In a highly competitive employment market, there is one phrase that all recruiters need to be aware of: “ The Candidate is King.” Take that on board for a moment and think about what it means. Now take a moment to review your strategy, and is it fit for a King? 

Candidate Experience is shifting to a full-mature area of focus under the talent acquisition parasol. Let me ask you a question: if you eat out in a restaurant and have a poor experience, what do you decide? Never eat out again? Of course not; you simply do not go back to the said restaurant. And that is how modern job seekers are looking at your vacancies, your business, and your brand.

The world has changed drastically over the last three years, and job search is one of the areas that must be adapted to suit. Qualified candidates know their value and what they want, and if they feel a job does not look right, they will simply move on and look for one that does. Callous it may sound, but when they find the right experience, that job seeker will be totally committed and only have positive things to say about you and your business. Just like you will be a returning customer to your favorite restaurant while slating the bad one!

The most successful recruiters strive to develop the best possible experience knowing that the result will deliver direct and tangible results. One way to do this is to create a competitive advantage within the workplace. You have undoubtedly seen some good and bad examples of this, such as free beer (WeWork anyone?), food, travel perks, and all kinds of social events being squeezed into a working week. But guess what? Most employees don’t care about this. Why? Because after a long day, most people take a lot more comfort from getting back to their families and choose that over any corporate event or table tennis competition in the ‘ break out area after 5’. Let us be frank; this was all done in the early 2000s by tech giants such as Google & Facebook, etc.; it is quite frankly ‘old hat’ now. And don’t think under 25’s are any different; most of them want to meet their friends or go home to games consoles, not hang around with their trendy boss.

So What Is A Good Candidate Experience?

Look, let us get into the real world; the biggest lure is salary. But do not lose faith as not every company has huge recruitment budgets, so combining pay and how well candidates are treated and engaged during the hiring process is extremely important. Below you will find some key ingredients that can help you create the perfect candidate experience cake: 

  • Competitive Salary
  • Working Environment
  • Homework Options
  • Location
  • Pension
  • Healthcare
  • Team Spirit
  • Respect
  • The right mix of personalities
  • Workload
  • Hours of work
  • Training & Support
  • Prospects
  • The ambition of the leadership
  • An environment where feedback is encouraged
  • Honesty & Integrity 

Lots to consider, of course, and I am not suggesting you need to have all of the above, but if you don’t have at least 4 of these ingredients in place, you need to rethink your recruitment strategy. 

Organizations should do everything possible to help create the best candidate experience and project that experience from the inside out. What does this mean? What you are doing with your current staff is vital since it helps you attract talent who is not yet known to you who may be encouraged to join your organization through referrals and word of mouth. And guess what? You get this blend correct, and you can also expect to see your brand grow too. 

Candidate Experience Sorted? What Steps You Can Take To Get The Right Talent Pool.

Step 1: Test the Entire Hiring Process
Examine the entire hiring process, identify and fill in any gaps, such as comprehensive and unbiased job descriptions and your interviewing technique. Also, prepare company history and be ready to sell the role to make sure you secure the person you need.

Step 2: Put Yourself In The Applicants Shoes
It may sound crazy but apply for your job and role play out the process. Were you excited, confused, happy, room for improvement, or was it perfect? Candidates’ needs and preferences will differ depending on the role they’re applying for and the stage in their career, so make sure you consider all the variables.

Step 3: Use Technology
Develop a tech-enabled candidate experience strategy to be competently involved with the whole process. This will help you build a wider talent pool, eliminate the latency and delay that a manual-only method brings.

Step 4: Add This This Key Question To Your Interview
Once you have neared the end of each interview, sit back, say nothing and then count to ten in your head. Then look at the person and ask yourself this question: “ Would I work under this person if the roles were reversed?” If the answer is yes, there is a fit. Needless to say, if it is a no, then keep looking!

Final Thoughts
It is critical to remember that a positive candidate experience is an excellent chance to promote a positive employer brand for your firm. Your employer brand can make or disrupt your chances of attracting top talent, so it must be carefully managed. Remember, ‘ The Candidate Is King’, without them, you would not have a business, would you?

About Shane McGourty

Shane is the Global Managing Director and founding member of Job Search Portal

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