In today's competitive hiring market, your candidate experience can make or break your hiring success-- and the success of your business as a whole. With the number of open roles outnumbering available talent on the market, today's top talent will lose interest in your job opportunities if they face a poor candidate experience. 

According to recent research from hiring agency Ranstad Sourceright, job seekers and hiring managers don't completely see eye to eye when it comes to what makes a great candidate experience. The research found that a majority of talent leaders (77 percent) rate their company's talent experience as either excellent or very good, while 84 percent of working professionals indicate they've faced a poor experience when searching for a job. 

Given this disconnect between employers and job seekers, how can your team ensure you're supporting the best candidate experience possible and exciting prospective applicants about joining your team? I've highlighted some tips below. 

1. Build a Compelling Careers Page

The Ranstad Sourceright study found that employers and job seekers are on the same page when it comes to one aspect of the job search-- company websites and careers pages are the most important source of information during the job search.

The most engaged candidates want to read through your careers page and envision whether or not they'll truly be a fit for your team, rather than blindly clicking apply on a job board. If you don't have a compelling careers page on your website, prospective applicants might assume you don't have much to offer employees and apply to open roles elsewhere. 

To keep candidates engaged before they even apply, your team needs to have a compelling careers page in place that answers the "What's in it for me?" question for job seekers. Your careers page should outline open roles, employee benefits, training opportunities, career paths, employee testimonials and success stories. 

Also make sure your careers page is mobile-friendly, as more than 90 percent of job seekers use their mobile devices at one point or another during the job search. You don't want to miss out on top talent because they can't access your careers page on a mobile device. 

2. Communicate with Candidates from Start to Finish 

The study highlighted above also found that communication is key to supporting a positive candidate experience. Working professionals surveyed indicated that some of the top factors that contribute to a positive experience include: transparency about the role, feedback on why they were or weren't selected, a quick process and communication about their progress. 

It's critical to clearly communicate with candidates and build trust throughout the hiring process. One way to stay in touch with candidates along the way is by tapping into text messaging. Rather than risk playing phone tag or an email getting overlooked, text messaging is a more seamless way to share additional details about the open role, communicate next steps, and more. 

Whether or not you're tapping into text messaging, your team should also close the loop with all candidates-- even if they don't ultimately receive a job offer. By reaching out to those who do not receive a job offer, you can ensure you're supporting a positive experience for all candidates. This way, candidates will have a positive opinion of your company and will be more likely to apply to your future open roles if they're a fit, or recommend qualified contacts in their networks to join your team. 

3. Collect Candidate Feedback 

Since employers and job seekers aren't in complete agreement about what makes a great candidate experience, one way for your team to continuously improve is by collecting candidate feedback. 

For candidates you end up hiring, consider distributing a survey once they're on board asking for feedback on the hiring experience and if there's anything your team can improve upon. And gain more in-depth feedback by having your HR team or hiring managers set up face-to-face meetings with new hires. Let them know their feedback is heard and outline next steps to implement this feedback.

You can also collect feedback from candidates who don't end up accepting a job offer. When you close the loop and thank them for their time, ask if there's anything you can do to support an improved candidate experience in the future. This will make candidates feel as though their opinions are valued and help your hiring efforts improve over time. 

Given the tight labor market, your team needs to go above and beyond with supporting a positive candidate experience. By implementing these tips, you can more effectively engage candidates and build a strong team who will drive productivity and profitability for your business.

Published on: Sep 19, 2019
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