The Importance of Candidate Experience

For all the work you do as a hiring manager – writing a job description, promoting the job, reviewing applications, interviewing, picking up extra work until the position is filled, and more – how could you ever have time to cater to the needs of each applicant that didn’t make it to the next round? There’s no way you can afford that!

On the other hand, studies have shown that applicants who have a bad experience can cost your business a lot more than your time. A study by Harris Interactive revealed just how widespread and costly it can be to have a poor hiring process in place. Some eye-opening statistics: 78% of candidates will tell their friends and family about their bad experience and 34% will post about it on social media.

Word of mouth and social media can have damaging and lasting effects on your company, products and brand.

“You can’t afford to have a poor reputation, lose good candidate relationships and jeopardize referrals down the road.”

Here are some ways to improve your hiring process and the overall candidate experience.

Take care of all your candidates, not just the one who got the job:

  1. Out of the gate, you should let your candidates know if it will be a long hiring process so they know what to expect. This clears up any confusion about long wait periods, multiple interviews and how soon they could expect to be employed.
  2. When a candidate does not move forward in the interview process, let them know within 24 hours. Give news, even bad news, in a timely manner. Don’t waste their time.
  3. More importantly, let them know why. Was there something missing in their skillset? Could they benefit from interview coaching and practice questions? Or were they awesome and they were barely nixed by someone else? Letting them know why is important to their growth, and they will appreciate having that answer.
  4. Be empathetic. Let them know that you’d still like to work with them in the future, especially if they would make a good fit for another position at your company when something else opens up.
  5. Throughout the process, it might help to have standard emails sent on a timeline to let candidates know where they stand. Systems that automate the process can be helpful here, but don’t forget to personalize each message.

At the end of your hiring process, you want each candidate to feel like they had a good experience, regardless of getting an offer. You also want to make sure the candidate that does get the offer had such a great experience that they have no doubts in their mind about accepting it.

This one change in your business could have a huge impact – quicker time to fill when you have relationships with applicants, recommendations and referrals from satisfied candidates, and a better overall reputation as a place people want to work.

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