With low unemployment and talent shortages in a number of industries, it’s more challenging to attract and hire the top talent your company needs. Even before Canada hit a 41-year low in unemployment, employers were becoming more aware of the role the candidate experience plays in attracting and managing talent within their companies.
What’s become more apparent recently is candidate experiences have a larger role in talent attraction and management than previously thought.
What Is a Candidate Experience?
The candidate experience is essentially the experience a job seeker has from the time they see your job posting and decide to apply to the time you interview them and determine if you want to bring them aboard.
The experience includes the application process, the timeliness of communication, the tone of communication, and the interview itself. It can also include any pre-screening activities and any testing you do as well.
What Does It Matter?
Candidates come into contact with your company often for the first time during the hiring process. Maybe they’d never heard of you before. Alternatively, they may have heard of you but never visited your website or used any of your products or services.
The candidate experience, then, is when they begin forming opinions about your business. Even if the candidate has been a loyal customer for years, the candidate experience can change their opinion of you.
It also influences whether or not they want to work with you.
Good Experience, Bad Experience
Candidates who have good experiences during the hiring process are more likely to form positive initial opinions of the business. They’ll likely decide the company is a good place to work. If you do offer them a job, they’ll consider it more seriously. They’re also more likely to accept the job offer.
The candidate experience thus becomes an important part of the talent acquisition process. If job seekers hear about others’ positive experiences through the grapevine, they’ll be more inclined to seek out job postings from your company and apply.
Companies that provide poor experiences to candidates also gain a reputation, and job seekers may begin to steer clear. The talent pool is thus reduced.
After the Hire
What does a positive candidate experience have to do with talent management after the fact? You can easily see how it affects the people you hire and the talent you attract.
The initial positive experience a candidate has with your company should be a reflection of your company’s culture as a whole. As a result, candidates who are hired and onboarded should actually be pleasantly surprised to find the candidate experience was just the beginning of a very positive work experience.
Candidates who have positive experiences take longer to become disengaged, if they become disengaged at all. Not only does a positive candidate experience reduce your risk of making a poor hiring decision, it also helps to reduce turnover in your organization. It also bolsters your reputation as your new employee tells other potential candidates and job seekers, who then apply for positions with you.
A positive candidate experience is just the beginning of great talent management. Building a better candidate experience allows you to attract the right people in the first place. It gives your business a better reputation, which in turn increases the number of people willing to seek employment with you. It then translates into a better employee relationship after the hire.
What can you do to create a more positive candidate experience? First, concentrate on communication. Be sure to communicate in a timely way. Focus on writing clear job descriptions to attract the best and brightest. Provide information about the position and the interview process. Above all, communicate! Not hearing from a potential employer is the most frustrating aspect of the hiring process for job seekers. A quick email could help you land the right person.