The importance of a great candidate experience

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A great candidate experience can mean the difference between finding the best candidate for the position and a bad hire. But what is candidate experience and why is it so important?

Candidate experience defines the overall impression a candidate is left with after their involvement in the application process with your company. It begins with the very first contact a candidate has with a potential employer, visiting a website or reading a job description on a recruitment site, and doesn’t end until all new employee processes are complete, and the candidate has officially become a member of staff.

 Creating a superior candidate experience speeds up the time it takes between application and employment. This is crucial for the candidates themselves, who may be applying for several positions at once, as well as for employers, for whom recruitment is a costly process.

Brand reputation can be severely damaged by the people you don’t end up hiring. Under the influence of high emotions from not getting the job of their dreams, disgruntled candidates are not averse to taking to social media to vent their frustrations. This can have a seriously detrimental effect on your business, putting off potential customers and future candidates alike.

A great candidate experience is reliant on clear communication. Applicants want to be provided with an accurate job description which thoroughly explains the job and responsibilities, as well as additional information such as salary, benefits and company values. A thorough and concise approach at this point in the process can set the stage for a successful hire.

Technology provides convenience within the hiring process, with candidates enjoying remote and digital applications, but it is important to remember that the attraction of technology for most candidates is to speed up processes and show them where they stand. Candidates will abandon lengthy applications, so ensure that applications can be completed in as few steps as possible. By integrating your application process with your HR software, you can keep on top of where candidates are in the process and keep them updated.

Making a great first impression in face to face interviews is just as important for employers as it is for candidates. Explaining exactly what they can expect from the interview will leave candidates feeling at ease and better able to be themselves.

The final touch point in the candidate journey is crucial. Whether or not a candidate has been successful, employers must remember that they can still make or break the candidate experience with a badly worded or absent let down, or an automated response.

Providing a strong candidate experience will leave applicants with a positive lasting impression which might impact your business in the future.