Due to ongoing labor shortages and skill gaps, recruitment is increasingly challenging. As a result, companies have to seize every opportunity to stand out from the crowd. When it comes to separating your organization from the pack, offering a high-quality candidate experience is a must.

The candidate experience determines how job seekers perceive your company as an employer brand. Essentially, the quality of your hiring process serves as their first impression, and how candidates feel as it unfolds alters their willingness to remain contenders.

Crafting a winning candidate experience is often simpler than companies expect. Here’s a look at why the candidate experience matters and what businesses can do to improve theirs.

Why the Candidate Experience Matters

As mentioned above, the candidate experience essentially serves as a first impression that introduces a job seeker to your employer brand. How candidates perceive your hiring process plays a big role in how they view opportunities at your organization. If the candidate experience is subpar, they’ll often assume the employee experience is similar. At times, this may prompt them to remove themselves from contention or discourage others from applying.

In turn, when the candidate experience is positive, it boosts your employer brand. Along with keeping candidates engaged, it can cement your reputation as an employer of choice. In turn, you’ll have a far easier time with recruitment, particularly if your employee experience is similarly stellar. Even if a candidate initially doesn’t get a job, they are often more likely to try again if they enjoyed the experience, giving you access continued to second-place candidates or those who could be an excellent fit for other roles.

How to Improve the Candidate Experience

Improving the candidate experience typically involves updating key parts of your hiring process. Begin by offering clear job descriptions that highlight the standout features of the role and what a typical day in the position involves. Include a list of benefits and perks available to employees, as well as a salary range for the job.

When it comes to the application process, streamline it as much as possible. Don’t require both a resume and application, limit the entire process to a single page, and eliminate essay questions. Also, make sure the application is mobile-friendly, making applying convenient.

Focus on personalized communication throughout the process. Let candidates know their application was received and notify them of the planned hiring timeline. Alert them to unexpected changes in the schedule, and customize each message when extending interview invitations.

It’s also wise to accommodate candidate needs along the way. Offer after-hours interviews to job seekers who are currently employed, and consider video interviews to make the process more accessible for busy professionals or candidates who live outside of your city.

Keep the number of interview rounds to a minimum, preferably sticking with just one or two. If multiple decision-makers need to be involved, consider going with a panel interview to reduce the total number of meetings.

Additionally, give job seekers an overview of the interview experience. Discuss where they need to park, who they need to speak with upon arrival, a list of interviews, and an outline of any documents they need to bring. That reduces the amount of stress associated with the experience, as there are fewer unknowns.

Working with a recruitment agency that’s known for offering an excellent candidate experience is also wise. At TempStaff, we focus on providing an exceptional candidate experience to all job seekers, including active and passive candidates. Our goal is to simplify hiring processes, offer top-notch communication, and ensure job seekers feel supported and remain engaged.

If you’d like to boost your candidate experience and gain access to more talent, TempStaff can help. Contact us today.

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