It’s the little things that add up to a great candidate experience.
Early in her career Susan interviewed for a position as a chemist with a company that distributes supplies used in research laboratories. The interview went badly. The company representatives were not on time or prepared. They did not get back to her when they said they would and in fact were downright rude during the interviews and in the follow up. Susan was happy she did not get the job.
Susan went on to a very successful career in Research & Development person managing large labs in multiple locations.
For the rest of her career, some 30 years, she NEVER allowed anyone on her staff to order lab supplies from that company. She remembered that story like it was yesterday and repeated it often.
A candidate’s experience begins when they start researching the company. It continues through every interaction during the recruiting process. The interaction makes a lasting memory of the total experience, good or bad. It could influence their view of the company for years in the future. Just like Susan.
Perhaps you have had a similar experience in your life? Most people have.
Candidates invest a lot in a job search, preparing search materials, doing research, and preparing for interviews, not to mention time and money spent on travel and interviews. They resent it when they feel they are treated badly. They never forget and they tell others!
Given the candidate’s investment, don’t they deserve to be treated like good customers?
The cost of a poor customer experience adds up.
You lose good candidates now and in the future. They tell their friends, family and colleagues who won’t apply either and maybe won’t buy from you.
Employees stop referring their friends and maybe get disenchanted themselves. Disenchanted employees might leave or worse hang around with a bad attitude.
You will probably make more bad hires because the best candidates have more options.
All this word of mouth going on behind the scenes damages that corporate brand you work so hard to develop. It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are characteristics of a great candidate experience.
- Respond promptly to everything – phone calls, emails, applications, requests, job offers. Simply responding to candidates will improve the candidate experience. It also separates you from your competition.
- Be flexible to the candidates’ needs, not rigid. Offer flexible interview scheduling and you will get the candidate’s attention.
- Be honest and pay attention to candidates’ needs.
- No unpleasant surprises – do what you say you will do, don’t change the specifications all the time, don’t change the schedule, be there when you say you are going to be there and respond when you say you will respond.
- Solicit feedback from candidates and apply what you learn.
- Keep candidates updated and explain what is going on. Tell people if there will be a delay. Ignoring candidates or stringing them out for your own convenience is particularly annoying.
- Add an unexpected “wow” factor to seal the deal. How about a little muffin basket to welcome the new hire?
Time to get out that mirror and figure out what your candidates think about you then make adjustments.
Make every touch point a great experience. It is the little things that add up to a great candidate experience.