No matter how experienced you are, applying for a job is stressful. The process requires evaluating and judging; not something anyone finds comfortable. It behooves us to ensure that our hiring processes incorporate structures to make candidates feel comfortable.
If we pay attention to the candidate experience:
- candidates will maintain a positive impression of your organization, even if they aren’t successful
- candidates who are comfortable (and well informed!) will more likely reveal their true personality, ultimately helping you to make sound decisions.
Consider the following:
- When people are nervous they tend to clam up which means you will learn less, not more, about the candidate
- If candidates don’t understand the process and timeline for decision making, they are more likely to disengage and develop a negative perspective of the organization, putting at risk the chances they will accept the job if it is eventually offered
- Your organizational brand is communicated, in part, through candidate experiences. For example, a recent survey revealed that 78% of candidates would discourage others from applying to an organization where they had been treated poorly.
A few tips to keep candidates feeling positive about the hiring process include:
- Make sure your application process is not significantly onerous. For example, don’t require candidates to provide significant personal information and a long list of references before they are even shortlisted. This may deter them from applying
- Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Don’t leave candidates “hanging”. Even if they are not successful, make sure they are informed promptly
- Consider privacy at the interview stage. If the interview is on-site, ensure that the reception and waiting area is in a private space to maintain confidentiality
- Ensure a warm and welcoming tone in the interview. The more relaxed and comfortable, the more likely the candidate will be providing answers that are true and authentic
Investing in making improvements throughout the candidate experience journey — from pre-application to onboarding — supports employer branding and decreases awkward candidate experiences. These efforts will ultimately lead to better decision-making and a stronger workforce.