Are you in a business that caters to its customers? Do want them to continue to buy your goods or services? Do you want them to refer their friends to you? Do you want them to spread the word about what a great company you are? If the answer to those questions is “yes,” then you care about your customers, what they think about you, and what kind of experience they have had with you. This is the customer experience.
Prioritizing talent acquisition experiences
While customers are important, if you don’t have employees to create that great experience, you won’t have customers for very long. Finding and securing top talent needs to be job one for most organizations. The companies that are doing that successfully understand the customer journey and prioritize the candidate experience.
“The candidate experience is comprised of the feelings, attitudes, and behaviors your hiring process brings out in the candidate.”
Positive candidate experiences evolve into positive employee experiences
Why does it matter?
- 78% of candidates will tell their family and friends about a bad experience
- 68% of job seekers say their interview experience impacts their decision to join the company
- 19% will post about it on social media
A positive candidate experience can evolve into a positive employee experience, improving company culture while decreasing turnover. Happier candidates will be more likely to leave positive Glassdoor reviews and other feedback, which can enhance your employer branding. You can confidently keep qualified candidates that didn’t receive an offer of employment in your talent pipeline and reengage them later. Candidates who have had positive experiences may send you referrals or contribute to your bottom line as clients or customers.
The candidate journey
Think about the journey your candidate goes on and what they experience. Some popular advice is that if you have a guest room and bath, you should sleep in it and use the bathroom so you know if there are any bumps in the mattress, heating and cooling issues, or crazy quirks with the set up. You need to “be the guest” and see what they experience. To create a positive and JoyPowered® candidate experience, consider “being the candidate” and see what their journey is like.
What does your candidate experience look like?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you assess your applicant experience:
- Employer brand and employee value proposition – What is your brand and employee value proposition? Is it accurately communicated on your website and on social media?
- Careers page – Is it easy to find or buried on the bottom of your website?
- Application process – Is it long with essay questions or under 5 minutes? Keep it short so applicants don’t feel like they have to jump through hoops just to start the process.
- Communications – Applicants often feel that their applications go into a black hole. Do you quickly and regularly communicate with applicants about the status of their candidacy?
- Interviews – Are the interviews scheduled with care, providing good directions, time frames, important details, and names and titles of who they will meet? Are interviewers well trained on how to conduct a legal, engaging, and effective interview? If you have an onsite interview with multiple interviewers, do you provide water, breaks, and opportunities for the candidate to see your culture and really share their story?
- Timeline – How long is your process? Keep the interview process moving with interviews scheduled within 3-5 days of each communication.
- Offers and rejections – Is the offer letter positive? Does it show enthusiasm or is it straight from the legal department with three ways you can be fired within 90 days? If a candidate does not get the job, do you communicate that? Is it a well-written email or obviously a form letter? If they invested a lot of time with your interview process, do you call them?
Delight your applicants with a great candidate experience
The candidate experience is an opportunity to truly delight your applicants as well as drive deeper engagement with employees. Use this opportunity as a springboard into a strategy to create a JoyPowered® employee experience. Attracting top talent will become less challenging, because they will want to work in this positive and JoyPowered® culture and for a company that is thoughtful and demonstrates that they care about people. Retaining top talent will improve, as well. With a better interview process and trained interviewers, you’ll be able to vet candidates better and ensure a great culture fit. Those candidates turned employees will be beacons of light for your organization and brand ambassadors, referring friends and sharing their experience.
You can do a major overhaul of your process or start with one or two tweaks.
People don’t remember what you said.
They don’t remember what you did.
They remember how you made them feel.
– Maya Angelou
Peggy Hogan is a member of PbPI and VP of Talent Services at Purple Ink LLC. Peggy enjoys connecting the right person to the right place, whether she’s career coaching, recruiting, or working on-site with a client. She is motivated to help create positive workspaces by offering creative solutions to problems in the workplace, resulting in reduced turnover, higher employee engagement, and increased productivity.