Candidate friendly hiring concerns a candidate’s overall experience with an organization throughout the entire hiring process. Whether the candidate receives the job or not, their experience with the organization will travel through word of mouth and often through social media.
For organizations, creating a hiring process that is mindful of candidate experience can increase brand reputation. This leads to competitive advantage and talent returning to apply for roles that pop up in the future.
However, this can also go the opposite way. When a candidate has a poor experience, they lose respect for organizations, but over 40% of candidates don’t apply for their future positions, and over 20% tell others not to apply either. This can have major adverse effects on organizations and contribute to damaged brand reputation.
So what goes into creating a candidate friendly hiring process?
This post will breakdown what employers can do to create and improve their hiring process to promote candidate experience.
Make Job Descriptions Clear
Candidate experience starts at the initial interactions made with an organization. This means job descriptions set the tone for how the rest of the hiring process goes. Following are some ways that recruiters can improve job descriptions to be more candidate friendly.
Be Clear and Concise
Job descriptions that are wordy and hard to understand are more likely to be put in the too-hard basket by strong candidates. By keeping job descriptions to one page and limiting jargon where possible, candidates can assess if they are qualified for the position more efficiently.
Reduce the Required Skillset List
Too many listed skills in the job description can cause qualified candidates that don’t meet every requirement to be deterred from applying for roles. This is especially true for female candidates.
By removing skills that are nice to have but not necessary, suitable candidates are more likely to stick around.
Be Clear About Expectations and Responsibilities
Job descriptions should let candidates know exactly what the role entails. Whether it is a management role that requires looking after a team or if the organization is a start-up, letting candidates know if they’ll need to be flexible in the work that they complete.
Being transparent early allows candidates to decide if they can commit to a role and ensures that they aren’t met with surprises if they are successful.
Let Candidates Know if There Is Pre-Employment Testing
Job descriptions should let candidates know about any pre-employment testing that is required. These should disclose what type of pre-employment testing will be used, how long the test takes, and what point they could expect to undergo it. Tests like this problem-solving test are good examples of tests that employers can use to help guide employment decision making.
Considering testing can be stressful for some candidates, letting candidates know early means that they can do any of their preparation and plan to have adequate time to sit it.
Make It Easy To Apply
Have a Designated Place To Apply
Organizations having a designated place on their website for job vacancies to appear is essential or they can use platforms like Lensa for finding an employee. These pages should be obvious and easy to navigate for candidates who are first-time site visitors.
Make It Easy To Follow
Job applications should be easy to follow. They should have clear instructions and show what needs to be entered before submission. Keeping it short and sweet will lower the risks of candidates dropping out before completing the application and increase user experience.
Limiting areas with required answers and allowing large files to be uploaded for resumes and cover letters also help create a candidate-friendly process.
Send Out Confirmation Emails
Once candidates have submitted their applications, it is useful to send out a confirmation email. While this can be a simple thank you email, employers can also use an email to provide further information. Giving candidates a time frame they can expect to hear back within or even letting candidates know the next steps is a great way to increase candidate experience.
Take Vacant Positions Down Immediately After They Are Filled
Once applications close or a position is filled, vacancies on websites need to be taken down. This prevents misleading and wasting candidate time.
Create Positive Interview Experiences
Let Candidates Know What To Expect Beforehand
Interviews can be stressful for candidates. Letting individuals know what to expect in an interview by sending out an email or giving them a call beforehand is an excellent way to create a positive interview experience. Personalizing communications by using names instead of general terms also adds to this.
During the interview, it is important to go over what to expect again. Employers should explain any devices being used and their function, for example, recording devices or laptops for notetaking.
Get To Know Candidates Ahead of the Interview
Candidates provide employers with a range of information in cover letters, resumes, and even through social media like Linkedin – which should be approached cautiously. Due to this, employers can answer many standard questions without explicitly asking the candidate. To make the most of an interview and to make a candidate feel appreciated, it is crucial to go over such resources and use them as a guide to plan questions.
Respect Candidates’ Time
When in an interview, it is easy to forget about small behaviors that can be off-putting to candidates. Respecting candidates’ time by being on time, being attentive, and leaving room for them to ask questions impact candidate experience.
Let Candidates Know the Results ASAP
Once a candidate is no longer considered for a role, it is important to let them know ASAP. Leaving candidates hanging is a no-go when building a positive experience and can damage an organization’s reputation.
Have Strong Communication Throughout
Communication is key when it comes to creating a candidate friendly hiring process. Following are the main points at which communicating is essential:
Here employers need to get in touch and thank candidates for their applications.
Here employers need to let candidates know whether they have been selected to take a pre-employment test. This should be executed gracefully, and employers should thank all candidates.
It should be noted that not all employers require pre-employment tests and that these can be run as part of the application process or before the interview stage, depending on an employer’s preference.
Here employers need to let candidates know if they have been selected to enter the interview process. Again, this should be done with grace, and employers should thank all candidates.
Making a Job Offer
After the interview process is complete, candidates should be made aware of whether or not they were successful. Again, this needs to be done with grace.
In providing candidates with regular updates and relevant information, candidate friendly hiring processes are created.
Get Candidate Feedback
At the end of the process getting feedback from candidates and through internal review, employers can see what parts of the hiring process need to be changed for further improvement.
Ella Moffat is a communications intern at Adaface, which provides conversational assessments for companies to find great talent.
Businessman conducting an employment interview -DepositPhotos