HR 2020: Improving the Candidate Experience

Today’s job seekers are demanding. Impatient. Downright choosy.

Why? Because they can be! With unemployment hovering around 3.5%, the best people have their choice of job opportunities – and may even be entertaining multiple offers.

In an extremely tight candidate market, how can you consistently land top talent?

Improve your candidate experience.

Smart HR professionals are making investments to improve experiences across the employee lifecycle – especially in the areas of talent attraction and recruitment. Here’s what your company can do to capitalize on this important HR trend and reap the benefits in 2020 and beyond:

How to Improve the Candidate Experience

While technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in every phase of recruiting, improving the candidate experience isn’t just about using more tech; it’s about balancing the right tech with a human touch and iron-clad communication processes. Here are three things you can do to move the needle:

Make a great first impression.

Your intake process will either initiate a great working relationship – or drive candidates away. Set the stage for a fantastic experience, whether candidates’ first interaction with you is digital or in real life:

  • Audit your candidate-facing technology to make sure it’s simple to use and effective.
  • Review the messaging on your career site to ensure it’s inviting, inclusive, and positions your company as one that values its employees.
  • Invest in a job board with robust search and filtering options, so candidates can easily find the right jobs for them.
  • Make sure your job postings are compelling enough to entice a candidate to apply immediately. Explain what’s in it for the candidate.
  • Train all recruiters, HR staff, and candidate-facing employees in customer service basics – so everyone creates a consistent, welcoming experience when job seekers call or visit.

Streamline your application process.

Candidates frequently abandon the application process when they’re asked to complete pages and pages of questions. Who can blame them? Job seekers are busy, and many of them are gainfully employed. So, do whatever you can to reduce friction in the application process:

  • Create a mobile application that can be completed 15 minutes or less.
  • Consider adding “finish later” functionality, so applicants can save their progress and finish applying from another device if needed.
  • Never require candidates to create an account to view your jobs, or to supply sensitive information in your application.
  • Invest in tech that offers one-click-apply options so that applicants can populate your application with information from 3rd party sites (e.g., Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn, Facebook).

Communicate consistently.

Few things frustrate candidates more than jumping through a bunch of hoops to apply to a job, come in for an interview, and then never hear back from you. Build multiple communication touchpoints into your hiring process to keep candidates engaged and informed at every step:

  • Send timely responses to all applicants acknowledging the application receipt.
  • Train recruiters to reach out to every job applicant within 24 hours, letting them know what to expect. If your team receives high application volumes, use automated emails to do the heavy lifting for you.
  • Review your hiring process and timelines with each candidate you interview:
    • Keep front-runners updated on the job’s status, so they know when to expect communications and decisions from you.
    • Notify candidates if you remove them from consideration. Even if they don’t get the job, they’ll appreciate the honesty.

Improving the candidate experience is important for both direct and contingent workers.

While most of these tips are for direct hires, temporary associates deserve a great experience, too. That’s why PrideStaff began investing heavily in a revolutionary Associate Care program years ago. By nurturing a more engaged talent network – individuals who feel appreciated, love their jobs, and are redeployed quickly – we accelerate placements, reduce turnover, increase assignment completion rates and improve staffing ROI for our clients.

Need qualified temporary associates or employees?

We can help! Contact your local PrideStaff office today.