If your organization is not heavily focused on identifying meaningful ways to improve and streamline the candidate experience, now would be an excellent time to start.
Why does the candidate experience matter so much?
For starters, the Great Resignation remains in full swing. Finding skilled talent continues to be quite challenging for many companies. And the staffing problems might not ease any time soon. In fact, one-third of employees plan to switch employers in the next year, according to a recent 24 Seven report.
Put simply, candidates for marketing, creative and digital roles know they are in the driver’s seat and can afford to be highly selective. For employers, this dynamic means that to stay competitive it’s crucial to look at increasing pay, boosting benefits, providing more perks (particularly ones that enhance work-life balance), and offering clearly defined career advancement tracks.
But it’s also important to reexamine the candidate experience. Gaining a reputation for having a smooth and enjoyable candidate experience can set you apart from competing firms. But if mishandled, fumbled first impressions can negate all of the time, resources and effort you’ve invested in trying to woo top performers.
WHAT IS THE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE?
Well, it’s the sum of every interaction and every point of contact between a job candidate and your organization during the recruiting and hiring process. It’s the job posting. The website. Every email exchange. Every phone call. Every interview. It’s the negotiation. The offer. The description of the onboarding experience. And the welcome message on the first day of employment.
The candidate experience, in general, involves the length and complexity of the overall process. The candidate experience is shaped by you as the hiring manger but also by every ambassador of your employment brand, including other internal representatives and those who serve as external proxies (such as the recruiting partner you choose).
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How all these steps are handled has a significant impact on candidates’ perceptions – and whether they end up working for you or not. If your hiring process is unnecessarily long, cumbersome or complicated, you risk losing out on great candidates, while doing your employer reputation no favors.
We are all consumers and live in an experience-driven society, trained for this by the best brands in the world. Where once we may have expressed our experience by word of mouth to a smaller circle of friends, family, acquaintances and colleagues, today our reach is so much broader and faster. We evaluate everything as an experience and have the capability to share our thoughts and assessments in an instant, empowered by platforms such as Glassdoor and Google reviews.
If you’re still wondering why the candidate experience matters, well, as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. And this concept no longer applies only to the job seeker; the employer now needs to “wow” the candidate too. If you are having challenges attracting candidates or keeping them engaged through the various phases of the recruitment process, contact 24 Seven for hiring help now!
This post was updated on May 19, 2022.