Your candidate experience is made up of 4 essential parts
Your Application Process
If your application process is long and complex, it will discourage job searchers from even applying to your open positions. Additionally, if your application process cannot be completed from a tablet or mobile device, then it discourages people from applying.
On the other hand, if you have a quick, simple application process, you’ll see more applicants completing your applications.
Job searcher’s biggest pet peeve is the lack of communication from hiring managers, especially because there is very little human interaction to begin with. So, to provide a good candidate experience, it is vital that you keep candidates informed on the progression of your hiring decision. You can do this manually, or you can use automation. The goal is just to make sure you stay connected to candidates.
Interviews are scary, so you should do what you can to make sure your candidates are prepared. To do this, it would be helpful if you provided
- schedule of the interview
- who the candidate will be interviewing with
- what attire would be permissible
- interview questions they may be asked
After the interview, you should expect candidates to follow up with you to thank you and ask additional questions. It is very important to provide a prompt response. Even if the candidate does not reach out, you should send a follow-up email and thank them for their time. It is also helpful if you detail the next steps in the process.
Not every employer provides feedback to candidates. However, it is a huge aspect of candidate experience, and your applicants will be thanking you for it. When you send rejection emails, be sure to personalize the email with something you appreciated about the candidate. Be sure to also include some constructive feedback.
If you really liked the candidate, but couldn’t hire them, then you can refer them to other open positions in your company.
Creating a Candidate Roadmap
If you are making a commitment to improving your candidate experience, then it all starts with planning a candidate roadmap. Planning a roadmap not only keeps you informed of your candidate’s journey, but it also helps you measure candidate experience during the different parts of your hiring process.
Note that candidate experience begins when a potential applicant first hears about your employer brand and ends once you’ve made the hire. So, as you analyze your candidate’s journey, here are some metrics you can put in place to evaluate how positive your candidate experience is.
5 Ways to Evaluate Candidate Experience
Application Completion Rate
Next to employer branding, your application process is a vital part of candidate experience. It is the first step candidates take once they’ve committed to your company. If your application completion rate is low, then that means candidates are making the decision mid-application to end the journey with you. This is a key signal that your application process needs to be adjusted.
Top reasons that candidates quit applications are:
- the application is too long
- there are too many obstacles (ie. too many screening questions)
- you can’t apply via mobile devices
- there are questions in the application that should come up later in the process (ie. previous employers or references)
- requests for redundant information
After candidates make it past the application process, it seems as if you wouldn’t really have an issue with candidates ghosting you, right?…. Wrong! One key indicator of a negative candidate experience is candidates dropping off during different stages of the hiring process.
In 2021, 76% of employers report being ghosted by candidates, and those numbers haven’t slowed down. Though the job market is beginning to level out and employers are regaining some power, job searchers still have the upper hand. So, they don’t have to stick around for a hiring process that doesn’t respect their time or efforts. They can apply to a different job that probably has more benefits.
Some common reasons that candidates decide to abandon their journey with a company are
- lack of communication
- too much waiting time
- their time was disrespected during interviews
- salary doesn’t meet expectations
So to keep candidates around, it is important to move quickly, communicate each step of the process, and never take a candidate’s time for granted.
So much advice is geared towards implementing surveys at each step of the hiring process – job searching, applications, interviews, onboarding. However, feedback from candidates who are moving smoothly through the process aren’t the ones you should be receiving feedback from. It’s the candidates that you have rejected that you should look out for.
Candidates who are anticipating moving on to the next stage will hesitate to say anything negative about the process. Additionally, incorporating surveys at every stage can be a lot of work. So, the best time to send a survey is when a candidate has been rejected (or has left the hiring process). These are the candidates who have nothing to lose, so they will likely be the most honest.
Feedback from Third-Parties
One of the easiest and cost-effective ways to measure your candidate experience is to see what people are saying about you on third-party sites (Glassdoor, Yelp, etc.) and social media. You’ll likely see tons of reviews from rejected candidates, who are more likely to be upfront and brutally honest about their candidate experience. This will give you some perspective into what is good about your process and what needs some work.
Another thing to think about is the fact that these reviews can impact your employer brand. So, if possible, you should assign someone to comment or respond to these reviews to show that you are committed to previous, current, and past candidate’s needs.
We all love a good KPI (key performance indicator). Well, when it comes to measuring candidate experience, there are three KPI’s you can use.
tracks the length of time from the time the candidate completes the application to the time an offer is presented. Because a lengthy hiring process contributes to candidate drop-off and an overall negative candidate experience, it is an important metric to track. Not only does it expose weak spots in your hiring process, but it also helps identify what stages in your hiring process are too long.
is the number of candidates you interview vs the number of candidates you make an offer to. If your ratio is low, then that means your interview process may be longer and more complicated than it needs to be. Ultimately, this reflects poorly on candidate experience, as lengthy interview processes keep the candidate waiting for longer than necessary.
Offer acceptance rates
measure how often candidates accept an offer vs the amount of offers made. No, this metric isn’t solely based on candidate experience. Candidates reject offers for better deals, more money, and a myriad of other reasons. However, keeping track of this metric helps to pinpoint reasons candidates are saying no. If you see reasons related to candidate experience, then this is a prime opportunity to address it.
Start with a free job post today to get started on finding top-notch candidates in your industry.