According to the North American Candidate Experience Awards Research Report, job applicants believe companies lack communication and clarity in their hiring methods, and make the process more complicated than it needs to be. The result? Lots of unhappy candidates.
Today’s job candidates have higher expectations of employers, arising from lives serviced by technology that provides ongoing and instant communication and transparency, from social media sites to online shopping. So, it’s more important than ever to create a positive candidate experience. Happy job candidates are more likely to accept the job offer, and spread a positive word about your company as well.
Here are 10 things happy candidates won’t say. If any ring true for your hiring process, it’s time to reassess.
- “The job description didn’t excite me.”
The first impression you make on a candidate will likely be through the job description. Flat, poorly crafted ones can turn them off quickly. A candidate may equate a boring and uninspiring job description with a boring and uninspiring organization. Focus on selling the job to potential applicants rather than simply listing duties and responsibilities. Also, video job descriptions are on the rise, so consider a two-pronged approach to make the most relevant position information available.
- “I haven’t heard from the recruiter in two weeks.”
Nothing turns a candidate off quicker than long communication delays with no idea where they stand in the recruiting process. In that time, they might also be snapped up by the competition. Be proactive in your candidate communication from the time they submit an application until the final hiring decision. A robust Applicant Tracking System can launch triggered, automated messages at each stage of the process to keep your candidate informed and make a positive impression.
- “I couldn’t navigate the site on my smartphone.”
More people now access the Internet on their mobile devices than on a desktop – including job-seekers. If your site isn’t mobile-optimized, top candidates will quickly get frustrated and move on to the next opportunity. One of the ways to understand the candidate experience first-hand is to apply for your own job opening. You’ll quickly identify any areas for improvement.
4) “I was never told why I didn’t get the job.”
Always provide honest and transparent feedback. While disappointed, candidates feel better about a company if you clearly explain why they weren’t hired. Remember, although a candidate may not fit one job, they could be perfect for the next opening. Always consider candidates your customers, and keep them interested in your company.
5) “The recruiter didn’t seem to know what he/she was talking about.”
Getting the right candidate to contact you is often the toughest part of the recruiting process. Don’t waste the opportunity by connecting them with an uninformed recruiter. Likely their first interaction with a live person who represents your company, it needs to be positive and informative. Ongoing training for your recruiters will pay off in the level of talent they can bring to your organization.
6) “The recruiter was distant.”
Recruiting is a tough job and sometimes the day to day grind can affect candidate communications. One way to address this it by tying a recruiters’ performance review directly to the candidate experience. When LinkedIn began including candidate experience feedback into their recruiters’ performance objectives and goals, recruiter satisfaction rose five percent, and interview ratings from candidates rose 23% - a win, win.
7) “The job sounded too good to be true.”
You certainly need to sell the positive aspects of the job, but you also need to establish credibility with the candidate. That can often mean sharing some of the “not-so-great” aspects inevitable in every job. You don’t need to dwell on them, but sharing this information will provide a complete picture of the position and likely leave the candidate with a better impression of the recruiter and the company.
8) “I never got out of the conference room during the interview.”
A candidate interview can quickly take on the feeling of an interrogation if you’re not careful. Candidates are ushered into a sterile conference room, thrown questions, and then escorted to the front door. You can dramatically increase the candidate experience by getting them out of the conference room and into the work environment. This shows openness, and is another way to improve your standing with the candidate.
9) “They said they’d get back to me in a few days and it took two weeks.”
Staying in contact with candidates is important, but make sure to set realistic expectations. If you know the decision will take three weeks, be clear with the candidate. This way he or she won’t become frustrated waiting for their phone to ring. And once you give the candidate a timeline, stick to it.
10) “I never had the chance to ask questions during the interview.”
Job interviews should be conversational, not just one-way questioning. Make sure the candidate feels free to ask question throughout. Not only will that help address concerns he or she may have, but the type of questions asked can also reveal important character traits or present additional information on the candidate helpful when making your final hiring decision.
Recruiting is competitive. These simple tactics are low-hanging fruit when you pair the right technology with informed talent management professionals.