October 18th, 2016 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

5 Tips To Creating A Candidate First Experience

5 Tips to Creating a Candidate First Experience

As a marketer, I’m often thinking about the experience people have with our brand. From our website copy to our product marketing, everything is about telling a story that is engaging, easy to understand and makes us look like a problem-solving hero. But, marketing is far from the only department trying to make our company look like a rock star. In fact, when it comes to our recruiting team, a lot of time is spent thinking about how our candidate’s experience will impact whether or not they choose to come aboard.

While at the HR Tech Conference this month, I was fortunate enough to attend an employee lifecycle presentation hosted by Christina McClung (Chief People Officer, Canada at Capital One) and Kevin Grossman (VP, Research & Analytics at Talent Board). The session “Empowering a Better Candidate Experience: Capital One’s Transformative Business of Recruiting,” focused on the importance of viewing the candidate as a customer.

Here are the top five takeaways from the session:

  1. Assess all components of the experience – Take a few moments to map out the experience your candidates are having. Think about how a candidate might come across the job posting, research your company and learn about your brand. Is it good, or does it need a little bit of work? For example, some companies require travel as part of the interview process. Do you offer your candidate flexibility, allowing them to choose an airline and hotel that suits their needs, (all while synching up with their rewards programs)? Sometimes it’s these minor details that matter most.
  2. Measure your results – This seems simple enough, but you might be surprised to find out how many companies are ignoring their results. Once you have gone through the process, work with your new employees to ask them about their process, how they felt and what can be improved. Was it a simple experience for them, or was it painful every step of the way? The idea is to take the data that you have gathered and use it to influence and improve future recruitment efforts.
  3. Empower your recruiter – Recruiters spend a lot of their time working with candidates. Their job is to build up a solid relationship with the candidate so they will consider working for a new company. Where possible, give your recruiters the authority to make decisions to help the process move more effectively through the funnel. This also means giving them the tools necessary to help manage the experience of hundreds of potential candidates at one time. The goal is to make every applicant feel special along their process to hire. You don’t want one bad experience to come with additional consequences.
  4. Scale the experience – Even though hundreds of people may be applying for the same job, it’s important to create a unique feeling of personalization throughout the entire experience. Candidates want to feel special – not like they are a number in a crowd. Everything from your copy choices to your recruitment platform will determine the first impression a candidate is going to have with your brand. Make it one to remember!
  5. Know how to sell your value proposition – Your value proposition is the main reason a candidate wants to join your organization. Research continues to prove that employees want a strong feeling of purpose in the work that they do for their company; they want to believe in the work that they do – not only for their company, but for themselves. Recruiters should have a strong company story to tell that not only engages the employee, but helps them understand and see how their strengths will bring that mission to light.

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