Candidate Engagement. Candidate Experience. Candidate Journey.
Recruiters (and recruitment blogs) talk about these all the time. What no one ever says is that they all fall under one umbrella: Candidate Care.
Candidate Care as a concept isn’t complicated – it’s how you treat each and every candidate your business interacts with, whether through your own team or through external partners.
Why is Candidate Care Important?
Many people will assume candidate care mainly applies to people who are brought to interview or who are eventually hired. It doesn’t. It applies to every person who reads your job ad online, who gets a message from a recruiter, who enters into a discussion, or who applies for a role.
First impressions are important and how candidates see your company brand will affect their perceptions of you in future. Job applicants who don’t receive an offer are 80% more likely to apply again if they had a good candidate experience.
And 63% will reject a job offer because of a bad candidate experience. How you and your representatives treat candidates is key to future recruiting success.
Candidate Care From the First Touch Point
Candidate Care begins right at the beginning, with a job description or a role outline for your recruitment partners.
After all, if someone takes the time to apply for a role they think they’re very qualified for, only to find out they’re not, that’s a bad candidate experience. If they apply for a position and find out there’s a lot more work involved than in the description, that’s also a bad experience.
If your recruitment partner isn’t properly briefed on the position, and start reaching out to candidates, they’re going to be targeting the wrong people. They’ll be wasting candidates’ time and perhaps disappointing them when it turns out they won’t suit the role.
Do You Have a Detailed Candidate Journey?
When you first attract a candidate, does your brand seduce them? The behaviours of everyone involved in the process to attract a candidate has to be consistent, from the hiring manager, recruiter, even your social branding and messaging has an immediate impact and possible influence on a candidate.
How you engage and reach out to your candidate and the voice you use as a brand will set the tone early on. Whether your potential candidate is passive or an active applicant, a negative experience can switch them off – and often it’s a small world out there if you are trying to fill niche roles.
Finally, once you have recruited your perfect candidate, you need to carry on that care. At Solutions Driven, we conduct three-monthly calls with all our placed candidates until their year anniversary with the business. It’s an open, honest conversation about how things are going and we feed highlights and lowlights back to the hiring manager or line manager.
It’s something you should also consider for internal hires. You might have a yearly review process but the first few months at a business are the most difficult so it’s worth checking in on hires and making sure the experience is as they expected.
When Candidate Care Goes Wrong
It’s unlikely a candidate will remember much about your Brand if they have a positive experience, but what happens if they have a negative experience. In our new digital world, probably a lot!
According to a survey completed by CareerArc, nearly 60% of candidates surveyed said they had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.
A typical candidate may spend up to three hours preparing and submitting one application, it’s not surprising a negative or poor journey results in such a high percentage of negative feedback online.
Candidate Care When They’re Unsuccessful
It’s not all about the successful candidate either, when a candidate is unsuccessful, candidate care is still important. The feedback process and tone in which feedback is given, good or bad, needs to be non biased but honest.
This highlights again the need for collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters so everyone fully understands where a candidate fell short – whether it be related directly to skills, culture or experience.