Many hiring managers assume that a positive candidate experience requires lots of one-on-one attention. And while that certainly won’t hurt, you can definitely foster a positive candidate experience at scale. It’s important to create a great candidate experience in high-volume recruiting. When you have more applicants in your pipeline, you also have a greater sphere of influence – impacting how others view your organization.
At this point, you’re likely aware at how much of an impact a positive candidate experience can have on your hiring success.
But as a quick refresher, these are the key benefits:
- Increased Offer Acceptance. A positive candidate experience makes people 30% more likely to accept your job offer.
- Enhanced Employer Reputation. When you have a great candidate experience, candidates are more likely to promote your positions (and brand) to people they know.
- Improved Employee Engagement. Creating a solid candidate experience opens the door to creating a highly engaged workforce. Consider your application process as the first step in your onboarding process.
Here are three simple ways you can create a great candidate experience – no matter how large your candidate pool is.
Clear communication is key
Whether you have just dozens or hundred (or even thousands!) of candidates, open communication lays the critical foundation for a positive candidate experience. Communicating with your candidates should be clear and consistent at every point of your hiring process, from application to offer.
Candidates (especially those who are new to the work force) want to know exactly what they can expect from your hiring process up front. So keep them in the know!
Include information about the time it will take a candidate to apply at the start of your application process, along with all the information you expect them to provide. You can briefly list the requirements – like a resume, cover letter, sample of work, or assessments – in your job description. You can use a progress bar in the application itself so candidates have an idea of how long it will take them.
Once a candidate has successfully applied, send them an automated emailed to confirm you’ve received it. This simple action is a light lift that takes a lot of worry off the shoulders of your applicants. It also signals that your organization values prompt and clear communication early on.
For the candidates you choose to interview, keep the lines of communication open and stay accessible. Candidates may have questions about your interview process and what to expect at this stage too.
Finally, once you’ve made your decision, be quick to notify your candidates. Since it’s a competitive labor market, candidates need to know where they stand, or they will move on. And this goes for all your candidates! Whether you hire them or not, be respectful of the effort they put into applying. To candidates you’re rejecting, send an email that thanks them for their interest, even though they weren’t the right fit for the current role you’re hiring for. This level of candor will also keep the door ajar. It also puts you ahead of the pack: a shocking 75% of applicants never hear back after they apply for a job, according to the Human Capital Institute.
By clearly communicating and treating all candidates with respect, you increase the chance that a candidate will reapply for another role or suggest your openings to others in your network. And when turnover and competition for top talent are as high as they currently are, this can have a significant impact on the size of your candidate pool.
Be respectful of their time
Time is of the essence – regardless of whether you’re hiring or you’re trying to get hired. When you’re hiring at scale, it’s important to stay mindful of how long your process takes. Just like communication, time matters at every part of your pipeline.
Remember that progress bar we mentioned before? Being aware of how long your application takes to complete encourages you to keep it short and sweet. Research shows that 60% of candidates abandoned an application process because it took too long. Candidates have to feel as though the juice is worth the squeeze here. A quick apply process will lead to happier candidates.
After you’ve made your shortlist, make it as easy as possible for your top candidates to schedule their interview. Video interviews are a great way to maintain flexibility and be respectful of your candidates’ time. This goes doubly for asynchronous interviews, which allow candidates to take interviews whenever and wherever works best for them. Plus, the same flexibility is awarded to your evaluators, who can review candidates at any point in their schedule.
If you’ve found the candidates you’re going to hire, let them know quickly. And don’t leave all your other candidates hanging. Many candidates report feeling that employers ghost them, leaving a negative impression of the company they applied to. As soon as you’ve made your decision, let all your candidates know.
Being considerate of your candidates’ time shows that you value them, even though you aren’t able to hire them all. This mindfulness fosters a positive candidate experience during high-volume recruiting efforts. It both improves the chances that your favorite candidates will accept your offer, and it leaves all your candidates feeling respected.
Provide personalized feedback
Sadly, it’s just not possible to hire every candidate who applies to your openings. Only a select few will actually be offered the job. But that doesn’t mean that all your other applicants have to go away empty-handed.
Aside from the job itself, what candidates truly want out of the application process is actionable feedback. With this feedback in hand, they can understand how to improve the next time they apply to a job. You may be thinking “personalized feedback is nice and all... But is this actually feasible when I have hundreds of applicants?”
It’s a great question! While it’s not possible to provide one-on-one feedback sessions with every candidate who applies to your positions, there are tools you can use that will provide this personalized feedback on your behalf.
For example, Criteria has developed the Talent Insights report, a digital report that pulls information from candidates’ personality assessment results. Talent Insights provides personalized feedback and allows candidates to better understand themselves, highlighting their strengths, notable traits, and areas for improvement. Talent Insights is a feature that can be turned on to automatically send each candidate’s personalized feedback report to them after they’ve completed your application.
Personalized feedback like this improves how candidates feel about your company and contributes to a positive candidate experience, even in high-volume recruiting. This is actionable feedback candidates can use to further their own professional development and better understand themselves.
If you want to create a great candidate experience in high-volume recruiting, you can boil it down to three simple things: communication, respect, and feedback. Focus on this recruiting trinity and you’ll reap the benefits in the form of a great candidate experience, improved offer acceptance, and a stronger employer brand.