Welcome back to the second half of our two-part article on how to improve your candidate experience. In the first half, we talked about how to prepare your hiring process to be as welcoming and informative as possible. Everyone benefits when candidates can research their own fit in a position and self-select their own candidacy. By writing a detailed job description and creating an in-depth online careers portal, you can significantly help candidates handle their own half of the hiring process.
Join us today as we pick up where we left off. This time, we’ll focus on how you can make the hiring process itself more considerate and enjoyable for candidates that you choose and those you turn away. With a welcoming and transparent hiring process, you can build your reputation as an employer and remain a top choice even for candidates who are not selected for their first applied position.
6) Outline the Hiring Process
The single biggest complaint about the modern hiring process is uncertainty. Candidates don’t know how long they will wait until a response after applying. They don’t know how long after the first response until the first interview. Or how long until the second interview if they make it that far. Or how many interviews will be needed before the final hiring decisions.
In all, candidates have no idea how much time spent preparing, traveling, interviewing, and waiting will need to be invested in a job they might not be selected for. In some cases, candidates will have to drop out if hiring takes too long, or if too many days off are required for interviews. One of the best things you can do for your candidates is to be up-front about the structure of the hiring process.
Give them clear expectations about the timeline to the first interview. And within a week after the first interview, let all second-rounders know what the rest of the interview stages will look like for finalists. This way, they can plan ahead will know how much time investment to expect.
7) Keep Candidates In the Loop
Of course, one of the major challenges of hiring transparency is that the process often takes longer than planned. It may take time to assess all the candidates, to schedule interviews with all the right people, and to make the final decision. It may take even longer for the position to be ready for the selected new hire.
However, these delays are more than an inconvenience for candidates. Remember, candidates are often in situations that grow worse over time. They may be unemployed or in a toxic situation at their current job. Even if candidates know there are three interviews to go, undetermined time between interviews can keep them waiting forever.
The solution is to keep your candidates in the loop. Give them realistic updates on when to expect the next stage and estimated time to hire. Try not to go longer than a week without an update as a courtesy to the candidates.
8) Make Interviews a Two-Way Street
A job search is a two-way interaction. Not only are companies looking to find the perfect employee, but each candidate is looking for the perfect job. Just as you are balancing skills, experience, judgment, and personality they are judging commute, wages, benefits, and a rewarding work balance. Because the fact of the matter is that if the job doesn’t fit well into someone’s life, they’ll be looking for a better position soon.
This means that your hiring process should take candidate preferences into account. Be up-front about the salary range, available benefits options, and the company culture. And be ready to honestly answer any questions or concerns they may have about the company culture, work-life balance, or accommodation for certain lifestyle needs.
In other words, interviews should be a two-way street. Make sure that candidates, even those who aren’t skilled at checking out emploers, have a chance to ask questions and confirm a good long-term fit in the position. You want them to be satisfied and ready to grow inside the company.
9) Promptly Let Candidates Down
The second most common complaint is a practice known as ‘ghosting’. After some point in the hiring process, the company simply stops contacting them. Emails aren’t sent or answered and there is never any word about the position. Professionals who know how sometimes gain closure by checking to see if the position was filled. But otherwise, silence.
This is incredibly inconsiderate to candidates, letting them guess whether or not they are still considered for a position. Even if you plan to keep a few candidates on the ‘back-burner’ just in case, ghosting is a bad way to do it. It’s best to let people know right away when they have been removed from consideration. If they are disqualified after an interview, let them know within the week. If the position is filled, alert all the finalists so they will stop waiting and hoping.
And if someone was a runner-up you’d like to keep on the back-burner, tell them. This is a far more flattering and honest way to stay on good terms with candidates than ghosting.
10) Provide and Ask for Feedback
Finally, always end your hiring process with feedback in both directions. Feedback is the best way to improve your process and to help candidates find better jobs in the future. In the standard hiring practice, some candidates are avid enough to ask for feedback when they are let down. And the answers they get can be incredibly useful in improving their prospects for other positions.
Of course, you also want to improve your own hiring process. Feedback from candidates is the only way to truly know how good your candidate experience has become. You want feedback both from those you turn down and candidates you eventually hire. Ideally, you want candidates who are not hired to feel good about the interaction, like they learned something and would like a chance to interview for another position with you in the future. And candidates who are hired should feel like they were kept in the loop and assisted every step of the way.
Every one of your employees was a candidate at some point, and many professionals you have interviewed in the past will become employees in the future. If you want to build a strong relationship with the current talent pool, then candidate experience is a vital part of the hiring process. With these tips and improvement from the feedback you get, you will be able to craft a rewarding and welcoming hiring process for every candidate considered. For more personalized assistance on perfecting your hiring and candidate experience, contact us today!