The economy has been consistently adding jobs for a while now, and that means the market for job candidates is growing more competitive. To outbid rivals in the search for new talent, employers may have to upgrade the candidate experience.
Increasingly, hiring managers may find themselves experiencing the letdown of being rejected by an appealing candidate. For some time immediately following the Great Recession things played out in the opposite fashion. However, now, as more companies open their doors to the top talent they couldn’t afford to hire years ago, the competition for the best candidates is heating up, Inc. explained. For this reason employers have to improve the application and interview processes for job seekers.
The job market has reached the point where many people looking for work have the freedom to turn offers down in favor of better opportunities. For this reason, first, and maybe second, impressions are crucial. Employers who hope to attract new talent in the coming months or years should review their hiring processes and make improvements to ensure that applicants lean their way. There are probably opportunities to make changes to the application and interview processes, as well as to communication following the interview.
CEB noted several ways that employers can improve the candidate experience:
Make candidates partners in the hiring process
Recruiters shouldn’t think of the hiring process simply as an effort to find the right person for the job. Instead, it should be a collaboration between candidates and the company to determine a best-fit match. Make it easier for people to apply by simplifying applications and making them accessible on smartphones, CEB suggested. Most people use their mobile devices to browse the Internet these days, and giving them the ability to apply on their phones could improve the chances that they do. You could also ask for applicants’ feedback, according to Inc. Use that feedback to incorporate candidates’ opinions into the hiring process.
Emphasize the importance of the candidate experience
If everyone involved in the hiring process doesn’t understand how important it is, some employees may not work to provide candidates with a better experience. The idea of making applications and interviews a partnership should be engrained in the human resources department. An unfavorable application process is a business risk, CEB explained, so make sure everyone involved in hiring knows that.
Be transparent when speaking with candidates
Honesty is something applicants will appreciate more than just about anything else, so give it to them. Communication gone wrong is one of the main reasons for bad candidate experiences, according to CEB. Engage candidates and be honest with them about what the job entails or explain what sort of benefits they will receive – whatever you feel they should know. They will appreciate this, and come time to accept or decline the job offer, they may lean toward the former because of it.