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February 4, 2019

How to Rock Your Candidate Experience in 2019

rock candidate X graphic“A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that 44% of businesses are looking to hire full-time employees and 51% are planning to hire temporary employees. But 45% of those surveyed said they are unable to fill the much-needed positions due to the lack of qualified talent.”

The booming economy is creating many jobs. The older Boomers are leaving positions that are difficult to fill. These scenarios, coupled with the fact that the unemployment rate is hovering around 4%, the fight for high-performing employees might feel a bit like The Hunger Games. High-quality candidates are probably measuring your company and its offerings against multiple other organizations.

Their decisions could well be determined by how they are treated during the recruiting and interviewing process.The candidate experience has never been more integral to hiring the right people for your positions than it will be in 2019. Organizations that falter in creating a positive impression on all candidates will suffer with fewer applicants and job acceptances.

Employers that plan to hire in 2019 need to re-define and amplify their hiring process to focus in on providing a noteworthy process from the job seekers’ perspective. Here are 5 tips to rock your candidate experience in 2019.

Accept the current hiring climate is candidate-driven.

“According to TalentNow, top candidates stay available for 10 days only before getting hired.”

Gone are the days where employers enjoyed multiple highly-qualified, willing, and able candidates chomping at the bit for an offer. Today, experienced A-players will most likely have their pick of positions.

This is a dramatic departure from the hiring scene of only a few years back. HR professionals and hiring managers need to accept that they may be doing the “wooing” in order to land their first choices to fill a role.

Offer up a sampling of company culture.

The new interviewing process is more than two well-dressed people sitting stiffly across from each other at a desk. Think of ways your company is different, better, and stronger, and then showcase those in the interview. Walk them through the office so they can see the layout and how people interact. Show them a past project that ended up being successful. Talk about the organization’s after-hours activities and its philanthropic pursuits. Measure the candidate’s response throughout the process and give high marks to those who seem pleased and enthusiastic about the information.

Respect EVERY candidate’s time.

In a study conducted by Talent Board, “respect for candidate time” and “length of overall time” were the two most commonly cited reasons for candidate withdrawal. 

Every job seeker that’s interviewed by your organization expects a certain amount of consideration. From the study noted above you can see that wasting a person’s time is viewed as a negative mark by the interviewee. Interviewers showing up late, taking calls or answering texts, and not getting back to applicants in a timely manner are all actions that show lack of respect. While it may not seem to be a big deal if someone who didn’t qualify for the position leaves with a bad impression, think again. The plethora of online company review sites, as well as the power and reach of social media channels in general, gives an unhappy candidate a huge platform to trash your company far and wide. Negative remarks about your company’s candidate experience from former applicants can deter other candidates from applying, hurting your long-range recruiting efforts.

Communicate effectively and often.

According to a report from Phenom People “An incredible 98 percent of companies are NOT communicating with job candidate’s during the recruitment and hiring process.”

If you’ve taken Uber or ordered food from one of those delivery apps, you know how awesome the GPS trackers are. It’s the same during the interview process! It’s the worst to sit and wonder if you are moving on to the next set of interviews, or getting an offer letter, for days or weeks at a time.

Set a process in place that communicates by email, text, or phone to the candidates informing them of where they are in the process, and what the next step will be. Move it forward as fast as possible, from interviews to background checks to offers, and apprise the candidate as soon as the decision is made. Leaving job seekers hanging doesn’t promote a positive candidate experience.

Review online candidate feedback.

A report by iCims stated “Nearly 1 in 3 workers have declined a job offer primarily because the company had negative online employer reviews.”

Blame it on Yelp, but online review sites abound, and job seekers use them both to both share reviews and check out potential employers. HR professionals need to consistently look at what their applicants are saying online about their processes. This benefits the company’s hiring initiative in two ways. First, it sheds light on weak areas of the process that need to be corrected and refined. Second, it allows an opportunity to comment on the negative review and explain your side of the situation, which can minimize the amount of damage the review will do to your employer brand.

The bottom line is that hiring in 2019 poses unique challenges and employers must be fired up and ready to tackle them if they want their recruiting efforts to succeed. By proactively taking steps to improve your company’s recruiting and interviewing efforts, and committing to monitor your candidates’ reviews, you will be able to develop a strong and productive candidate experience that results in landing highly qualified, A-players.

And that will ROCK!

Lisa May

Lisa May is the Executive Vice President for Data Facts.

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