Forbes recently posted an article titled “A Caring Candidate Experience: It’s All in the Communications.” The article reminds us how important the candidate experience is and its role in a company’s ability to bring in top talent. In the aftermath of 2020, many companies are looking to rebuild and ramp up hiring efforts. As the article’s author, Christina Schmit, puts it, “It’s never been a better time to focus on a caring candidate experience and making meaningful human connections with high-touch engagement via technology.”
The article provides important tips for candidate experience, including:
- Respond to every applicant – every single one.
- Design Communications for unsuccessful applicants or resumes.
- Set internal rules of engagement.
- Be intentional with external communications.
- Establish a protocol for rejected candidates after an interview.
- Survey your candidates.
At Personify, we understand how critical the candidate experience is and strive to deliver on all aspects for every candidate. And while every touchpoint is important, as candidates progress in the hiring process, thoughtful and personal communications become more critical to delivering a superior candidate experience. Candidates should feel good about the process and every interaction along the way.
Personify carries much of the candidate experience responsibility on behalf of our clients, and we take it very seriously. That’s why we take the time to get to know the companies we work with as well as the individuals we encounter along the way (candidates, hiring managers, and HR Business Partners to name a few). Getting to know the people in the process helps us deliver the best possible candidate experience by making every interaction as personal as possible. Communicating with a thoughtful and caring mindset is always at the forefront of our minds.
Read Forbes’ article “A Caring Candidate Experience: It’s All in the Communications“ below.
A Caring Candidate Experience: It’s All In The Communications
Many companies are looking forward in 2021 to rebuilding their organizations and hiring top talent. Now is the time to revisit talent acquisition strategies. Candidates deserve the same treatment as teammates and customers; after all, they are prospective future teammates and/or customers. The talent community has a responsibility to build a personalized experience that feels real, human and authentic.
It’s never been a better time to focus on a caring candidate experience and making meaningful human connections with high-touch engagement via technology. To create a world-class experience, we need to understand what it feels like to go through the process. A journey map exercise with key touchpoints is a great way to make this happen. The secret? Communication. Feeling the human experience will guide the process to unpack the talent experience. Think about every step of the journey, and start with these tips:
• Respond to every applicant — every single one: Start with an acknowledgment. The first communication can be fun and display your appreciation. Thank the candidate for delighting you by applying. If you have the technology, set up automation through email or text. For high-volume roles, forget email. Send everything through a system-generated text message.
• Design communications for unsuccessful applicants or resumes: They’ve had acknowledgment. Now, a great practice is to use language such as, “The talent team will review your profile and be in touch if your qualifications match our needs for the role. If you are not selected to move forward with this position, keep an eye on our careers page for new openings.” Keep the pipeline moving. If you have an applicant tracking system (ATS) or customer relationship management (CRM) platform, tag and notate the candidate. Hopefully, you can position the candidate for another role at your company. Explore all options and work in the best interest of the company and the candidates.
• Design communications for candidates rejected after a phone screen: Always move forward and communicate with transparency. Ensure the candidate you are rejecting is treated with respect and care. Put yourself in their shoes. Does the candidate have any possible skills for your company? If not, archive appropriately with notes. If skills are present, note and archive so you can tag or find the candidate in the future.
• Set internal rules of engagement: For the interview process to run smoothly, you need to make sure that the hiring team is completely aligned. Getting all this right sounds simple, but a lack of organization can cause delays and confusion that leads to negative candidate experiences. Internal communications and follow-up are just as critical. Rules of engagement and a caring process must be determined and displayed authentically.
• Be intentional with external communications: Communication will make all the difference to a candidate’s experience during the interview process. Keep candidates up to date with the status of their applications on a regular basis. Make sure the communications reflect your culture. Throw in some unexpected delight. Complement, make a connection and tell the person you’re really glad you had the opportunity to talk to them.
• Establish a protocol for rejected candidates after an interview: I believe that a phone call from the recruiter is best in class, especially if the candidate visited the office in person. Make the effort! Alternately, a rejection email can be crafted in a caring way to leave a candidate feeling the love and the desire to apply again.
• Survey your candidates: A Talent Promoter Score (TPS), according to recruitment software firm Beamery, “is a measure of how likely a candidate is to refer friends or colleagues to your organization” — in other words, it’s a measure of their happiness and willingness to promote your company. Gage your score by asking candidates how likely they are to recommend your company via a brief survey. Leaving room for open-ended comments will be telling!
Be intentional about communications — take a good look at how you operate, invest the time, understand how you interact. Journey map and walk through the candidate experience to feel the experience. Create some intentional unexpected delight along the way. And finally, work for the company and work for your candidates: Be kind and treat everyone with respect.