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5 Ways Your Candidate Experience is Driving Candidates Away

According to a LinkedIn study, 83% of talent reported a negative candidate experience could change their mind about a role or company they once liked, and 87% reported a positive candidate experience could change their mind about a role or company they once doubted. However, as 2022 approaches with no sign of this year’s mass exits abating, many businesses are overlooking their candidate experience as a key aspect of their recruitment strategy. As the application and interview process serves as a prequel to how a candidate would be treated as an employee if they were to be hired, this experience should be a top focus while competing for top talent.  

Below, we share 5 common issues with a candidate experience and how it could be improved. 

1. The interview process takes too long/is redundant 

With so many jobs available today, hiring managers should assume their candidates are interviewing with other businesses, and prolonging the process may result in losing quality candidates to other hiring companies. In fact, the primary cause of candidate drop-out was found to be a long hiring process, with SHRM reporting the average time to fill a position to be 42 days.  

HR teams should evaluate their traditional interview process to determine if and where there are redundancies. How many rounds of interviews does the average process entail, and how long does each take? How many people meet with and interview each candidate? Are these stakeholders asking similar questions, or do they have defined areas they are evaluating? Also consider if the process should adopt a panel interview style with multiple interviewers at once to shorten the process. Also, to avoid any redundancies, define what each interviewer is assessing prior to beginning the process.  

Also plan ahead. If stakeholders are unavailable due to planned PTO, is there someone else who can conduct the interview in their place, or can they take a call while away to showcase urgency?  

2. There is a lack of transparency and communication  

Especially in today’s job market, many candidates are receiving frequent recruiting messages and calls. So, keeping them engaged throughout the process is essential. Set expectations on the front-end and provide as much information available, for instance the approximate timeline, number of interviews, who will be conducting the interviews and interview formats.  

Communicating regularly and as transparently as possible throughout the interview process is essential. If weeks pass between conversations, candidates may assume the company has moved in another direction and will continue their job search elsewhere. Candidates should be left with an idea of next steps and general timeline of the interview process whenever possible. 

3. The candidate’s motivating factors aren’t addressed 

While every interviewer may have their own opinion of what makes the business or role great, the conversation must focus on what the candidate values most in order to hold their interest. Towards the beginning of the conversation, ask candidates questions to identify their motivating factors. This could include questions like what drove them to apply, what made them want to leave their current role, how were employees treated and how did the business innovate as a result of COVID-19. Based on the responses, these questions can help uncover what the candidate values and appreciates, so that the interviewer can cater the rest of the conversation based on what was shared.  

Be creative and adapt the interview as the candidate expresses what is most important to them. For instance, if they talk about career growth being important, pull someone into the interview process that has grown within the organization to share their first-hand experiences.  

4. Unnecessary assessments 

For certain roles, some type of skills assessment may be required; however, for many professionals with proven experience or work samples, assessments may be an unnecessary added step that could contribute to candidate fall-off. Consider moving assessments to include them as a last step of an interview to be completed on-site, if applicable, or within the same timeframe as the virtual interview, rather than as a take-home assignment. This can help reduce the number of incomplete assignments and keep the interview process moving along.  

5. Too much time between interview and offer 

In many cases, there are 2-4 weeks of downtime between the last interview and official job offer, and frequently another 2-4 weeks between offer acceptance and start date. However, this time should be minimized, if possible. If time can’t be reduced, it’s important companies are staying in touch with candidates and keeping them engaged with updates – even if there is no significant movement. Allowing candidates to know they are still a priority can help maintain their interest. 

Work to keep candidates engaged during the down time between acceptance and start date by beginning their integration into the company culture before day one on the job. This could include sending them a company welcome kit, scheduling coffee meetings with their manager or key team members when feasible, and/or offering onboarding and training materials to start reviewing before day one.  

While competing for top talent in today’s market, candidate fall-off and disengagement is an increasingly important issue. Assessing the candidate experience and increasing focus on personalization, company culture, and urgency may be a major factor in helping hiring companies better attract and retain top talent in today's job market. 

Looking for talent or help with you interview process? Let us help. 

 

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