Candidate Experience: Don’t Fall at the Final Hurdle

Candidate experience is a popular topic of conversation within the search profession and is the focus of a growing number of blogs and articles. In the race for talent, providing an outstanding candidate experience can be a real differentiator, setting your organisation apart from the competition.

However, the repercussions of failing to address this crucial element of the hiring process go much further than simply missing out on top candidates. With your interactions and engagements offering insight into your organisation and culture, providing a substandard candidate experience can have significant implications for your brand and reputation in the longer term.

Whilst, few would argue against the importance of candidate experience, a surprising number of organisations overlook the final part of the journey, the time between offer and start date. We’re increasingly seeing inconsistencies in the tracking of candidates through the offer process. If you were to ask any team to analyse declined offer reasons, offers yet to be accepted, and accepted offers, the likelihood is that the data will be stored in a number of places and will more than likely be out of date or inaccurate. Given the work required to reach the offer stage, not having a consistent process to manage engagement through to and beyond a start date poses significant risk.

If your system has the functionality, use it to your advantage

Within Invenias, by creating an “Offer and Placement” record, we provide a way of structuring the management of this process. A simple workflow management process of putting reminders in your diary to follow up with a candidate a month before, a week before and the date they start a new job, is an investment that pays back many times over. The time between making an offer and a candidate finally walking in the door should not be neglected. In fact, it could be the single period where the most damage can be done, making all your hard work in reaching the final stage of the hiring process redundant. Months invested in researching an entire market, building out longlists, selecting a shortlist, interviewing candidates and managing an offer can be completely undone with a counter offer or another issue you were simply not aware of. As well as minimising the risk of losing candidates before their start date, regular communication with candidates will strengthen relationships which may result in referrals of other candidates, recommendations and other business opportunities.

Companies that get on-boarding and candidate experience right receive a lot of positive press and credit. But bad news travels fast, particularly in an industry such as search, where relationships are so important. You don’t have to look too hard to find people who have not only had a terrible experience, but are forthcoming in sharing these experiences amongst their networks. Those who drive engagement throughout the entire process help ensure that candidates feel positive and look forward to starting their new role, eliminating any first day reservations that might otherwise exist. A simple communication from the hiring manager or members of the team is incredibly powerful and still less common than it should be.

In conclusion, don’t take any chances. Don’t rely on short cuts. Don’t expect to fully automate the whole process, relationships don’t work that way. Invest the time in continuing to build that relationship and above all don’t overlook the time between offer and start date. And if your system has the functionality, use it to your advantage.