How to Improve the Candidate Experience
Author: Kristina Proffitt
27th April 2017
Picture the scene: you’ve just started hiring for a new role and have received more applications than you can answer in a week. There’s hundreds of CVs to read, sort through, and shortlist, then you need to contact everyone and let them know if they’ve been successful. How do you find the time to do all of that?
Chances are, you won’t.
Most companies only respond to candidates that have progressed to the next stage of the hiring process. Everyone else stays in the dark. Eventually, they’ll just have to assume they were unsuccessful.
Good communication between companies and candidates is imperative. Even if candidates don’t go on to become an employee, keeping them engaged and informed is crucial to creating a positive experience and building a strong employer brand. If the application process is complicated or opaque, candidates are less likely to apply for future positions and will share their negative experience with their social circles. This may, in turn, negatively affect the company’s brand image, as well as their image as an employer.
According to a study sponsored by ZenDesk, there’s a 95% chance that customers will share a negative experience with their social circle.
Many of these candidates could go on to become customers, or may already be customers. A negative experience could put them off your company or product. In 2014, 18% of Virgin Media job applicants subscribed to their services. However, after experiencing a poor hiring process, 7,500 of those applicants cancelled their subscriptions and went to a competitor. The company lost out on £4.4m in revenue.
A complicated application process, not responding to unsuccessful candidates, and a long-winded hiring process are just some of the things that can lead to a negative candidate experience.
While it’s important to find the right candidate for a job, it’s also worth remembering that candidates are interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing them.
Candidates want a simple, informed experience because that kind of transparency reflects the company’s culture and the kind of place they could be working in.
If the process is opaque, overcomplicated, or makes them unhappy, they may not accept a job offer even if they’re a great fit for the role.
When a company invests in a positive candidate experience, they can
improve the quality of their hires by as much as 70%. When we know how much growth is linked to talent acquisition that’s reason enough to invest in building an employer brand that is strong and engaging.
But the reality is that it can be difficult for busy hiring managers to find time to reply to everyone. When there’s already the responsibility of selecting CVs and organizing interviews, it leaves little time to connect with every candidate.
The rise of HR tech
Hiring managers in large companies spend an average of 26 days trying to find each new hire, which means they need to spend their time wisely. The more time they spend trying to find the right person for the job, the more challenges this creates for the team around them – they not only have to fill in for the empty role, but also for the hiring manager. This creates greater pressure on employees and increases their stress levels, which can lead to long-term sick leave or a higher staff turnover.
The progresses in HR tech have already allowed hiring managers to shorten the hiring process – chatbots can be set up to answer candidate queries; AIs can scan CVs and help shortlist candidates, and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can help to manage large volumes of applications and candidates.
One thing they don’t currently do is automate the interview scheduling process. This is still managed by the hiring manager and takes up a lot of their time. Imagine a hiring manager having to organize a dozen interviews per week, calling candidates, emailing interview panels. Aligning everyone’s schedules can take up hours of work. Is it any surprise they won’t spend time informing unsuccessful candidates?
Creating a positive candidate experience
Maintaining a connection with candidates right from the start creates a relationship that can be cultivated even if the candidate is unsuccessful. Those that aren’t a good fit right now might be in a couple of years, or they may be perfect for another department. Should they feel negatively about the application process, they’re less likely to re-apply for the same role or consider a different department. Talent acquisition is often the difference between a growing business and a stalling one. A negative candidate experience means that companies lose out on talent and may end up helping their competition.
It’s not just about responding to queries and ensuring that your ATS is mobile-friendly, though. One of the most time-consuming processes of hiring is finding a time when a candidate and interview panel are free. The more candidates and interviewers there are, the longer this process takes. However, this process can be automated, saving the hiring manager a great deal of time.
Save time with automated real-time interview scheduling
In order to streamline the interview scheduling process, ATS providers can add calendar sync to their products in order to build smart scheduling feature that allow users to access the real-time availability of people both inside and outside the organization.
When an ATS is integrated with a company’s calendar domain, hiring managers don’t need to chase an interview panel to find when they’re available. The hiring manage can email candidates with the real-time availability of the interviewers to find a time that works for everyone. This not only reduces double-bookings but can also help to minimize the number of latecomers or no-shows.
If anyone becomes unavailable, the ATS can be notified and an email can be sent to organize a new time for everyone to meet – there’s no need to rely on long email conversations or more phone calls.
The better the experience a candidate goes through when applying for a job, the more likely they are to speak positively of the company, even if they don’t get the role. This improves the company’s image and helps attract more top talent, and in doing so, allows the company to grow faster.
You can find out more about how to build calendar sync into your HR software in our use cases.
Date: 27th April 2017 | Category: HR Tech