Here are eight ways to turn your recruitment process into a genuine experience for candidates.
1. Nurture your candidates
Much like marketing, recruitment works in a funnel. You may have “customers” (candidates) who already know about your “products” (roles), but there will also be lots of potential candidates out there who don’t even know your roles exists yet. So build a process to nurture relationships with candidates who aren’t yet looking. Start by reaching out with useful information or educational materials and ramp up activity from there.
2. Set expectations from the outset
There is nothing worse than submitting an application and feeling like it’s disappeared into cyber space. Acknowledge that you’ve received each application (an automated message is plenty at this stage) and give candidates a clear view of what’s coming so they can adjust their expectations accordingly.
If you set a certain timeline with a candidate and then the goal posts move (as they often do), keep the candidate informed as much as possible. While you want to maximise your pool of great applicants, put yourself in their shoes – they probably have a few applications in the pipeline and knowing where they stand with you will help them to be honest with you too.
4. Remember that recruitment is a two-way street
Recruitment is not only about you finding the right candidate for your role, it’s about the candidate finding the right fit too. So be as transparent as possible through the recruitment process and put your culture on show. Share access to your internal collaboration tools or promote the stories of some of your employees. If the cultural fit isn’t quite right, it’s better that they (and you) find out sooner rather than later.
5. Think like a marketer
Candidates make assumptions about your company based on various things – what they see about you on social media, what their friends say and the advertisements they see. If you proactively manage your employer brand like your marketing team manage your corporate brand you can ensure that you’re always putting your best foot forward to candidates. Track your reviews, share great content, monitor mentions on social media and respond to comments.
6. Make it personal
Candidates don’t necessarily know how many applications you could be dealing with at once, but with that said, a great candidate experience is one that’s personal. Make candidates feel like they’re the only person you’re talking to by personalising your emails (beyond the “to” field) by finding and referencing something you have in common, for example a hobby or shared workplace, to create a connection and build trust.
7. Gather feedback and measure your success
If you want to make sure your candidate experience stands out then it’s important to measure your progress. Start simply by gathering anecdotal feedback, and then you can implement a more formal feedback loop. And of course, make sure you action that candidate feedback!
8. Handle rejections with care
Let your candidates know as soon as possible if they haven’t been successful, and provide useful and constructive feedback where you can. According to LinkedIn, providing unsuccessful candidates with constructive feedback makes talent four times more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity!