As our number one biggest recruitment mistake in 2019 (check out our article here), creating a wow candidate experience is more important than ever. This may seem daunting when you’ve just raised funds or it’s your first time hiring. We are here to help!
So how do we ensure every single candidate walks away feeling like a king or queen?
It’s all in the details.
And it most likely isn’t what you’d expect!
The secret to a wow candidate experience? We must pay extra special attention when we ARE NOT interested in a candidate.
This may seem counter-intuitive and a waste of energy, but giving every single candidate a 5-star experience for even the smallest interaction will provide long term reinforcement for your employer brand. The candidates you like and are ready to hire are already getting the best of you. But it’s the 98% that you may not even see in an interview who truly count.
For candidates who don’t make it to the interview:
An average of 100+ candidates apply to each job post. Multiply that by the number of open roles you have per year and you have the number of potential advocates for your employer brand. Even when you are using a job board or some sort of automation, adding a personalized touch reminds candidates that they are still humans and not numbers. When possible, constructive feedback should still be given.
Tip: Create personalizable templates for the different types of candidate rejection letters. It should be clear why it’s not a fit and apply to their specific case. Often times it is just bad timing, so be sure to add these candidates to a dedicated talent pool and follow up so they stay ripe for your employer brand in the future.
For candidates you have seen in an interview:
It’s always best to go out of your way to validate the positive aspects of the interview. There should be something if you decided to speak with them after all (otherwise, your screening may be the problem and we can help with that here).
Now getting to the more difficult part: providing constructive feedback.
This is an absolute must for a wow candidate experience! There is no get out of jail free cards with a lame culture fit excuse. Whether you like it or not, this will have an impact on your employer brand in the long run (see more about this here).
However, this certainly doesn’t mean that you should waste time! So how to find the balance?
Tip: Practice gracious ways for ending conversations short.
Then create well-structured yet personalized templates that allow for easy feedback. In addition, all feedback should be well supported with concrete examples and actionable steps to improve. No one likes being rejected for no reason, so honesty is key (plus it’s excellent practice for your own team!). With structured interviews and a well-defined hiring scorecard, this should be clear and obvious! (If not, click here).
How should feedback be given?
By the interviewer themselves over the phone. This is especially true if you have seen the candidate in person. Passing this task off to HR or your recruiter may seem like a great way to save time, but this is a great way to cause frustration with candidates. Hence, this can greatly damage your employer brand as a result. Not worth it!
Creating a wow candidate experience is easily within your reach
When we treat every interview as an opportunity to perfect our pitch and show that each and every candidate has been seen and appreciated, we turn something daunting into a useful learning experience. So even if a candidate isn’t the perfect match today, it’s never an excuse for an unprofessional grilling of their experience, nonchalant answers or any other behavior that doesn’t follow the golden rule (treating candidates as you want to be treated!). There must be a balance between testing candidate skills and putting them in the conditions for success. So never underestimate the importance of a wow candidate experience!