The short answer is yes! Improving candidate experience has been linked to a better reputation as an employer, a higher calibre of applicants, and a better company culture.

The last 12 months have seen some drastic changes to the recruitment market across a wide range of industries and sectors as companies struggle to find the talent they need to survive and thrive in economic uncertainty. But one thing has become increasingly clear, candidate experience, from first introduction through to welcoming a new employee onboard, has become increasingly critical for businesses looking to hire.

More than ever, talent want to get to know an employer and, according to HR Drive, 90% of candidates will conduct a cursory online search before even applying, and even consider the recruitment process an indication of you as an employer.

However, this should not be cause for alarm as reviewing your candidate experience and elevating your employer branding is an unparalleled opportunity for your organisation as:

  • Good candidate experience can boost your employer brand
  • A good employer brand will attract a higher calibre of talent
  • Attracting a higher calibre of talent can reduce your time to hire
  • A quicker time to hire will decrease your recruitment costs

The benefits are clear: improving your candidate experience and subsequently your employer brand will save you precious time and money at a point in time where any cost saving is vital for sustainable growth and profitability.

Best practices to improve candidate experience:

  • Make sure you’re advertising current roles
  • Write clear job descriptions that are free from biased or discriminatory language
  • Make it as easy as possible for candidates to find and apply to your jobs
  • Prior to deciding on who to interview have a ‘pre-amble’ with as many candidates as possible. Minimise the filters you are applying via the CV and talk to people. You will unearth plenty of surprises
  • Follow-up early and often (preferably at every stage of the recruitment process)
  • Set candidate expectations for what in-person or video interviews will entail
  • Ensure interviewer is engaged and listening to candidates during interviews
  • Let candidates know early if they are no longer being considered for the role
  • Keep track of candidates who don’t fit current vacancies but may be good for future positions
  • Provide candidates with a briefing document, beyond the JD, giving insight into your market position, the performance of the business, the team, line manager and plan for the role
  • Set a timeline with your process and hit the deadlines. Your preferred candidates are much more likely to accept an offer if the process has been ‘slick’
  • Feedback, feedback, feedback. Candidates, whatever the outcome really appreciate knowing where they were strong and where there’s room for improvement, especially the ones you are rejecting. Not providing feedback after interviews is one of the most damaging things you can do
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of onboarding, especially if done remotely!

If you can institute these practices every time you undertake a hiring mandate, then you will increase your reputation as a fair and measured employer.

With the rise of employer review websites like Glassdoor and even LinkedIn, candidates often leave reviews of their experience. If your recruitment process is structured around a positive candidate experience, you’ll be more likely to attract positive reviews on these sites – even from candidates who didn’t get the job!

Additional measures you can take to elevate your employer brand:

Employer branding is how you convey yourself as an employer; what it’s like to work for your organisation, the company culture, the values and ethos that distinguish you from other organisations.

This means looking internally to define those qualities that make you an attractive employer and then working out how to convey that through your recruitment process and even those touchpoints with your candidates before they apply.

The best way to elevate your employer brand is to look at your content strategy across your website, careers pages, blogs, and company/employee social channels and ensure they convey a consistent message that showcases your company culture accurately and favourably.

This could be done through simple measures like:

  • Ensuring there’s a unified brand voice across all company channels
  • Using actual images of employees on the website and social media rather than stock imagery
  • Interspersing real-time social posts of life in the office with your scheduled content
  • Conveying the fun side of working life at your organisation, from team-building exercises to health and wellbeing incentives, these all look very attractive to potential applicants in blogs or social posts

Essentially, treating your candidates well to improve your employer brand and reputation in the market is a much longer process and even extends through to treating your employees well whether in the office or working from home, from looking after their mental health to cultivating a supportive and fun company culture.

At Trace we understand that people make a business, and attracting the right people starts with your recruitment process. We can help you create a recruitment strategy that ensures a positive candidate experience, improved employer brand, and happy, committed employees.

We believe company culture is the heartbeat of a company. Cultural fit is the basis of longevity, and in the face of further uncertainty, finding a match that will be a long-term placement with your organisation is of the utmost importance. It’s a crucial part of your business and should have a place in your recruitment strategy. We created our own Predictive Fit ProfilerTM (PFIT) process to ensure the right cultural fit every time. 

Find out more about how we can help you trace the right talent for your finance function by getting in touch with us today.

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