Much has been written about the importance of candidate experience. But what is a good candidate experience? It comes down to only two things:
- Communicate with candidates in a timely fashion
- Treat each candidate as the unique human being they are, not as a stat in your pipeline
The most frustrating part of applying for a job is not hearing back from the employer. As many as 65% of candidates never hear from the employer after applying. An overwhelming majority of candidates get rejected during the hiring process and as many as 80% get declined immediately after submitting their resume. But turns out candidates would much rather know that they are not proceeding further than wait anxiously for news that never comes. Sharing disappointing news with people is hard, but it can pay in spades for employers: candidates who are kept up to date on where they stand are 3.5 times more likely to re-apply for another job at the same company. Given that it costs US employers up to $4,000 to make a single hire, getting more new applications from rejected candidates can pay off.
The second pillar of candidate experience is treating people as the unique human beings they are. It starts with proactive outreach to passive candidates. All too often recruiters indiscriminately spam thousands of passive candidates with irrelevant jobs. Recruiting is a numbers game but smaller number of targeted outreaches with higher response rate can net higher number of candidates without burning the recruiting bridge to the company. Recruiters can improve the candidate experience by humanizing communication. Many candidates are on the receiving end of impersonal, bureaucratic-sounding and disingenuous messages such as “we will keep your information on file.” Imagine the amount of goodwill you can create if you wrote to the candidate “we don’t think you’re a fit for this role but would love to stay in touch and plan to consider you for other roles.”