Boosting Your Employer Branding With a Positive Candidate Experience

Positive candidate experience Happy team after successful interview StudySmarter

In order to attract top talent and achieve excellence, it is imperative that candidate experience is regarded as a pivotal factor in the recruitment process. The success of a business is heavily contingent upon the impression that potential applicants hold regarding employment opportunities within the organisation. Consequently, the investment in and adoption of a positive candidate experience is paramount.

In this article, we will explore the crucial role of candidate experience in the recruitment process and provide valuable insights on creating a positive candidate experience to attract top talent and foster a thriving organisational culture.

Positive candidate experience definition

For companies, the hiring process is now more candidate-driven than ever. The increased demand for individuals across various industries and experience levels results in them having several options to choose from. You want to ensure your company is not just an option for a candidate; it should be the perfect choice.

Candidate experience is defined as the perception of a jobseeker about an employer, based on the interaction during the complete recruitment process. This includes all points of contact during recruitment – job search, the application process, interview process and onboarding.

When a candidate’s experience is positive, it means the employer has provided direct, sincere and consistent communication throughout all the stages described above.

But what is the importance of a positive candidate experience? Let’s find out.

Importance of a positive candidate experience

Most companies often need help comprehending that a candidate’s experience begins the second they come across your profile, not just during or after the recruitment phase.

Whether you’re hiring at that moment or not, you need to be prepared to reach out to and have discussions with individuals who show an interest in your work. By doing so, you increase your credibility as an employer and are more likely to receive applications for your job advertisements.

Positive candidate experience A woman at an interview StudySmarter
A candidate’s experience begins as soon as they come in contact with your brand.

Imagine this: if a candidate is keen to apply for a particular position but wants additional information regarding the position, and you do not actively respond to their questions, would they recommend you as a company or potential employer to others? The likely answer to that question is no.

This negative experience will result in current and future candidates losing their trust in you as an employer.

On the other hand, if you are hands-on even before the official recruitment process begins, the outcome will be different. Candidates’ trust in your brand will increase, and they may even act as advocates for your organisation. This will contribute to the organic growth of your brand.

Creating a positive candidate experience

Creating a positive candidate experience may seem like a daunting task, but by sticking to our top tips, you’ll be building valuable trust with your candidates and achieving excellent reviews in no time.

Improve your employer branding

At some point, each company will experience challenges with employer branding. That is normal. Accepting these challenges and finding a way to overcome them is essential.

To improve employer branding, an organisation should focus on creating a positive work environment and providing growth opportunities for employees. This can be achieved by emphasising the organisation’s values and culture, and encouraging employee engagement and advocacy. Additionally, regularly monitoring and managing the organisation’s online reputation can help to maintain a positive image.

By solidifying your employer branding strategy, you can show prospective candidates what your company is about, what you do differently, and why someone should choose your company over another.

Simplify your application process

A lengthy application form will discourage potential candidates from applying. They may find your job advertisement interesting at first glance and want to apply, but may change their mind when they see questions regarding qualifications and skills that could be answered by them submitting a pre-made CV.

Ensure that your job application form is mobile-friendly. In today’s digital world, most jobseekers apply for new opportunities on the go. It is crucial to keep up-to-date with these advancements and modify your application process accordingly.

Use social media

Social media is growing every day, and it is becoming increasingly important for companies and brands to make their presence known online.

By using social media for employer branding, you can maximise your online visibility, enhance your employer brand, and recruit both active and passive candidates.

Focus on company culture

Fostering a positive company culture is more than just identifying what values matter to you and what you want to promote. It is about support, trust, empathy, and transparency at all levels.

Make a conscious effort to talk to others and understand their points of view. Don’t deny a candidate an opportunity because their religion, race, ethnicity, or gender is not what you expected.

Diversity and inclusion are the two most important words a candidate looks for when assessing a company’s culture. Implementing these will allow your employees to grow and contribute to their overall well-being.

Review your perks and benefits

When searching for a new role, candidates will actively identify opportunities that provide transparent information regarding salary and benefits.

The level of employee satisfaction is significantly dependent on the offerings provided by your brand in exchange for their services. Speak to current employees and identify what benefits they are happy with and what they would like to see in the future.

Consistently evaluate these responses and invest in the perks and benefits people say they want rather than assuming what they want.

Ask for, implement, and provide feedback

Anyone can ask for feedback, but not everyone can accept it and implement changes. Understanding concerns and developing a plan to combat them will make your candidates’ voices heard, and your brand stand out.

In addition to asking candidates for feedback, ensure you give them feedback too. They may not be suitable for the role they have applied for, but might have skills and experience that would be useful in other job roles. By giving candidates constructive feedback, you open a space for discussion where they feel heard and seen.

This will increase the likelihood of them speaking positively about your company to others, even if they were unsuccessful in the recruitment process.

Be responsive

A large part of a positive candidate experience depends on how you communicate with them. If someone is interested in your company, regardless of their qualifications, speak to them.

Respond to comments and questions online, and be available for an informal chat. Show that you are hands-on and actively involved in the recruitment process.

This will increase the likelihood of candidates not only applying themselves but also of them recommending you to others as a potential employer.

Benefits of a positive candidate experience

Understanding the benefits of a positive candidate experience will give you a better idea of how you can improve this going forward.

  1. More applicants
    You will receive more completed applications by making your application process short and simple. Even if everyone isn’t suitable for the advertised role, receiving many applicants will help you build your candidate base.

    You can then contact previous applicants when other roles become available to see if they’re interested.
  2. Improved quality of hire
    Through the provision of a positive candidate experience, an organisation can ensure that all prospective applicants possess exceptional qualifications and capabilities. Remember, someone with adequate experience will expect consistent communication, feedback, and responsiveness.

    Giving them what they want will help ensure you recruit only the best, ultimately adding to your overall brand value.
  3. Increased brand awareness
    When you provide a positive recruitment process, potential candidates and jobseekers are more inclined to talk positively about your company with friends, family, and colleagues. They may even write about it online. These conversations give your brand the positive awareness it wants and deserves.
  4. Improved candidate retention rates
    A candidate’s experience begins the second they come across your brand profile, whether as a job advert or your company website. Making your mission statement, goals, and values clear gives your company the best chance of success.

    This improves retention rates as they are familiar with the company culture, know what to expect and have already decided whether or not they would be a good fit should they choose to apply.
  5. Increased employee productivity
    Remember that your candidate’s experience extends all the way into official employment. Candidates who have had a positive recruitment experience are more likely to not only accept the job offer, but also have increased productivity when working.

    Ultimately, if you treat your candidates with respect, they will reciprocate that respect towards you.

How do you ensure a positive candidate experience

Everyone wants to have a successful business, and this success lies in the very roots. Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to improve your already established business, this is what you need to consider if you’re looking for tips on how to ensure a positive candidate experience.

Write clear job descriptions

Use simple language when posting about available vacancies. Use, but don’t over-use your industry’s buzzwords. Keeping information as jargon-free as possible will aid clarity and set clear expectations.

Use lists

When describing the qualifications and skills you’re looking for in an ideal candidate, write them in a list format. Structure this list with the essential information on top and gradually reduce the priority level as you move down it. This improves readability.

Give clear instructions

No one wants to open an application form only to find that they don’t have the required documents and/or information at hand. Candidates want to know what documents they would need to apply so that they can prepare accordingly.

Have a section in your job advertisement where you specify this information. This ensures transparency and provides the candidate with all the information they need before they start their application process.

Follow up

Send a confirmation email once a candidate has applied, with an expected time frame for when they should hear back from you. This lets them know their application has been received and sets clear expectations about the review process.

Not sending this information can lead to the candidate forgetting that they have applied, and by the time you get back to them, it could be too late.

Review applications often

Offer applications on a rolling basis. Don’t make a potential candidate wait two weeks before you let them know whether or not they have been invited for an interview.

Remember that candidates apply to multiple jobs when searching for new opportunities, so those two weeks could make or break. Taking too long to decide can impact the overall candidate experience, impacting your brand reputation.

Candidate experience statistics

The significance of candidate experience for your brand cannot be overstated. A careful evaluation of the candidate experience statistics below underscores the necessity of careful planning and investment in this area.

  • 63% of candidates are unhappy with the communication from employers after applying.
    Lack of communication from employers remains a key complaint from potential candidates. As a brand, you have to value your applicants.

    While personalised communication is the best way to go, feel free to use an automated response system if it is too time-consuming. Always remember, it’s better to say something rather than stay silent.
  • A mere 42% of employers reach out to rejected candidates for future roles.
    Applicants want to know that they are not just another form. Build a candidate base and reach out to previous applicants for new roles, if suitable.

    Rejection is hard for anyone, but being considered for other roles at your company can improve a candidate’s overall recruitment experience.
  • Candidates are 4x more likely to consider an employer for other roles if given constructive feedback.

    Don’t leave your candidates in the dark. Provide them with constructive feedback on their interview so they know what went well and what didn’t.

    Remember, providing feedback doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. Take ten minutes to formulate an email or schedule a time to have a call and talk through the comments with them. You’d be surprised at the results.

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