Written by:

There is a great deal of focus across all industries on both the candidate and employee experience.

At the end of 2016, we participated in the Talent Board CandE Awards as I wanted to benchmark our current candidate experience in anticipation of making enhancements during 2017. The survey is run by an independent third party (Talent Board) and surveys candidates who have applied for a job regardless of how far they progressed through the recruitment process. There is a requirement that no greater than 20% of your respondents are people you have hired. This exercise was incredibly useful from the perspective of knowing what our candidates wanted.

It can be all good and well to develop a new candidate experience but if you haven’t taken the time to stop and ask your candidates what they want, then it could be a total waste of time.

For those of you who have had long careers in talent acquisition or been a candidate recently yourself, will not be surprised when I tell you that our candidates just wanted to be kept informed along the way…..Communication was the key standout!

Based on the results we introduced:

1.      Our new employer brand – this was a really important element of our candidate experience as part of this was launching a new careers site which was going to help bring our candidate experience to life. We provide transparency around our recruitment process, tips for submitting applications and also interviews tips. We want all our candidates to be presenting their best selves and this starts with knowledge.

2.      We are over communicating during the recruitment process. Never underestimated the power of sending candidates a “your application is still in progress” email.

a.      Hot Tip – make sure it’s aligned to your employer branding so it’s authentic. Our candidates have loved this.

3.      New technology, LiveHire, that supports our employee brand. This allows us to be authentic and personalise our communications to our candidates.

a.      Hot Tip – be selective about the technology you’re using to facilitate your experience.

4.      Lastly, and most importantly, we treat our candidates as people (shock horror!!). I think at times when you’ve been sitting on the recruiting side you can forget the traumatic experience of applying for jobs. So remember where your candidates are at, the nerves and anticipation of waiting to hear back on a job they really want and nurture this emotion. They applied for a job because they have seen something in you that appeals to them, so treat them with the same level of respect back.

With the implementation of the above, we’ve had fantastic feedback from our candidates, even those that haven’t been successful in getting the job and let’s be honest – they are our toughest critics!

Below is some feedback we received just this week for a candidate:

So in 2017, we participated again in the CandE awards and am thrilled to say that we were named one of the Top 10 in the APAC region. This is evidence that the improvements we made to our candidate experience are working and not rocket science.

My last bit of advice, take the time to engage with candidates that have gone through your process. Truly understand what it is that they’re looking for before you start making any changes. This will ensure that your efforts are directed in the areas that will truly shift the dial.