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What candidate experience myths do I need to know about?

Recruitment Advice

One of the latest buzzwords in recruitment is “The Candidate Experience”.  All of a sudden, employers have woken up to the fact that if they don’t keep their applicants happy – or at least communicate with them and treat them as real people – then the consequences can be far reaching!

Thanks to social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as good old-fashioned word of mouth, applicants that don’t feel you’ve made the effort with them, can quickly turn against you and make sure all of their network knows how they feel.

What are six ‘candidate experience’ truths that you might need to face up to?

1.  Our application process is easy

Is it?  Really?  Because it really doesn’t matter how perfectly crafted your job advert is, if an applicant has to spend too long filling in your application form, can’t easily access it on a variety of devices, or feels like the process is too complicated, then the likelihood is you’re turning them off and losing potentially great people.  Probably to your competitors.  Have you tested the process yourself recently?

 2.  We don’t need to communicate with applicants – they know how it works

If you invite an applicant to interview, you expect them to confirm their attendance and would judge them harshly if they didn’t.  It’s exactly the same for applicants when they apply for a role.  There’s no excuse for poor or non-existent communication as it is both an opportunity to showcase your employer brand and also helps manage applicant expectations in a consistent way. For more tips on this, check out Applicant Communication:  Arranging Interviews

3.  There are loads of applicants out there who want to work

This may be true (sometimes), but finding the ones that want to work for you, and more importantly have the right skill and cultural fit for your organisation, is not so straight forward.   Make sure you’re maximising your recruitment advertising options and that where you provide contact details for more information, that someone knowledgeable and in a position to help is available!

4.  We haven’t got time to give interview feedback

You should make time – if an applicant has been interviewed by you, then it really is bad form to not provide some degree of feedback, whether good or more on the constructive side.  It’ll help the applicant’s personal development and also provide a more positive experience, even though they didn’t get the job.

5.  Applicants have to be flexible – I’m busier than they are

Whilst you do indeed hold the cards as the hirer, no one likes to be messed around.  It’s likely your applicants will have to make special arrangements for things like telephone or face to face interviews so try and stick to the dates and arrangements you make.  Show that you respect their time too, or risk losing them.

6.  I trust my gut when hiring – it hasn’t let me down yet

The whole point of asking for applications/ CV’s is to allow you to go through an objective process.  Don’t write an applicant off because something hasn’t been expressed clearly in their CV or because you have a personal dislike for a characteristic or feature they have.  Instead, take the opportunity to explore this with them.  Your gut really has no place in the recruitment process at all!  In a very hard to hire market, you may also wish to consider the 70% hiring rule.

More articles …
How can I improve the candidate experience? How do I approach passive candidates? Where do I start with screening CVs? How do you tell unsuccessful applicants they didn’t get the job?

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