With employment at the highest it has been in years, no longer are candidates running to fill positions they would have potentially taken in the past.  While it is our job to fill the open position with the best candidate, candidates are also looking into multiple positions and assessing to pick the best employer for them.  Now more than ever, we need to make the candidate experience memorable and great, even if the decision is, not to hire them.

Why is that?  A bad candidate experience will influence future decisions made by that person, such as, applying for other open positions as they become available, whether they will still frequent your place of business, and most importantly what they tell other people in their friend and professional networks.  These can all have a negative impact on your business and the reputation you took so long to build.

According to a study conducted by Talent Board, candidate resentment is up:

  • 40% increase of candidate resentment since 2016
  • Compared to last year, candidates are less likely to apply to the same company again based on their experience
  • They are also less likely to recommend you to their friends or professional peers

Think about those numbers.  If you have a decent volume of candidates coming through your business, for each position only one of those people will be hired.  If you are not providing for the other people who took time out of their day to see you, took time to prepare, and possibly came in for multiple interviews, you are taking a chance for serious consequences to your bottom line.

Providing a positive experience can increase the chances the candidate you choose will choose to accept the position.  They will be highly motivated and have more of an investment in their position which in turn will improve the likelihood of a long time employee.  The candidate who does not get offered the position will still be more likely to continue to apply for positions, frequent your place of business and will be more likely to recommend you to others as a place to do business but also to apply for work.  This increases your candidate pool significantly!

According to the same study when a candidate is rejected but gets job specific feedback on their qualifications and job fit:

  • Resentment rate decreased by 29%
  • Overall great candidate experience went up 20%
  • Candidates willingness to continue their relationship with the company increased by 20%

Candidates are starting to speak up and communication is extremely important to them.  If a candidate comes in for an interview and is left waiting for updates, they become disengaged and are more likely to accept another position.  Make sure when they leave you give them clear guidelines on timing for your recruitment process.  Although we are in the age of technology, make sure your candidates get a personal touch and not just a templated, thank you for your time.  This shows you are interested and grateful for their time.

Talent Board’s study showed how much communication really matters to today’s candidates:

  • Candidates who were able to communicate, even with a chatbot on your website, to ask questions were 80% more likely to increase their relationship with the employer
  • Candidates who received updates throughout the process rated their experience 50% higher than those who do not
  • Candidates who are rejected with a personal phone call and not an automated email rated their experience 23% higher

Lastly, the study found that candidates appreciated being asked for feedback throughout the recruitment process.  It promotes an environment of perceived fairness by the candidates when they feel like they are truly a part of the process.

  • When candidates are asked for feedback there is a 72% increase in a great candidate experience and willingness to increase their relationship with your company
  • They also reported a 72% increase when asked for feedback on the application process
  • When candidates are asked screen/interview feedback, the increase is a whopping 148%!
  • 76% of hired candidates who are asked for feedback on the process prior to starting are more willing to increase their relationship with you. What a great way to increase your retention rate!

There are many things a company and the HR department can do to increase the candidate experience but the above is a great way to start implementing small things that can go a long way to target and keep the perfect employees with a lower rate of turnover.  That is a win-win, a win for the employer and win for the employee.