By now you must have heard the term Candidate Experience, and possibly even the nonprofit organization that started the Candidate Experience Award.
Companies spend a hell of a lot of time and money to have the most sophisticated Applicant Tracking System, a cutting edge career site and the most advanced HR technology to help build their brand and provide a better candidate experience. Unless you chose SmartRecruiters, in which case all of those features are free.
But who truly owns Candidate Experience?
Most companies goof up thinking that having the most advanced technology will help make the recruiting process simpler and easier. And to some extent it is true, if you are a Fortune 500 company and get thousands of applications a day. But for the candidates, it goes beyond making it easy to submit their resume and information; it is an experience for them to make a connection with you, the position that they have enthusiastically applied for, to know about your organization and finally make a decision to join your family. So for them, the experience moves through your employer brand with a click on your career site, exchange of emails, phone calls, and continues when he or she steps inside your organization! Having said that, I must say nothing can replace a realistic human interaction! So your recruiters and hiring managers are the ones who own candidate experience.
And if you are going to argue that technology can fill the gaps due to lack of a human connection in the recruitment process, that’s not gonna work!
Don’t treat Candidate Experience as just the next buzz word in HR/recruiting industry! Just as customer is king in the consumer industry, candidates are the king in the job market. Ask me why?
They are the talent who can make or break your organization. While finding the right candidate is often challenging, getting them to join your organization can often be more overwhelming in a tough competitive jobs market. And keep in mind the candidates decide to join your organization or not, based on how well you treat them, how well informed they are throughout the process and mostly importantly if they are not treated just as leads! But as humans!
How should a Recruiter or Hiring Manager own the Candidate Experience?
Make a difference: Be human! Put yourself in your candidate’s shoes and treat them how you want to be treated – with dignity and respect. They are just people like you who approached you to get help in their career transition. Help them reduce their stress during their journey with you and make the entire process exciting from start to finish.
Build Relationships: When candidates submit their resume they might be getting an automated email but make sure to lift your phone and call the candidate to let them know if they have reached a particular stage like being shortlisted and considered for an interview. Every recruiter or hiring manager should talk to their candidates a least once before they are called for an interview. Engage your candidate by updating them with the status of interview process. Build a relationship that both parties remember for the better.
Provide Transparency: Let them know what the hiring process looks like, how long they need to wait to get a response and who they would be interviewing with. By giving transparency you are helping them make their decision faster by letting them know about your organization’s culture, work atmosphere, who they will be working with and how the job can help further their career.
Do what you say: If you promised them they will get a call from you next week, call them next week! Doing what you say makes them believe that you are part of an organization where credibility and integrity matter. And one that values other’s time and effort. Your recruiter brand matters as much as the company brand.
Provide insights: Now what if the candidate has not been selected after going through all the process or if you finally decide that he or she would not be a right fit for the position? Give them feed back! They would love to get valuable insights into what kind of skills they need to improve on when they look for the same job profile in similar industry. Provide them with details that they can use to learn about the position, organization or your industry. You never know, but they could be an excellent fit for another position that opens up in the future or they might even refer their friends too!
Nisha Raghavan – Your HR Buddy!! is an Talent Management Professional and blogger who likes to paint her thoughts with the shades of HR. She writes about Work Culture, Social Media, Organization Development and Employee Engagement Initiatives. Connect with her on Twitter @Thehrbuddy.