branding for your organization.
A good registration page will streamline the registration process for the candidate, while also educating them about your company, brand, and story. Candidates should leave your registration page with a solid idea of how the event is going to work and what they should expect.
In addition to reworking your registration page, plan to streamline all the information in your job postings. Live Recruit’s own Director of Talent Acquisition and Development, Jen Hernandez, offers some recent experience as insight: recently, she reworked a job posting on a Friday; by the time she came back into the office on Monday morning, approximately 100 new candidates had applied for the position.
Discussing how the revisions of the job description created a better candidate experience and therefore more conversions, Ms. Hernandez says, “Candidates want to see how the role will impact them.” She advises making your mission and vision statements very clear, as well as of course stating what the role is. “When the candidate understands how we see a person in that role,” she says, “that essentially shows the candidate a snapshot of what their daily life [at work] would look like.”

Candidate Experience Best Practice #2: Build a Strong Candidate Communication Strategy

A strong protocol for communicating well with candidates will include:

Efficiency. Streamline the process as much as possible, so that the candidate doesn’t have to do much work to move easily through the application and selection process. Speed, communication, and trust are key.

Speed. Respond to applicants quickly, especially if their inquiries or information requests are time-sensitive.

Communication. Keep the flow open, and communicate with the candidate about each next step of the process. Naturally, this is necessary to keep the candidate informed, and show that your company is organized and professional. However, receiving direct, prompt, personalized communication, rather than being treated like a number in a line, will make the candidate experience qualitatively better.

Don’t ghost! Even if you hate crushing dreams — or are simply too busy to spend much thought on it either way — be sure your company sees things through with each candidate, including letting them know when they’re no longer in the running for their desired position. If appropriate, encourage them to apply again for other, future openings.

Candidate Experience Best Practice #3: Create a Better Interview Experience

Make sure that you don’t ask the candidate any questions that are illegal, in poor taste, or inappropriate. If you have doubts about whether any of your intended interview questions may fall into any of these categories, you can refresh your knowledge by looking up guidelines and laws state by state — and by reading about the origins of illegal interview questions here.

Candidate Experience Best Practice #4: Engage New Hires

Engagement and communication can make all the difference when setting a new hire up for success at the company. Here are some tips:
  • Make sure new hires are welcomed warmly into the company culture, and into their new departments or teams
  • Streamline the onboarding process
  • Make sure that the new hire is given the opportunity to absorb a lot of new information in a clear and organized way

Candidate Experience Best Practice #5: Utilize Virtual Hiring Events

Using a quality virtual hiring event platform will help streamline the entire recruitment and hiring process for both you and your candidates. We’ve already put together a short list of steps to make it easy for you! And we also have some best practice suggestions for hosting a virtual career fair or hiring event, as well.

Wrapping Up: Creating a Better Candidate Experience in 2022

Following these steps will help you invigorate and streamline the candidate experience your company is able to offer during the recruitment process. When you find the right candidate to fill the position, you’ll be glad you worked out these ways to improve candidate experience. And you’ll be even more glad when that next position opens, and you have a large amount of top talent waiting to compete for it, resumés in hand!