Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

How to Improve the Candidate Experience

If talent management and employee engagement are on your radar, then you’ll be aware that employer branding and the candidate experience are crucial to effective recruitment.

Poor recruitment is costly in terms of impact on the bottom line. The CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) estimates the cost of recruiting a senior manager at £6,000. Additional costs resulting from a poor decision may include loss of productivity and deleterious effects on team morale.

Personnel Today reported in 2012 that 74 percent of job seekers would talk to others about a negative experience with an organisation during the recruitment process. Given the potential impact on corporate reputation, getting the candidate experience right is a real priority.

Look at your careers communications through the eyes of a candidate. Are the organisation’s culture and values clear? Do they demonstrate a strong employer brand and attract applicants who will be a good cultural fit?

Research suggests that organisations that build a culture predicated on meaningful work, employee engagement, role and organisational fit, and strong leadership are outperforming their competitors and are likely to do better in attracting top talent.

Improving the candidate experience:

  • Involve the team – Candidates will get a better feel for culture and climate at an employing organisation if they meet hiring managers rather than recruiters. This is particularly the case where the recruiter works for an external supplier, as that tends to increases disconnect between organisation and candidate.
  • Communicate – keep all candidates updated as to their progress throughout the recruitment process. Candidate experience and employer brand depend on consistent and clear communications to optimise engagement.
  • Appreciate all candidates – not just the successful ones. Research conducted across 3,000 candidates by recruitment experts, Talent Board, showed that 95% of unsuccessful candidates would reapply for another role with the company if the experience was positive.
  • Feedback – this is the least you can do, provide candidates with a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. The organisation benefits from an enhanced candidate perception of the organisation (regardless of the hiring decision).

Using social media

Make the application process easier and faster, spread the word about job vacancies and allow candidates the ability to apply using mobile technology. Glassdoor found that about 90 percent of job seekers will use mobile during their job search process. So if you want to attract top talent ensure your website and career portals are optimised for mobile users.

There is an added benefit in that adding social media to the hiring strategy gives current employees a route to share vacancies with their network. This advocacy is a real asset as employee referrals are an important source of high quality applicants and a very cost-effective recruitment strategy.

Measure progress

It is really useful to survey new employees for their perceptions of your hiring process. What better source of information could there be about the recruiting process? During the onboarding process ask new staff to complete a survey, preferably anonymous; ask about what the organisation did well and solicit suggestions for improvement. This allows the collation of up-to-the-minute data and the design of adjustments while sending the message to new hires that their feedback is valued.

If you can make the recruitment process informative, intuitive and collaborative it affords candidates a real insight into the type of organisation you represent and shows you care about creating a great work environment.

HR professionals should think about the candidate experience in the same way that marketing professionals think about the customer experience. Do it right and you will attract the best possible candidates and introduce them into the organisation as enthused and committed new employees.

By Liz Sebag-Montefiore

Liz Sebag-Montefiore is a Co-Founder and Director of 10Eighty. With over 10yrs of business experience, I have an extensive and impressive blue chip client base. I have worked with numerous firms working in partnership with the client to understand their needs.

My current role involves managing relationships with clients, developing new business, and coaching individuals in their career. I really enjoy meeting new people and have strong client relationship and networking skills.