How to keep candidates happy throughout your hiring process

The article explores the importance of keeping candidates happy during the hiring process. What can be done to improve it, and why can it be so beneficial.

Candidate Experience
 — 
15
 Min read
 — 
May 17, 2021

There is fierce competition amongst businesses to find and have the brightest and best employees. 🔥

For many businesses, this has prompted a change in approach and more careful consideration of the recruitment process. 

Companies see this arena, the communication between employer and candidate in the hiring process, as integral to ensuring that your business is the number one choice for prospective employees. 

Implementing a more personal attitude to candidate experience where the candidates know that their time and efforts are appreciated, regardless of whether they got the job, or unfortunately, did not. 😊

This article will explore the importance of keeping candidates happy throughout the hiring process.

We will explain:

  • What is candidate experience? And why it can be crucial.
  • The ways you can make candidate's happy and the steps you can take to radically change your hiring process, such as:
    - Open communication between candidate and your company
    - Embracing a more human and transparent attitude to your interaction with candidates
    - How to showcase your company in the best light possible for 21st-century audiences.
    - Going the distance with candidates. Whether they were successful in their application or not.
  • And why should candidate experience matter to companies. From the moment a candidate sees a job advertisement all the way through to onboarding, to make the experience more beneficial for your business and those seeking to work there. Looking at examples and the possible implications of:
    - Good candidate experience
    - Bad candidate experience


What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience is the experience a candidate has when they apply for a job at a company. 

It charts the candidate's journey from the moment they lay eyes on the job advertisement, all the way through to onboarding, the first scroll through the career site to rejection or acceptance. 🛣️

It is the candidate's judgment of a business based on their interactions during the hiring process. Which, ultimately, could have a massive influence on a candidate's decision-making. 🤔

🙋That's serious. I never thought of it like that. What can I do?


How to make candidates happy and enrich your hiring process

For any business and potential candidates, the hiring process can be a struggle. Here are some top tips on ways a company can keep their candidates happy throughout the process and improve their candidate's experience.


Hello, How are you? Communicate! 👋

Human beings like to know how things are going. We'd rather hear bad news than not receive any information at all. It is in our nature. We want the security that knowledge brings, and being in the dark is never fun. 

This is the same for candidates in the hiring process. 

For many candidates, a problem they have with the hiring process is the lack of contact and communication between the company they have applied for a position in and themselves. 

It seems like a never-ending waiting game, which is not suitable for anyone's state of mind. ⌚

But there is a simple solution. Communication! 

When candidates apply for a role at a company, this forges a connection between the two. So, like any connection, there needs to be an effort to develop and grow it, to water the plant. 

You could improve your communication with candidates in many ways by broadening the range of interactions between you and the candidates. Whether there is news on the progress of their application or no current information, and you are simply sending a reminder email that they have not been forgotten! You could also provide opportunities for candidates to tell you about their experience in the recruitment process. 

Through this, you are making the hiring process better for each candidate in turn. For an informed candidate means a happy candidate. 


The Human Touch 🤗

Within your hiring process timeline, establishing touchpoints for you and your candidate to communicate could be a brilliant idea. 

Integrating into your process fixed moments where you can check-in lets candidates know they are still in your thoughts. Which can do wonders for people's state of mind.

You can choose to have as many or as little as you wish, but actively seeking communication with candidates could make someone's day. 

Applying for jobs is a reasonably lonely pastime. So if someone shows interest or desire to engage, you'd feel pretty happy. Which, in turn, could make them feel pretty good about your business who have taken time to get to know their potential new employee better. 👍

And suppose you want to personalize your interactions. In that case, simply using your candidate's chosen name within correspondence or adjusting the tone of your exchange to be more individually focussed can give it a more human feel.

This also relates to answering emails. We are on our phones and computers so much that there is no excuse not to answer concerns or offer support. Obviously, within working hours, of course! 🖥️

Furthermore, for recruitment teams worldwide, the worst part of the job is dealing out the rejections. If you find yourself writing a rejection email, why not give some feedback on the candidate's application. They may be disappointed with the bad news, but feedback gives the candidates something to improve upon to avoid disappointment next time. They will be thankful to you for highlighting how they can improve their suitability for other jobs.


Personalization is key

It may be more work, but personalization is key to modernizing your business's practices. A lapse and retreat back to the robotic interaction of company and candidate in a hiring process could give advantages to other companies. Those taking a more human approach to communication may attract a broader range of employees based on their new personal reputation.


Welcome to the club! ♣️

Why not use the hiring process to share news about your company with your candidates.

You can share insight into the company in the form of:

  • Social media posts. 
  • Videos or testimonials
  • Blog posts
  • Emails ( but not of the spamming kind!)

Visual or written content drives positive interest and engages candidates. If done well, it can capture the candidate's imagination. It can highlight to the candidate why they were right in applying for the position and why this company is the best place for them. And can help portray the company in a positive light. Win-win!

These insights could provide a wealth of information for the candidate, such as:

  • How the hiring process works. For example, you could illustrate the hiring process to the candidates, explaining time frames and the different stages they will pass through via videos or diagrams. This knowledge keeps the job application and your company fresh in the candidate's mind.
  • What it is like to work for the company. Any practical information regarding the office, salary, location, daily office, or remote working life testimonials from current employees.
  • The different department's roles, what role does each play to the benefit of the company.
  • As well as the culture, what does the company do outside of work? Are there any sports teams, charity events?

And for the company, it can help to grow their brand and recognition. 

Welcome to the club

In this current age, 47% of recruiters regard social media as the main force driving brand recognition and growth across the world. It is where people predominantly receive their information, with 59% of candidates using social media to research the companies they are applying for, so your company's presence must be distinct and well-curated to attract the best candidates. (Source


A more concise recruitment process 🗄️

The bigger a company may be, one job posting may receive hundreds or even thousands of applications. So, finding the right personality amongst these applications may take time.

Setting a timeline and explaining it to the candidates is a good idea. By showing how long a hiring process may take will prepare their expectations. 

Coinciding with the touchpoints you may use to communicate with candidates; you can also use these to provide updates on the recruitment process.

Even if there is no news, some information or content to engage the candidate can maintain the candidate's attention towards your company and the role they have applied for. In such an environment, companies are searching for small advantages over their competitors to ensure that they can benefit the most economically and culturally. 😇

Or even tasks in the application process, preliminary phone interviews, would provide further evidence to support your decision-making on the best person for the job. ☎️

Direct contact boosts the feelings of the candidates. They feel that their application is going somewhere and makes the gap between news seem smaller. 🚶

And avoid any complaints of slowness or, even worse, candidates losing interest in the job and decide to take another offer. 🐌


The Aftermath 🔮

You have found the person you think has the right skills and personality to make a massive impact on your company's performance and culture.

Congratulations! 🎉


How to make sure the hiring process great for everyone

So, what about the candidates who didn't quite make the grade, close but no cigar? Do we forget all about them? Sweep them under the carpet?

No way! It is also essential that businesses implement practices to ensure that their candidate experience is as great for those who didn't get the job as the individual who did.

🙋So, what can I do to make sure these candidates are looked after?

They may not have got the job in question, but that does not mean the candidates should just be forgotten. 

By offering specific feedback to these candidates regarding their application can make a huge difference. An honest answer to why they may not have got the job, whether they do not have enough experience or skills, does not match the job specifications. 

This can be difficult for some candidates to swallow. However hard it may be to hear, candidates will thank you in the long run. Promise. 🤞

This actionable feedback shows the candidates how they can improve or do differently to receive the job offer next time.

Furthermore, you may come across many great individuals with some outstanding merits and skills when looking through all those applications. Although they weren't quite right for this job, they may be more suitable for a future role at your company that hasn't quite come up yet.

We can achieve this by maintaining contact and offering warm, friendly engagement to the past candidate via personalized emails. 

Thus, highlighting to the candidates that you are still thinking of them and a possibility of a future opportunity to work at your business one day. And offering them a chance to sign up to your Talent Agent site.

Through this, we are making the candidate happy and showcasing a work culture enriched by a warm and honest attitude to interacting with people and candidates, successful or not.


🙋But why does candidate experience matter to companies? What impact can one voice have?

A single voice often carries the loudest message. Your company's reputation is at stake. That may sound serious, but it is.

How you treat your candidates is crucial to how your companies are perceived. And it is as essential for your reputation as the interactions you share with customers who buy your products and services.

It is all interconnected. Your hiring process is as much a part of your overall business image as any other form of marketing.

It can go either two ways.


The Great Candidate Experience 🤗

 Did they feel personally connected and supported by their potential employers and colleagues? 

This positive interaction could reiterate to the candidate that their choice to apply for a role at this company was a brilliant idea. And lead them to accept a possible job offer gladly.


The Awful Candidate Experience 😢

Did the candidates feel isolated, waiting to hear for any form of news or information? With no form of contact made to link the candidate with the employer? 

No desire, no effort.

And then, six months after the candidate initially applied, an automated email appears in their Junk folder, telling them that they would not be progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process. 

They will never apply for another job at this company again. 🙅

18% of candidates believe that a bad candidate experience would stop them from using a company's product or service.

So, a lack of attention and engagement not only causes you to lose potential candidates for future positions but can also affect your revenue streams.

Decisions

If I was a business, I know which experience I would prefer.


Word spreads for good and bad reasons. 👄

As a candidate or customer, you see a logo or a name and have specific associations. As a company, your job is to make sure these associations are always positive.

A good candidate experience will boost feelings of goodwill towards your company. When communication is so easy and so quick, candidates may share their good experiences with others, trumpeting the values your business wants to show the world. 📈

And by the same logic, news of a bad experience will spread like wildfire. These bad candidate experiences add up. And potentially could cause a loss of respect towards you as an employer and a brand and causing a loss in business.📉

Ensuring all candidates, successful or not, are treated well and have a happy hiring process will help your business. 

Positive experiences stick in mind, and news spreads to other customers or candidates. Especially experiences where candidates get something. Be that a new job, application experience, or feedback to help them in their future searches. Consequently, candidates won't reject the chance of applying or accepting an offer to work with your company in the future.


The importance of keeping candidates happy throughout the hiring process

The hiring process can be a stressful and troublesome experience for both companies and candidates alike. 

For recruiters, finding a person amidst a pile of CVs and application letters with the right qualifications, experience, and personality to fit seamlessly into the company's culture, that's a lot of work. 📚

And for candidates, it is the same. The work to complete an application takes time and the waiting game for news, well it is never easy. 🚦

That sounds dreary.

So, for both parties' sake, it is time to level up the hiring process. 🆙

Putting a friendly, warm identity into your recruitment process can help make the candidate experience a far happier journey for those applying for your positions. It can help to:

  • Boost Awareness. By making more people aware of what a great company you are.
  • Increases Consideration and Interest. Positive reviews from other candidates will make others look to your company first when applying for a new role.
  • Creates a broader net to fish from. More interest means more candidates to choose from and help you find the brightest and best to drive your company forward!
  • For future reference. Those who may have been unlucky the first time they applied for a job may be perfect for a future position. Through engagement and attention in the post-hiring process, you can keep these candidates close and primed to take on these new roles.
  • Win-win for everyone! Ultimately, the changes you make as a company could bring great rewards. A good reputation for looking after employees and those who have any interaction with your company. As well as the financial benefits of hiring the best candidates.

And we can keep candidates happy throughout the hiring process by following these key steps:

  • Communicate. Please provide information on the progress of the candidate's application. Let the candidates know what you are doing to help them. Increased interaction and engagement allow the candidate to see the company better.
  • Personalize your interactions. You don't need to play it cool! Candidates want to feel wanted and respected. Do this via your interactions. Use first names, write in a warm, friendly tone. Make the candidate feel special!
  • Share Insight into your company. A view into the world of your business, content drives interest. It can show what type of people work there and the ethos and culture. Impressing upon the candidate that this is a great company. It can highlight to the candidate why they were right in applying for the position and why this company is the best place for them.
  • You remember that a candidate's experience goes beyond rejection or acceptance. You don't just burn the bridges down once you have your candidate. You never know; the candidate may be more suitable for a different position. You also do not want the candidates to have had such a bad time it sours their relationship with your company forever, which can affect your money. Treat the candidates well, provide advice on how they could improve and maintain contact in case of other opportunities. 

Stay tuned for further posts on the importance of candidate experience and how your approach can revolutionize your business!

Like the article? Spread the word