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How to create a positive interview experience for candidates

  • November 16, 2022

Irrespective of company size or industry sector, attracting and recruiting the best candidates in the market has long been one of the key challenges for businesses.

In a candidate-driven market, the best talent is in such high demand that many have multiple options to choose from and the bargaining power lies in their hands.

The response from many businesses has been to increase the salaries they offer or boost their benefits packages as they endeavour to remain an attractive proposition to candidates.

Yet, with increased financial pressures caused by rising inflation rates, it’s becoming far harder for businesses to justify upping salaries in a bid to secure top talent.

While candidates will always place remuneration high up on their list of requirements, the experience they have whilst interviewing for a new role is now more of a consideration than ever before.

Why is candidate experience important?

The way candidates engage with potential employers, and what they look for from them, has changed significantly in recent times.

Feeling they’re valued, trusted and supported by employers is more important than ever before, due in part to the impact of the pandemic and resulting disruptions to many people’s careers and working practices.

Through their hiring process, businesses can demonstrate the value they place in their people and effort they’ll go to ensure they’re engaged. From the initial application right through to the job offer, every interaction can positively or negatively impact a candidate’s decision-making process.

Providing candidates with a positive experience has significant bearing on whether a candidate chooses to join or not. Therefore, to attract the best people, every stage of the recruitment process needs to be well thought out, with providing a positive candidate experience at the heart of it.

So, how can you create a positive candidate experience?

  1. Develop a simple, streamlined recruitment process

Have you considered whether your process is too drawn out, with too many stages? Do you require multiple team members to meet with candidates before making a decision?

It’s important to be mindful of your candidate’s time and the journey they take throughout your recruitment process. If it feels too long or a decision is hard to come by, you might find the candidates you wanted are getting snapped up by companies that move quickly.

Likewise, if your process involves unnecessary, multiple stages where candidates are asked similar questions, you run the risk of appearing disorganised and indecisive as a business.

  1. Review your job adverts

Today’s candidates want to see more from a job advert than simply a list of ‘must-haves’ or generic information about the business.

Ask yourself the question, “why would I want to work here?”

To engage and attract the best people and create excitement about the prospect of joining your business, use your job ads as an opportunity to showcase exactly who you are as a business, what makes you unique, your core values and what the future has in store for them.

In addition, give them clarity on what the role entails, what they can expect to achieve and what support they’ll be given in order to do so.

Having this clarity early on will mean candidates will be more bought in to the opportunity and will enter the process with a better understanding of the role they’ll play and the impact they’ll have.

  1. Communicate regularly

Candidates long to be kept in the loop and to know where they stand at every stage of the recruitment process.

It’s important to set expectations from the beginning on when they should expect to hear from you and even more important to deliver on these expectations. By communicating regularly and sticking to timeframes, you’ll demonstrate that you and your company are reliable.

Over-communicating will be far more appreciated than radio silence.

  1. Continuously review and adapt where needed

Reviewing what you’re doing and taking stock regularly is a great way to ensure you’re delivering the best experience for your candidates that you can and that it’s in line with what they want.

What’s important to candidates and the expectations they have of their employers is changing all the time, so being open to change and adaptable means your ability to recruit top talent won’t be compromised.

Listening to your candidates and acting on their feedback is important as it allows you to continuously develop your recruitment process, ensure you’re delivering a positive candidate experience and stand out from your competition.

Final thoughts

The changes you make don’t have to be too great, but at a time where the best candidates in the market have more opportunities than ever before, placing their experience at the heart of hiring strategies could help towards overcoming some of the current recruitment challenges.