Does the “Candidate Experience” Really Matter?

candidate experienceHR circles have been buzzing over the “candidate experience” in recent years.  But does the candidate’s experience of your hiring process really make a difference when it comes to finding and keeping top talent?

Mounting evidence indicates that a good candidate experience is key to attracting the best talent – and keeping them engaged through the process.  Because great talent is in high demand, making sure you keep these professionals interested is essential.

Here’s how to evaluate and improve your own candidate experience:

  1. Hold “exit interviews” for dropout candidates. When a candidate announces they are no longer interested in pursuing their application – for whatever reason – ask them if they’re willing to tell you why. While some candidates will withdraw their application for reasons you cannot control, others will be frank about the difficulties they’ve faced: a buggy application system, a long delay, or a lack of communication from your team.
  2. Examine your hiring managers’ skill set. Many companies treat resume screening and interviewing as skills that anyone can just “pick up” as they go. In fact, these skills need to be taught systematically in order to be used effectively.  Look at how your hiring managers approach the hiring process, and talk to your recruiter about developmental training and other options for improving their ability to hire well.
  3. Automate where you can. An applicant tracking system that sends an automated email when a candidate successfully uploads their resume is preferable to one that does not. It puts the candidate at ease knowing their upload did in fact work, and it lets them know you are paying attention. Of course, personal responses should always supplement automated ones – but automation allows you to reply without overwhelming your staff.
  4. Build “prep time” into the process. When hiring managers have the time they need to screen resumes, review a candidate’s application, prepare interview questions and compare candidates’ answers, they’re more likely to make a sound decision. They’re also more able to respond to candidates as individuals, improving the quality of the candidate experience. Schedule “prep time” as carefully as you schedule interviews.

The experience your candidates have during your hiring process sets the tone for how you might be as employer. By ensuring your candidate experience is a positive one, you will position your company to achieve the best hiring outcomes possible.

If you are looking for assistance with your hiring, consider partnering with a recruiting expert. At TERRA Staffing, our recruiters can assist with everything from evaluating your candidate experience to finding and keeping the professionals who will help your business thrive.

Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services in Portland, Seattle, and Phoenix.

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