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Candidate Experience – What is it & Why is it Important?

What is the candidate experience?

So how exactly can you define the candidate experience? Well as it’s very subjective it’s hard to pinpoint an exact definition, however, generally speaking, the candidate experience is a job seekers perception, thoughts and opinions on an employer’s complete hiring process. Whether this is negative or positive, each candidate forms their decision before, during and after their experience.

Why is this important?

Candidate experience plays an important role in building the employer brand. A company’s brand is an invaluable asset that has the potential to affect all aspects of a business. Which, from a hiring point of view, a strong brand can result in a job seeker favouring one company over another.

They may choose to apply for a job because they are interested in the company as a whole and not just the role. This can be achieved through a positive candidate experience where the application process was clear, well thought out and fair to all those who applied.

How can you ensure a positive experience?

Whilst it’s difficult to create a hiring strategy that will guarantee a positive candidate experience. Employers can safeguard their process to help job seekers feel satisfied with their hiring journey. For example, take these four factors below into consideration to promote a positive experience:

Communication – simple communication and guidance from an employer can maintain a level of engagement with the candidate to ensure their hiring experience is a positive one.

Simplify your process – overly complicated hiring techniques and processes can contribute to a negative candidate experience. Candidates will either drop out due to a lengthy and confusing application process or be reluctant to apply again in the future. Keep it simple and relatively easy for all qualified candidates to apply.

Remove bias  bias within a hiring strategy results in some employers favouring job seekers due to unjustified and unfair reasons. If a candidate feels their application was disregarded due to factors unrelated to the job role, not only will they feel frustrated, they’ll be unlikely to reapply again in the future and advise others to do the same.

Feedback – treat candidates the same throughout all recruitment stages. Often what leaves the most important lasting impression is how candidates are treated once their application comes to an end. If they have been unsuccessful following an interview, feedback is key to maintaining a strong employer and candidate relationship. Treat them with respect and offer worthwhile feedback.

What does a negative candidate experience mean for business?

A negative candidate experience can encourage unhappy job seekers to express their negative thoughts and opinions online and to those around them. Through online review sites and social media, negative experiences can be shared with a much larger audience than word of mouth could ever achieve. Therefore it’s paramount for an employers brand and talent attraction strategy that all candidates receive the same equal and positive treatment.

Not only is a brand at risk but an unhappy job seeker can also create finical implications. A dissatisfied applicant that drops out at any stage can be costly, due to the time and resources invested into finding the right candidate for the right job role.

 

…& that’s it! We want to know your thoughts, so let us know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs.

Read our latest employer and recruiter blog! How to put a candidate at ease during a job interview.

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