Employer Branding

How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience

By Iterate Team

Last updated: Mar 7, 2023

Job candidates know they’ve got options. Improving your candidate’s experience will help you build trust and could help sway their decision to join or stay.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

Make a Good First Impression

In our digital age, most job candidates do at least some research into every potential employer. That means that it’s more important than ever to make a good first impression. The heart of that first impression is your employer brand.

Employer brand is how your employees and prospects view you. Do your employees feel valued? Are they happy with their working conditions? Is your company helping them reach their full potential as professionals? If so, you’re well on your way to building an effective employer brand—and talented job seekers will take note.

Of course, even if your employees are happy, you still have to communicate that to candidates on the outside. There are a few ways you can do this, such as:

  • Encouraging your employees to review your company on Glassdoor
  • Getting favorable quotes from employees to use in recruiting materials
  • Creating an appealing careers page on your website to show off the perks of your company culture

Beyond this, you can also set up a public org chart. This will show candidates exactly how your company is structured and who they would be working with. That kind of transparency can go a long way toward making the right impression upfront.

Respond to Every Candidate

Applying for a job takes time and effort, and often leads to plenty of stress. Despite this, a shocking majority of candidates never get a response.

Responding to each application you receive is a basic courtesy. Even if you have no intention of interviewing them, politely inform them that they aren’t a good fit for your company and wish them well in their job hunt.

(Using an automated email template will help make this more practical if you receive a high volume of applications.)

Customize the Hiring Process for Each Position

A generic, cookie-cutter approach to hiring is never the most efficient option for you or the candidate. Instead, tailoring the hiring process for the specifics of the open position will always net the best results.

For example, one job may hinge on a rigorous technical skillset, while another revolves around the employee’s personal skills and cultural fit. By prioritizing the right aspects in the hiring stage, you can filter out any candidates lacking the essential qualities. This will save you—and them—plenty of time and allow you to focus your efforts on the right prospects.

Write a Clear Job Description

Writing a clear job description is one of the best ways to provide a positive candidate experience. Unfortunately, there’s a disconnect between what employers and employees see as “clear.” One study found that while 72% of hiring managers believe that they provide clear job descriptions, only 36% of applicants agree.

A quality job description should include an accurate overview of the role in question, including:

  • Responsibilities involved
  • Essential skills
  • Preferred skills
  • Education and experience requirements
  • Salary range
  • A summary of what an employee should expect during their first months on the job

This will tell candidates if they’re a good match for your company and help them decide which details to include in their application.

If you have any doubts about a job description, consider getting some input from other people, such as employees or fellow hiring managers. Is it clear to them? Do they understand the job being described? What changes would they make?

Set Up Mobile-Friendly Job Postings

According to Pew Research Center, 53% of 18- to 29-year-olds and 43% of all job hunters use a smartphone as part of their job search. If you aren’t making it easy for candidates to learn about your job opening via mobile websites and apps, you may be missing out on promising prospects.

Shorten Your Application Requirements

Sometimes, less is more. Applying for a job can be a time-consuming chore at the best of times. If you force candidates to fill out an unreasonably long questionnaire or give their entire life story, they won’t thank you for it. In fact, they may not do it at all.

According to a study from Indeed, 88.7% of potential applicants abandon the application process if there are 45 or more screener questions. To understand this better, it helps to remember that most candidates already spend at least 30 minutes applying for a single job, and many spend more than an hour.

When you consider the odds of success for each application, it’s no wonder they aren’t eager to invest too much time into any one option. Their best hope is to cast as wide a net as possible.

Do job seekers everywhere a favor and keep the application requirements short and sweet. You can always ask for more information once you decide to follow up with them.

Get the Interview Right

Job interviews are often the most stressful part of the hiring process—for candidates and interviewers alike. You can make it easier for everyone involved by:

  • Preparing ahead of time on common interview questions
  • Ensuring your questions are relevant and clear
  • Engaging the candidate and helping them feel comfortable at the start of the interview
  • Listening to the candidate when they speak
  • Giving them an opportunity to ask any questions they may have

Try to be aware of your body language, as well. As humans, we communicate more through our actions than our words, and your body language can make all the difference in setting the right tone for an interview.

And that’s it! Armed with these tips, you can get started on creating a positive candidate experience.

Best of luck!

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