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10 tips for a winning candidate experience

Making sure that all job seekers who apply for a role with your company have a positive experience, isn’t always easy, but it can make a huge difference to your company’s bottom line. According to the 2014 Candidate Experience Report , nine out of 10 candidates who have a positive experience with a company are more likely to buy from them in the future, and half will share their experience online via social media/Glassdoor. Treat them badly, and they could cause a lot of damage to your reputation online and in the marketplace.

To help you give a great candidate experience, every time, here are our 10 top tips:

1. Treat candidates/jobseekers as customers

Candidates will be looking to see whether they want to work for your company, as much as you’re deciding whether they’re right for you. Always have this at the forefront of your mind, at every stage of the process.

2. Keep the careers section of your website up-to-date

Remove any postings about positions that have already been filled, make sure closing dates are clear, and that job postings aren’t vague. Your contact details should be easy to find, in case jobseekers have any questions.

3. Share what it’s like to work for your company

Jobseekers will want to know the company’s values, culture and expectations from the offset. For instance, some people want to work for a company that’s relaxed about dress codes and working hours, whereas for others, this would be a turnoff. Are there opportunities to progress? The careers section of your website should have this information, but you may be asked what it’s like to work for your company personally, so have an answer prepared.

4. Consider your application form

Is it too lengthy? Does it ask too much? If the application form takes a long to complete, or is difficult to navigate, job seekers will click off. Once a form has been completed, make sure that a thank you email is sent automatically, explaining how long they will have to wait for a response.

5. Keep candidates informed

Candidates will appreciate knowing when the different stages of the recruitment process are taking place. For instance, the date/s the first round of interviews is being held and the second round etc. If they’ll be required to complete tasks for the interviews, the more notice you can give them the better.

6. Respond promptly

Whether via email, phone or social media, all interaction needs to be timely and professional. Don’t promise to get back to someone and then don’t, or ignore correspondence. If the role is on hold, tell the candidates. Honesty is always the best policy.

7. Interview fewer people

No candidate likes to go to an interview to be told that they’re one of twenty or thirty candidates being interviewed for a role, especially if they’ve had to use a day’s holiday to attend. Try to narrow down the number of candidates to a handful if possible, saving both their time and yours.

8. Offer flexible interview times

If you’re willing to conduct interviews outside of 9-5, most candidates will appreciate this. Whether you do early interviews, stay late or offer skype/phone interviews is down to your personal preference.

9. Days not months

If there needs to be second and third round interviews, try to arrange these within a few days, rather than dragging out the process. If possible, why not try to have all the stages in one day, with successful candidates going from one interview to the next (with unsuccessful candidates going home), meeting the different decision makers in your business.

10. Always give feedback

Unsuccessful candidates will value feedback, and if they are told they’ll get it during the process, make sure it happens. Follow up emails and chase people internally, if needed.

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