How to Create Great Candidate Experience?

It starts with knowing the employer brand well, knowing what the employer is looking for, knowing why candidates will be interested in this employer over other competing employers.

Employer Value Proposition

Recruiters need to create a dossier of ‘Employer Value Proposition’ that contains all possible information about the employer, including:

  1. Leadership Team who are the brand ambassadors of the Employer.
  2. Business of the Employer
  3. Mission, Vision, Short Term and Long Term Goals
  4. Work Culture
  5. Rewards and Recognitions
  6. Career Progression testimonials from existing employees
  7. Perks & Benefits including
  8. Details on Corporate Social Responsibility
  9. What’s unique about the employer?
  10. How is the employer better than competitors in the same field

Ideally, EVP should be documented and shared with every candidate and recruiter should take the candidate through the EVP document to ensure that candidate has absorbed and understood why he/she should be interested to work for this employer.

Job Description

The next important point is the Job Description. A lot of times, Job Descriptions are obsolete, copied and or stuffed with a lot of Keywords as Hiring Managers to want to hire a candidate who can do lots of things. It is important to get the right Job Description in place that clearly articulates

  1. What is the expectation of the hiring manager?
  2. What is expected of this role? What is the day to day responsibilities of this role? How would an ideal day look like for the person performing this role?
  3. What are the skills and experiences that a candidate needs to have to qualify for this role?
  4. Is it possible to quantify the outcome to be produced by this role or what’s the mechanism to assess performance?
  5. Educational Qualifications that candidate must have.
  6. What is the interview/evaluation process and how long does it take to complete the entire interview/evaluation lifecycle?
  7. Work Timings including the need to work outside of office hours, extended hours.
  8. Opportunity to learn new skills or go through a formal training/course.
  9. Work Location including flexibility to work remotely/work from home.
  10. Will this be an Individual Contributor Role or Team Management Role or both?
  11. Need to interact with team members and other interdepartmental team members.
  12. Details around career progression potential based on performance.
  13. A broad range of budget for this role, if applicable.

The Job Description needs to be electronically shared with every potential candidate whether the candidate asks for the same or not. The recruiter should ensure that he/she takes the candidates through all possible details in the job description to ensure candidate understands the job well, expectations and day to day responsibilities of the role.

Once the candidate understands the requirement and commits to his/her interest for the role/organization, the recruiter should document the same to ensure that later on there is no discrepancy in terms of what candidate understood or not.

Interview Process

It is important that Recruiter explains the interview process and time it takes to complete the interview process to candidate verbally and in writing. If this is done in advance, the candidate will know things like

  1. It is going to take 3 weeks to complete the interview process
  2. There will be 4 rounds of interview including a coding test
  3. Coding test will take 4 hours time
  4. Post selection, Offer Roll Out is going to take one weeks time

In the entire interview process, the recruiter should set the expectations with the candidates in terms of what to expect and what not to expect including:

  1. What could be total time required for the candidate to go through each interview level?
  2. What could be potentially waiting time for each of the interviews?
  3. Who could be potentially the interview panel for each interview level?
  4. How long candidate will have to wait for the feedback of each interview?
  5. What’s the interview location and how much travel time candidate needs to provision for being there 15 minutes ahead of time?

A recruiter should also ensure that candidates are greeted at the reception and are well taken care of until they go in the interview/test.

Offer Roll Out

Post the evaluation process, the recruiter needs to provide documented feedback to every single candidate irrespective of the outcome. A Candidate who has invested a lot of time going through the evaluation process has the right to know the outcome/feedback. If the candidate is selected, the recruiter needs to understand candidates current situation in terms of employment, holding another offer, compensation expectation, availability and keenness to join. In the process, the recruiter should appraise the candidate for a further process in terms of:

  1. What are the documents required for the Offer Roll Out?
  2. Understand candidates expectations and what employer can potentially pay.
  3. Explain the time it takes to roll out the offer?
  4. Will, there be a Background Verification pre or post the Offer roll out and what happens if background verification comes negative.
Post Offer Follow Up (POFU)

Once, the Offer is Rolled out, the recruiter should frequently (3-5 days interval) touch base with the candidate to:

  1. Understand if the candidate has resigned from his or her job and ask for the copy of resignation letter/email.
  2. Has the candidates current employer initiated knowledge transfer to another employee or they have started to look for a replacement?
  3. Is there a possibility of negotiating/buying out the notice period?
  4. Guage the pulse of the candidate to understand how keen he/she is joining as per the offer released
  5. Understand, if the candidate has any queries/doubts with respect to the offer or job? Get those queries/doubts resolved.
  6. If the candidate needs to relocate from another city or closer to the employer, has he/she started the process of relocation?

Lastly, ensure that candidate has your coordinates including your mobile number right from the initial stage of the recruitment lifecycle. If a candidate cannot reach you, when he/she needs you, there will always be a sense of helplessness.

Happy Recruiting.

6 thoughts on “How to Create Great Candidate Experience?”

  1. Hi!

    I landed on your article via Reddit. I see some interesting points but have you ever thought of asking the candidate for feedback on their candidate journey? Don’t get me wrong, this is a great way to start. But in order to fully grasp how a candidate experiences their application I think it is needed to ask for feedback to both hired and rejected candidates.

    By sending out feedback forms in different touchpoints recruitment departments will have insights on the quality of above points you mentioned like quality of job description and interviews.

    Candidate experience is becoming more and more like client experience and in order to improve, you have to start the conversation and listen to them.

    What do you think?

    Jasper Hissink

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