AP NEWS

Women at Work: Employers should focus on candidate experience

March 24, 2019

A couple of weeks ago this column was about being prepared to ask questions of the person or panel interviewing you for a job. As a job candidate, it is always good to be prepared to demonstrate why you are the right person for the job or why the company would benefit from hiring you.

However, in a job seeker’s market, businesses must be prepared to pull out all the stops in order to attract the best and brightest talent. From benefits and salary to company culture, there are many ways to demonstrate to skilled job seekers that your company is a top employer they should consider.

In order to differentiate themselves from the competition, many businesses are starting to focus on the candidate experience. LinkedIn’s 2018 Global Recruiting Trends report found that 56 percent of businesses say “interviewing innovations are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important to the future of hiring.”

According to CareerArc’s State of the Candidate Experience study, nearly 60 percent of job seekers surveyed have had a poor candidate experience with a company. And, 72 percent of that group said they have shared about it online or with someone directly.

So, what are the key factors driving the negativity?

One finding from the CareerArc study is that 65 percent of candidates said they never, or rarely, receive notice about an application they submitted. And of those who do hear back about an application, 51 percent report it took a month or longer.

Additionally, according to Undercover Recruiter, 60 percent of candidates have quit an application process because it took too long.

Let’s face it, the numbers don’t lie. The Talent Board, an organization focused on candidate experience more than most has made it their mission to facilitate the evolution of the employment candidate experience.

Recently, The Talent Board reported:

• 33 percent of candidates with a negative experience intended to share the news publicly via social media

• 41 percent of candidates who had a poor overall experience intended to take their loyalty elsewhere

CareerBuilder’s Candidate Experience Study found that 78 percent of job candidates said “the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people.”

5 Tips for a more positive candidate experience

1. Ensure job postings are clear and concise: There’s nothing more frustrating to a job seeker than an ambiguous job posting. Be sure details about the job are succinct and helpful and that the process to apply is straightforward.

2. Stay connected: According to CareerArc’s State of the Candidate Experience study, 60 percent of candidates said “better communication throughout and after the applicant process” would make the biggest impact on their experience.

3. Explain the hiring process: Once a candidate is in your hiring pipeline, be clear about what the process will entail. From interview format to expectations for future communication, keeping a promising candidate engaged is the key to creating a positive experience.

4. Give feedback: Whether you decide to hire a candidate or not, be open and honest about the reasoning behind your decision. Providing feedback about how a candidate you did not hire can be better prepared for future interviews, for example, can still create a positive experience even though they didn’t land the job.

5. Ask for feedback: After you’ve hired a new employee, ask them for feedback about the process they just experienced. What did they like? Were there areas that could be improved? Re-evaluating and fine-tuning will help ensure your candidate experience stays in step with the changing times.

Keep in mind that candidates will share their experiences regardless if they were good or bad. Create the experience you want shared with the world.