When it comes to attracting top-quality candidates for a role, that first impression of your organisation is especially critical. Even the very first touchpoint a candidate has with you as a prospective employer – your job advert – will significantly influence a candidate in their decision to apply.

This impression-forming stage of the interview process is called the candidate experience. So how exactly do we define the candidate experience? What stages does it cover? Everything from job ads and job descriptions, to the application and interview process – together with all communication between the candidate and employer and the initial phase of onboarding – all form part of this crucial phase. 

In this blog, we discuss five ways to create an excellent candidate experience. 

1. Wow the candidate with an exciting job advert

Your job advert really is your chance to let your organisation shine! From the moment a candidate sets eyes on your job ad, they must get a clear sense of what you’re all about. Include a clearly defined set of values alongside the role description and emphasise your organisation’s purpose and commitment to learning & development. 

Talking holistically about everything you can offer to employees, from competitive pay to unique perks and career pathways, will help position you as an employer of choice. Talk directly to the candidate, spelling out what they as a professional can get out of this opportunity. You may even want to embed a ‘day in the life’ video of your organisation within the job ad to showcase and bring your culture to life.

2. Communicate your employer brand 

An employer brand is much like any other brand – only it specifically refers to an employer’s reputation as a place to work. It’s how an organisation communicates itself as an identity to both candidates and existing employees. And since you’ve likely invested so much in your employer brand, it makes sense to actively market it as much as possible.

Your candidate experience should convey a sense of your employer brand at all touchpoints of the candidate experience. From the job description to the application phase and the interview, your employer brand should be ‘always on’.

What are your values? What’s your tone of voice and what kind of language do you use? Are you ‘fun’ or is your identity more serious and corporate – or a mixture of both? Clearly defining you who are through the language you use helps to attract the right kind of candidate. 

3. Make it easy to apply

A seamless application process can make all the difference to a candidate applying for your role – leaving an impression of efficiency and professionalism. 

Clunky, non-user-friendly interfaces can leave a negative impression of your company and if too complex, can even deter a candidate from applying. According to research by Glassdoor, reducing the time needed to complete an online job application by 10% is associated with a 2.3% increase in job applications from mobile job seekers and a 1.5% increase in applications from desktop job seekers.

The best job application processes make roles easy to find, provide clear application instructions, and inform the candidate ahead of applying what documents and information they will need to provide. 

These days, applications should ideally be mobile-friendly – especially when we consider Glassdoor’s research finding that 58% of its users today are looking for jobs on their phones.

ELMO Software, HROnboard’s parent company, helps organisations to streamline the hiring process with a dedicated Recruitment module. From job requisition approval through to offer acceptance, ELMO Recruitment enables organisations to build candidate sourcing capability and to refine recruitment workflows, screening questions, and interview processes – all while promoting value proposition to attract the best talent.

4. Communicate regularly

Regular communication with candidates throughout their journey will help to position you as a courteous employer who is genuinely interested in finding out more about the candidate. While a CV can give a good overall impression of a candidate’s experience and competencies, a quick initial phone call before inviting them for an interview will provide a better sense of their character and demeanour and helps to establish a relationship.

Following the interview, keep your candidate in the loop with the next steps of the process. Are you interviewing more candidates? Will there be a next stage following the face-to-face interview? Give them an outline of the next steps and expected timeframes and contact them as soon as their eligibility for the next stage has been determined.  

If the candidate is unsuccessful, it’s polite to let them know as soon as possible that you’re no longer considering them, and to thank them for their time. Ideally this will come from a personalised email address and will provide detailed feedback.

5. Make the onboarding process seamless

Onboarding spans from when a candidate accepts your job offer right up until the end of their first year of tenure into the new role (although this varies company to company). Assuming your candidate is happy to accept the job offer after their epic candidate experience, they will be sent the relevant documentation to accept. Making this process seamless is key. Don’t imagine that just because the candidate has verbally accepted that this is a done deal. 

Using HROnboard’s Onboarding solution to automate the creation, sending, and processing of job offers and advanced, faster job provisioning with a fully-customisable onboarding experience will help you on your way to providing that awesome candidate experience!

HROnboard, an ELMO company, offers a best-in-class software solution that reduces the amount of time HR teams and leaders spend securing the best candidates and undertaking the critical onboarding process for new hires. Our solution also helps manage internal employee role changes and can create a smooth and seamless process for exiting employees. To find out more, reach us here.

ELMO Cloud HR & Payroll offers end-to-end solutions for the entire employee lifecycle, from ‘hire to retire’. This includes recruitment, learning, performance management, payroll, rostering / time & attendance, and more. For further information, contact us.

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