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  • Writer's pictureVicky Blake

Win that talent. The Value of a Great Candidate Experience

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

In today's competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is more challenging than ever. While many organisations focus on refining their employer branding and recruitment strategies, one crucial aspect often overlooked is the the value of a great candidate experience. The candidate experience can be the key differentiator that sets your business apart and what makes top candidates choose you over the competition.

What is the Candidate Experience?

The candidate experience encompasses every interaction a job seeker has with your organisation, from the initial job posting to the final hiring decision (or rejection) and right through to the ‘valley of death’ (the time between signing on and actually starting) and through-out the onboarding process. That’s a long time!

What you need to remember is it’s a 360 view of how candidates perceive your company throughout the recruitment process. Why does it matter you ask? Because it can significantly impact your ability to attract, engage, and ultimately hire the best candidates.

So how do you make this experience exceptional?

  • Keep the communication flowing: Communication is key! Let candidates know what's happening at every step. Give them feedback when you can and give them a heads up if there are any delays. Timely, clear, and personal communication keeps them in the loop and engaged.

  • Simplify the application process: Make it easy to apply, nobody wants to jump through hoops to put an application in. Keep it simple and don't make them repeat what's on their CV in your application form! Let them know the process roadmap ahead of time, particularly if you need multiple rounds of interviews – making sure it's crystal clear why and be respectful their time.

  • Add a personal touch: Tailor your interactions. Let them know you've really checked out their skills and background. No one wants to feel like just a number. You could break the ice by beginning with some small talk around something non-work related that you noticed on their CV, like a shared interest. Or share a bit about yourself; a personal anecdote related to your own experiences in the company can help build rapport.

  • Prep for the interview: Ever walked into an interview feeling out of your depth and walk out again afterward knowing you didn’t put your best foot forward? Help your candidates out. Tell them what to expect, who they'll meet, and how the interview will roll. It will empower them to bring their A-game and allow you to gather the insights you really need.

  • Feedback and closure: Even if it's a ‘no’, don’t leave them in the dark; give them some context as to why and what they could potentially improve on next time. It leaves a lasting good impression and keeps the door open for future opportunities; particularly them referring other great talent to your business because they had a great, albeit unsuccessful, experience with you.

In a world where top talent is in high demand, a great candidate experience can make all the difference. By focusing on creating a positive and memorable journey for potential hires, your business can not only attract the best candidates but also build a strong employer brand that stands out in the market.

So remember; a positive candidate experience is your differentiator and a negative one is damaging to your brand. In short, it’s not just a recruitment strategy; it's a business strategy.

Oh, and here's a little pro-tip: team up with an independent recruiter (like yours truly!) who's all about putting the candidate experience front and centre and who is also your cheerleader in the market. 📣


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