Candidate Experience - what is it and why is it so important?

Definition of Candidate Experience

Candidate Experience (CX for short) means Candidate’s experience in relation to the recruitment process and therefore viewing a certain company as an Employer. For the company it means Candidate’s opinions on the recruitment process, as well as their feelings towards the company itself.

Why is Candidate Experience so important?

Employers often build their image for years. Recruitment process is the moment when Candidates confront their expectations and company’s image with reality. It’s worth underlining that the very first moment when Candidates get in contact with the company is when they read the job offer. Next steps are calls, arranging meetings, having those meetings with the recruiter and/or manager, waiting time for the feedback and its form, receiving the job offer or not receiving it. Other things that have impact on Candidate’s experience are: office’s look, atmosphere during the meeting or recruiter/manager’s punctuality. According to Erecruiter and Great Digital’s 5th edition of “Candidate Experience in Poland 2019” report, as many as 68% of respondents who have had a bad experience during the recruitment process will not apply again to that company, 55% will share their opinion with family or friends in the industry, 45% will advise not to apply to that company and 16% will share their opinion through forums and social media.

How to take care of the Candidate Experience?

If the company doesn’t look out for the Candidate Experience for a longer time, it may face difficulty finding the right employees. Underneath are a few tips on how to take care of CX.

1. Start with the job offer

As we have mentioned before this is the very first Candidate’s contact with the company. It’s important that the offer is esthetic and has crucial information such as workplace, type of contract, short description of the company, range of duties and requirements. It’s essential that those information are consistent with each other. It’s also worth mentioning in the job offer that you will only contact chosen Candidates/all Candidates will receive a feedback - depending on facts.

2. Before the meeting

When you invite Candidates for a meeting it’s worth proposing a few dates - it shows Employer’s flexibility and understanding that Candidates may have other meetings or duties. It’s important that you tell the potential employee who will participate in the meeting, how long will the meeting take, whom to refer to at the front desk office, as well as pass some tips on how to get to the office, e.g. where’s the parking, what’s the colour of the building, where’s the entrance or on which floor the company is located. This type of information will allow the Candidate to avoid feeling uncomfortable going to the meeting and that means his feelings towards the company will be positive from the very start.

3. Recruitment meeting

The recruitment meeting is best to be held in the form of an open dialogue. It’s clear that you meet Candidates to learn more about them and their competences, however it’ll make a better impression if Candidates leave with an opinion that they just had an interesting, partner-like conversation, rather than an hour long monologue about themselves that make them feel like they have just been interrogated. It’s essential to give Candidates time to ask you questions. You should also remember to inform them about next steps of the recruitment process, as well as how long will it take to give them feedback and in what form will it be (e-mail/sms/phone call).

4. Feedback

If the decision still hasn’t been made, but the promised deadline for feedback is coming, it’s worth calling Candidates and telling them that the recruitment process has been prolonged - it’s also a good opportunity to ask if they’re still interested in participating in it. In case where we already know that we’re no longer interested in a certain candidacy, it’s worth informing the Candidate through mail or by phone. Giving negative feedback isn’t easy, but it may show that person things that still need improvement. You can also give feedback in the form of information about aspects that were taken into consideration during the recruitment process. It’s always worth congratulating certain person’s competences and that we are impressed by them, as well as wish them further career success. If we decide to give an employment offer to a Candidate it’s worth not only giving all the information through phone, but also by mail or in the form of Letter of Intent, so that the potential employee could get familiar with everything and analyze the offer “coldly”.

We know from our own experience that using the above tips will result in a positive Candidate Experience - we encourage you to try them out.

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