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Candidate experience: what is it and how to improve it?

The job ghosting It is a problem that affects an increasing number of companies. As the selection process progresses, technicians realize that candidates whose profile was interesting are disappearing. Behind this phenomenon are reasons such as how long the selection processes can take, inadequate communication or lack of transparency on the part of the company or, simply and simply, that that person has already been offered a position elsewhere. . But in summary the experience of the candidate has been terrible.

All this leads companies to the need to improve the candidate experience within the selection process. Therefore, we are going to see what it is about and what can be done to get applicants for a job who are willing to continue in the process until the end, whether or not they are chosen.

Table of Contents

What is the candidate experience?

is the the way they feel all who apply for a job regarding the interactions they are having with the company throughout the selection and hiring process.

The experience begins at the very moment that the relationship between the applicant and the entity that seeks employees arises. This usually happens with the submission of the resume or when filling out the job application.

Why is the candidate experience so important?

It allows to find the talent that the company needs

The first reason why we need candidates to not simply abandon the selection process: any of them can be the potential and the talent that the company is looking for for the vacant position.

It may happen that, that person who is no longer available to continue in the process when we call her to have a personal interview with her, is just the one that would have best fit the profile. And the situation can be even worse, since it can happen that the talent that we have let slip away Right now I'm working on the competition, contributing to it all his worth.

Improves the image of the company as an employer

No matter how well a company treats its employees, if it ineffectively manages its recruitment processes, its employer branding it will never be as effective as it should be.

Because a candidate who has had a bad experience during recruitment will not hesitate to share it with his entourage. Word will spread and the result will be that fewer talented applicants will attend each selection process than might be expected.

What factors are negatively affecting the candidate experience?

At the presentation of Report on the State of the Spanish Labor Market that InfoJobs and ESADE prepared with respect to the year 2017, the director of the job search platform confirmed certain things. Specifically, he stated that the bad practices of the companies in the selection processes ended up discouraging the unemployed from seeking employment. This is because nobody wants to feel badly treated. 

Six years have passed since then. We can affirm that we find a pretty similar picture. Few companies have taken effective measures to treat applicants for their vacancies correctly. In fact, we can synthesize this set of bad practices:

Silence or no response

It is a widespread custom not to give any type of response to someone who has been an applicant for a selection process. This happens andespecially if you have been ruled out at an early stage of the same. For example, during resume screening.

It is true that for companies it can be extremely difficult to respond to all the candidates. But by not doing so, they are generating in them the feeling of being ignored. To the point that many of them could not even say if someone has seen their candidacy.

Non-personalized automated response

A non-personalized automated response is as bad as no response. Sending an automated email indicating that the application has been rejected is by no means the best way to communicate with a person.

You have to think that on the other side there is someone who is looking for a job, and that you could really use some feedback to see what you can improve. In fact, many people say they feel better when they are discarded, when they are informed of the reason why their profile does not fit with what the company is looking for at that moment.

Inefficient interviews

The objective of an interview is to obtain more information about the candidate. But you also have to give this information that can help you decide if this is really the place you want to work for.

Frequently, those who take part in a job interview complain that the technician has not known or has not wanted to answer such common questions as

  • salary
  • work hours
  • the functions that must be carried out in the vacant position
  • etc 

Lack of a person and a way of contact

Communication between candidates and companies occurs in one direction, from the entity to the aspirant. There are very few cases in which the participants in a selection process have at their disposal a person within the company with whom they can contact to resolve doubts or notify about possible incidents.

If they can't communicate and the company doesn't either, it's normal that they get tired of waiting for an answer and decide to continue looking for work in other companies.

Ideas to improve the candidate experience

We have already seen what companies are doing wrong. It's time to review what changes you can start making to make the candidate experience as positive as possible. Thus, even if you are not chosen, you will have that company in good consideration and will not hesitate to recommend it to other people in your environment who may also be looking for a job.

Establish a simple job application system to improve the candidate experience

Most companies start their recruitment process online, but that doesn't mean the job application process is easy. It may happen that take too much time, that you have to contribute too much documentation, or that they are only admitted files in a certain format.

The key is to simplify this as much as possible. Instead of asking for a resume, you can create a Simple form in which basic information is requested to help in the screening. This is how they are removed requirements about personal information that has nothing to do with the person's ability to perform a job (sex, age, marital status, number of children, etc.)

It will suffice to request the basic identification data, training, work experience and knowledge that may be relevant (languages, computing...)

Instead of asking for a cover letter, which many people do not know how to write well, it is more interesting to add a section to the form in which the candidate is asked to briefly state his or her Motivation to be interested in that position.

Respond in a personalized way and with relevant information

Once the application has been received, the candidate can be sent a message informing them that their application has been received and thanking them for their interest. Although it can be sent from an automated system, it is important include customization traits, such as calling the recipient by name.

This message must also provide relevant information about the process. This should indicate the estimated duration time and the date on which you can be given an answer on whether or not to continue in the process.

If, when the time comes, the application is discarded and there is not going to be an interview, a much more personalized communication must be sent informing about this. If possible, also specify the weak and strong points detected in the request, encouraging that person to continue with their job search.

Provide channels of communication to applicants

When a person moves on to the next phase of the selection process, it is convenient to give them a closest deal. When making the appointment for the interview, you will be informed about who the person who will manage recruitment and pathways that you can use to contact her.

It is best to quote the candidate by phone. But the information we have mentioned can be sent via email or even SMS, to make sure it doesn't get lost.

Ask applicants for their experience to improve the candidate experience

Once the selection process has finished, those candidates who have remained in it until the end will be informed of this circumstance, and their interest will be appreciated. Also, again, they will be given some feedback on your professional profile, always from a positive point of view.

You can take advantage of that communication to request something from feedback by company candidates. This is done by submitting a small survey in which they can express their opinion on how they have felt treated throughout the process, and what improvements they believe are necessary within it. This is the best way to know what is being done well and what is best to change.

Improving the candidate experience gets

  • selection processes are becoming more and more efficient
  • the company improves its image abroad
  • the subsequent adaptation of the new employee to his position is quick and positive.


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