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How to Improve Candidate Experience in a Tight Talent Market

How To Improve Candidate Experience In A Tight Talent Market

Engaging top candidates today isn’t easy. Blame Millennials or Gen Z if you like, but the fact is, the candidate market is completely different than is was 10 years ago. All of us (yes, you included) now have incredibly high standards for the experience we have when doing something, be it streaming TV or applying for a job.

Whether your candidates are ‘digital natives’ or ‘digital immigrants,’ everyone in today’s workforce expects and appreciates a simple, personalized hiring experience. If you want to be a competitive employer, you need to give them that.

Your next challenge is to find a way to get the data you need for sharp, unbiased decision-making without sacrificing the experience. Do that, and you create a win-win for everyone. Here’s how:

Tell a good story

You can’t expect candidates – who enjoy rich, vibrant experiences online and nearly everywhere they go – to raise their hand for a less-than-exciting job opportunity. Generalities, like saying, “This is a great place to work!” won’t cut it anymore. (Did it ever?) To get candidates to click APPLY, you must first give them a taste of your company, the job, and the team they might be working with. Do this by telling stories.

First, craft a narrative about your company’s history, vision, or culture, and weave it into every experience through the hiring process. Then, look for ways to spotlight company wins and employee success stories. A video about an employee’s growth within the company, a great relationship with a client, or a community outreach event are just a few ideas. Whatever it is that makes your company interesting or unique, that’s the story you should tell.

Make it feel easy

Because everything is on-demand, the days of applying and waiting are nearing their end. Candidates need to be nurtured, gratified, and kindly escorted from one step in the process to the next. Your job is to make the job of applying for a job easier than ever.

That means all the great storytelling videos you create should be accessible and easy to find up-front. After than, think about how to architect a seamless workflow that will keep candidates engaged and moving forward – such as, auto-launching an assessment at the end of the application, or providing the option to schedule a video interview immediately after the assessment.

It goes without saying that everything should be mobile-optimized. And, the more flexibility you give candidates to complete steps when it’s convenient for them, the better.

Improve your interviews

Interviews are your chance to get to know candidates on a deeper, more personal level. They’re also a chance for candidates to get to know YOU. So make sure your interviews give back to the candidate as much as they take – which can be easy to forget when using technology.

For example, if you use pre-recorded video interviews, you can help make the experience feel two-way by having real employees on screen, introducing themselves before asking an interview question. This way, candidates will have ‘met’ a handful of team members in your company, and will be able to put faces to names.

Ask the right questions

Candidates can tell the difference when hiring managers are prepared with questions, and when they’re winging it. By providing on-demand interview guides with questions that are tailored to the candidate and job, you ensure the interview is a good experience for busy managers and potential hires.

Ideally, you want interview guides to be structured and align with your company’s core values, and at the same time, be relevant and personalized to the candidate. Asking the right questions leads great job-related conversations, and makes the most of everyone’s time.

Add a personal touch

If you’ve implemented a good hiring workflow, then you’re nurturing candidates throughout the process. It’s important to have built-in touch points to let candidates know they’ve successful completed a step and what’s coming next. Much of this can be automated. But, you don’t want your process to be completely robotic.

Make sure at least some of your candidate outreach or follow up comes from a real recruiter or hiring manager. Savvy candidates know the difference and will appreciate a little undivided attention. Your goal should be to automate the mundane, repetitive tasks so that hiring teams have more time to personally connect with candidates.

To learn more about innovative recruitment…

See how Verisk, a Forbes’ Best Employer, is attracting and engaging top college grads.

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