The Importance of the Candidate Experience
When an organisation embarks on a recruitment programme, they are often looking for more than one outcome. The most obvious, and pressing, is to fill a specific vacancy, which has been identified either as a result of growth, a restructure, or an employee moving on to a new role within the organisation or externally.
A secondary purpose can be to build a pipeline of qualified and motivated employees, to strengthen and, as far as possible, future-proof a company. This will enable the organisation to train, develop and engage their team while increasing both flexibility and the company culture.
Whatever the reason the recruiting company must reach out to and engage with interested and qualified candidates. They are operating in an increasingly competitive marketplace and a committed and skilled workforce is a material asset to any organisation.
Organisations, therefore, invest in well planned and well-executed recruitment campaigns to ensure that the process is both efficient, effective and fair. They understand that they are not ‘doing candidates a favour’ by offering them a job, but rather they are entering into a contract with the successful candidate encompassing a reward for service. And it is very important that candidates feel that the experience has been efficient and fair.
So what do candidates look for when searching for a new role? The three C’s
- Clarity: Candidates need to know both what it is they are applying for, and how best to apply for it. They need to know what is required of them during the process, and what will be required of them should they be successful. If a candidate is faced with a badly run recruitment programme, they will question whether this reflects the organisation as a whole.
- Communication: Candidates need to know what is happening to their applications from receipt of the initial interest to the final offer. If a candidate does not know whether their application has been received, whether by the hiring organisation or the hiring agency they cannot prepare for any follow-up. An automated response is enough to let a candidate know that they are not languishing in a junk folder and saves all parties from the “just ringing to check whether you received my application” call.
- Confidence: Candidates need to have confidence in the recruitment process because that will ensure confidence in the hiring organisation. A recruitment campaign is a branding opportunity and candidates are social messengers. After a well-run campaign where they are confident that they have been treated fairly, a candidate may feel regret if they are not successful but hopefully understand the reasoning. However, they will often feel genuine anger if they have no confidence in the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. This could possibly lead to questions of bias or unlawful discrimination.
All organisations want to hire efficiently; they want and need effective employees and look for the best way to transform unknown candidates into committed employees. This begins with ensuring the candidate’s experience is positive from their very first interaction with the organisation or their representative.