Today, it’s a job seeker‘s market. A tight labor market means that companies have to compete to attract top talent, and those that fail to impress are going to struggle to find the skilled professionals they need to thrive.
Often, when unemployment is low, companies take specific tried-and-true steps in an attempt to stand out. While increasing salary ranges and boosting benefits packages can certainly make a difference, there is one more thing that genuinely matters when you’re looking to hire: Candidate experience.
What Is the Candidate Experience?
The candidate experience describes what your hiring process is like for job seekers. It includes not only the technical aspects of the process – such as the specific tasks the candidate needs to complete – but also the emotional and mental impact of how the events unfold.
For example, if you use a lengthy application process that requires a resume submission, that same information to be copied into standard fields, several essay questions, and more, those are technical aspects. The emotional and mental factors include the frustration the candidate feels when they are asked to complete an application that uses the same information on their resume and the work involved in answering yet another essay question. Similarly, the candidate experience can include the annoyance of submitting an application and then never hearing whether they are moving forward in the process.
Essentially, the candidate experience is an all-encompassing term for what a job seeker goes through during your hiring process. And, if a candidate views yours as poor, it’s what may prompt them to drop out.
Improving the Candidate Experience
In order to enhance the candidate’s journey, you need to view your process through their eyes. Often, this involves reflecting on every step as well as other factors, such as the presence or absence of personalized communication, the delays between submitting applications and learning the results, the difficulty of scheduling a mutually acceptable interview time, and anything else that affects how your process may be perceived.
Then, if you identify shortcomings, you need to take steps to improve the experience. For example, you might want to forgo the fill-in-the-blank application and ask only for a resume. It could also include improving communication with the candidate, ensuring the experience is personalized and keeps them engaged while ensuring they are always informed.
By crafting a positive candidate experience, your recruitment efforts will be more effective. Plus, word will spread, as job seekers often discuss their journey with others, allowing you to create a reputation as an employer of choice.
Prioritizing the candidate experience is always a smart move. However, it is even more crucial when unemployment is low, and the labor market is tight. When done right, it can help you stand out from the competition, enabling you to secure the top talent you need to thrive.
If you would like to learn more, the knowledgeable professionals at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to speak with a member of our skilled team today and see how our candidate experience expertise can benefit you.