Candidate Experience – is it worth investing in?

In the process of recruiting employees, even the smallest details are important, which may impact not only the effectiveness of selecting the right candidate but also building a good reputation. Although entrepreneurs are accustomed to the fact that it is the potential employee who has to make the right impression, they should also take care of high standards related to recruitment.

At this point it is necessary to bring up a concept that is becoming more and more popular nowadays – the Candidate Experience – let's check what it is and if it is worth bringing to your company.

Candidate Experience – what is it?

Candidate Experience is loosely translated as "the candidate's experience", but to elaborate a bit more on this, it is the aggregate of all the experiences a candidate has collected from the recruitment process in which they participated. A potential employee forms an opinion about a company at every stage of contact with it – not only during an interview, but also while reading a job offer, waiting for feedback from a recruiter, or learning about the positive or negative assessment of their CV. Candidate Experience research should be crucial for entrepreneurs because thanks to it, it is possible to improve the quality of the recruitment process and gain many benefits for the company, which we will talk about a little later. Unfortunately, only 50% of employees on the Polish labour market are satisfied with the way they were treated in the recruitment process. Those who are dissatisfied point out, among other things, inadequate communication during the recruitment process, not enough detailed job advertisements or the lack of a response from the recruiter, which they expect even if it is to be negative feedback. 

Failure to take sufficient care of the candidate experience can lead to a situation where candidates form a negative opinion not only about the recruitment standards, but also the company itself. When they start to share their disappointment with others, it will adversely affect the reputation and may result, for example, in fewer applications during subsequent employee recruitment processes. And this will significantly reduce the company's chances of finding suitably qualified employees.

What influences the Candidate Experience?

Several factors influence the Candidate Experience by building negative or positive candidate experiences. The most important of these include:

  • the quality of the job offer – the advertisement should inform the candidates as exhaustively as possible about what the company requires from them and what they will gain by taking up the job;
  • the quality of the website and social media communication – after reading an advert, a candidate will want to know more about the company to which they are submitting their CV and is likely to check out their website and social media profiles;
  • application method – the easier and faster an employee can apply for a position, the better the perception of the company will be;
  • the quality of the interview – the candidates will assess how comfortable they felt during the interview with the recruiter, and whether all the necessary information was provided during the interview, e.g. about expectations, company standards and next steps in the recruitment process;
  • communication in the recruitment process after the interview – this mainly refers to staying in touch with the employee and giving feedback, even if it is negative (find out more here about why you should care about this issue).
Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

What are the benefits of a proper Candidate Experience for the company?

By conducting thorough Candidate Experience research and effectively managing your recruitment processes, you will gain numerous benefits. Above all – your company will be well perceived by potential employees and they will be willing to send you their CVs and even swap their current job for the one you offer. With the right recruitment communication, the reputation for good standards will spread and you'll have a better chance of attracting experienced professionals who will drive your business forward. But that's not all. Thanks to good Candidate Experience practices, you will gain knowledge about the recruitment processes in the company, you will get to know the candidate's opinion about your company and you will even learn what this issue looks like in other companies. A potential employee can be a real mine of knowledge, thanks to which you can improve the quality of employee recruitment, as well as improve other aspects of the company's functioning.

What can be undertaken to improve the candidate experience?

The key to improving the Candidate Experience is to invite the candidate to complete a survey on the quality of your company's recruitment process, which will include both closed and open questions. It's a good idea to include questions that address a variety of issues, such as:

  • how the candidates found out about the job advertisement;
  • what prompted him to respond to the ads and what made him feel hesitant;
  • what the strengths and weaknesses of the recruitment process were;
  • whether the recruitment communication lived up to their expectations and the recruiter provided them with all the necessary information;
  • how they liked the interview;
  • whether the candidates would like to recommend the company to their friends and many more.

Based on such an assessment of the recruitment process, it is possible to gain knowledge that will allow to raise standards and improve the Candidate Experience. However, this is only the beginning of the road to building a positive employee experience. Regardless of the results of the survey, it is worth following good practices in this area and applying solutions that will improve the quality of the recruitment process. These include:

  • precise presentation of employment conditions to the employees – they value information on the remuneration much more than the fact that they will be working in a "young and dynamic team";
  • communicate accurately what you expect from the candidate – on the one hand, this will give them confidence that they have sent their CV to the right company, and on the other hand, it will allow you to recruit only employees with relevant experience and high qualifications;
  • allowing candidates to ask questions and answering them immediately (in a concrete and direct way);
  • informing the candidates about the next steps in the recruitment process and what to expect in the short term;
  • feedback, both on the application and at the end of the recruitment process (even if it is negative).

Automation of the recruitment process can also be of significant importance – We recommend in particular the ATS (applicant tracking system), which will allow you to improve the selection of employees and give you the possibility of, for example, answering candidates automatically, which on the one hand ensures an excellent level of communication in recruitment, and on the other hand streamlines the recruiter's activities.