Candidate Experience and Employer Branding. They seem to be trending topics these days. When companies are looking to improve their recruitment strategy, the importance of a good candidate experience cannot be denied! We all know it, we all say it. But do we really put our money where our mouth is?
What is candidate experience?
Candidate experience is about ensuring that every single candidate (yes this includes applicants) receives honest and positive feedback – no matter what message you need to send. It includes communicating in the right way to everyone whether they make it to the interview or not even to the qualified stage.
Bad candidate experience can affect your employer brand
Why go through all the effort you’re thinking? Because if you don’t, you are fracturing your employer brand.
Employer brand means everything anyone has ever said about your brand.
Your customers speak about you, negatively, neutral, or better, positively. They are on social media, they talk to their friends and family. While a positive review can encourage the customer’s network to try the product or service you are offering, one negative review can be fatal. When communicating to that one customer, you are essentially speaking to her entire network.
The same goes when talking to candidates. They too have a network which they talk to about you. If they don’t describe the experience of applying to a job at your company as positive, take it from me, they will tell their friends about it. So not only will you have a candidate that will never apply or buy from you again, you will always lose potential customers.
Candidates can turn into customers
Think of it this way: a candidate in your hiring process might not fit the job or might not be interested in your offer for whatever reason… But this same person can still become a customer. Why? If they are positively approached with honest and personal communication, chances are that this candidate will buy your product/services in the future. Just because they have been treated so well. Isn’t that great?
Leveraging a good candidate experience
Now it’s time to leverage this. Focus on every single candidate touchpoint there is, whether it is directly with your HR people or on the social platforms you are on. Be honest and personal like I mentioned earlier, but there is more you can do to get the most out of it:
Ask for referrals
If they are not the right fit or if they are not interested at the moment, ask the candidate if they know anyone who might. Referrals have the highest applicant to hire rate – even though only 7% of referred candidates apply, nearly half, 40%, get hired. To further compare: it takes on average 128 applicants versus 12 referrals to make one hire. That is a huge win.
Integrate communication feedback loops
Even though this is a rather “old” piece of advice, there still remains so much hidden potential when it comes to implementing communication loops and asking for feedback.
Don’t ignore your candidates or send plain automated responses. Find a way that works for you to keep the communication loop going throughout the hiring process, whether it is a chatbot on social media or a dedicated team to answer all the questions.
Encourage two-way feedback; from your team to the candidate and from the candidate to the team. The better the communication, the better the feedback, the better the candidate experience and the greater your employer brand will become. Plus, how can we improve anything that we do without feedback?
I think we can all agree a positive candidate is important. So is employer branding. Now combine your efforts and ensure your candidate experience leads to a strong employer brand.
“A strong employer brand lends an organisation a significant competitive edge in recruiting, retaining and making the most of employees; it is a differentiator, aimed at building engagement and loyalty through identity.” – Jorgen Sunberg, CEO of Link Humans