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The advance of the Internet and technology in recruiting has all but overwhelmed hiring managers, recruiters, and HR staff. A lot of the niceties of the traditional process have disappeared or been replaced with digital processes such as email notification rather than a letter saying the employer found another candidate whose qualifications are a better match for the opening. A nationwide CareerBuilder survey in 2012 found that 75 percent of candidates said they never heard back employers after applying. MysteryApplicant.com found only five percent of applicants report having an excellent experience.

 

The Real Cost of Poor Candidate Experience

A poor or impolite recruiting process isn’t good for business and can actually hamper an employer’s ability to build a strong workforce. The same CareerBuilder survey found that almost half of candidates who had a bad applicant experience said they’d never reapply there again and almost a quarter of them said they’d tell others not to apply too. That makes paying attention to candidate experience a vital part of recruiting and workforce development in any organization.

With entire websites, forums, and social media platforms dedicated to discussing top employers as well as bad hiring processes, candidates have myriad ways to spread the word about how great or how poorly they were treated when applying and interviewing with your company.

 

Always Get Back to Candidates

Whether you incorporate good follow up and consistent communication in the recruiting process across your organization or just have a hiring manager and a recruiter who both keep job seekers informed at every step, making sure you’re not ignoring candidates creates a considerate experience. CareerBuilder highlights Shell Oil Company as providing model candidate experience with consistent, welcoming communications throughout their efficient application process. It may be difficult in the midst of a busy hiring campaign to keep in touch personally with every candidate. But it pays big dividends and creates good will when hiring managers take the time to thank candidates for interviewing, call to let them know where they stand in the process, and send a kind and professional rejection letter that preserves the recruiting relationship.

 

Use Branding in Recruiting Communications

While it’s almost a necessity to use digital communications in business today, autoresponder emails for recruiting communications can appear uncaring and almost rude. Brand your recruiting emails with your company logo, include company social media links, and include links to more information about the company such as blogs and employee stories. Do as much as possible to pack recruiting communications with valuable and entertaining information to show candidates you care that they understand your company and culture.

 

Seek Candidate Feedback

Survey candidates after they submit their applications, and then again during the recruiting process after the interview. Even if it’s only verbal, asking about how they liked or disliked the application process, or a simple one-page questionnaire. You’ll show you care about their experience and their input, they’ll feel valued and good about the company, and you’ll get good insight into how to improve your process.

With candidates’ ability to quickly and easily (perhaps with their smart phone on their way out of the office after a bad interview) share their experience on social media, the potential for bad buzz about your organization’s hiring practices is too great to ignore.

Take the time and care to build great candidate experience into your recruiting and hiring processes by being considerate of every candidate’s experience. Candidate experience is important to the bottom line and to a company’s ability to attract and retain top talent. There’s good reason that companies with strong brands and strategic candidate experience initiatives have a competitive edge in recruiting and talent management.

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