Elite Executive column: The candidate experience
A company’s recruitment process will go a long way in establishing credibility, writes
I recently touched on the issues facing employers in a competitive job market but one thing that should always be considered is the candidate experience. Have you looked objectively at your recruitment process? Is it something you are proud of or ashamed of?
Since first impressions with prospective hires often become lasting ones, employers need to set the stage for an exceptional candidate experience well before an application is even submitted. Keep in mind that how a job seeker perceives your recruitment process will go a long way in establishing your credibility as an organisation.
This experience from the first time that a candidate interacts with your brand online to when they receive an offer, is critical. As hiring becomes more competitive and the process moves even faster, a poor candidate experience can lead the right candidate to turn down the job. Alternatively, a good one creates a sense of excitement and urgency about working for the company. It can also lead to higher quality applicants, more hires and new referrals.
With companies speeding up their hiring, those who drag their feet during the process will miss out on top talent.
However, providing a strong candidate experience during this time period requires knowing an understanding your candidates, something that many employers struggle with.
While it is certainly important to highlight your mission and values during the hiring process, employers also need to emphasize, and be adaptable to, the factors that are most important to today’s professionals.
The following best practices can help you facilitate a strong candidate experience to better engage with top talent:
Portray a Strong Employer Brand
I cannot emphasize this enough. In today’s world, job seekers have access to a wealth of company information through websites, social media, press and employee reviews. With professionals utilizing these resources to make informed career decisions, not having a strong employer brand can have a huge impact on your ability to attract top talent.
Whilst you may be holding out for that ‘perfect candidate’, the chances of finding them in the current market are slim. Consider your requirements for the role carefully and think about where you are willing to compromise. However, when considering these compromises, it is important to look for potential within a candidate to grow into the role.
Promote the Company Culture
Company Culture has quickly become a top priority for many professionals. Today’s candidates are looking for an employer that offers them purpose, supports their employees both personally and professionally, and aligns with their values. Since a company’s culture can make or break a job seeker’s decision to apply for a job and ultimately accept an offer, these are factors that everyone from the CEO to throughout the organisation need to be emphasizing during the hiring process.
Make Faster, more Competitive Offers
Nowadays candidates are interviewing for more than one role. This means that taking too long to make an offer, or not giving the best offer up front, will lead you to miss out on a candidate who has a better experience elsewhere.
Today’s competition for top talent among employers makes one thing clear: many employers are losing this battle. Whether they are struggling to find candidates in the hiring process or are having difficulties retaining their best employees, the growing skills gap often plays a role. This is where professional development comes into play and that is a topic for another day ….