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5 Ways to Create a Positive Candidate Experience and Attract Top-Tier Talent

First impressions matter. Are you giving each candidate who applies to your open roles a positive experience? By providing a positive candidate experience you increase the high-level talent you can attract as candidates with a positive experience are more likely to refer others to apply with an organization, as well as apply again, themselves. This ensures that you have a good reputation among employees in your industry, so you stand out when top talent does come along. When you meet a candidate that is an excellent fit, chances are that any other organizations they are meeting with will be thinking the same thing. You need to stand out to them as much as they stand out to you.

Here are 5 ways you can attract top talent by improving your candidate experience.

1. Have a clear job description

The interview stage is often talked about as the first impression a candidate has of your business. It is indeed the first time they interact with you, but where they are introduced is through the job description. Setting clear expectations for skills, duties, and compensation does multiple things for the candidate.

First, it shows that you value their time. There are few things more frustrating in the job search process for applicants than going through several stages of applying and interviewing only to find out that the position is not what they expected. Sharing a clear description from the outset ensures candidates are confident that the role could be a good mutual fit. Clear expectations and communication in the job description also show candidates that they will have clear expectations and communication in the role. Lastly, a well-written job description will set expectations for the hiring process showcasing your company’s attentiveness.

2. Respond to candidates quickly (whether you are moving forward with them or not)

Set a clear timeline for providing updates to candidates. To deliver a positive candidate experience, let candidates know when you expect to make a hiring decision and when they should expect to hear back from you. Many candidates would like this information as early as in the job description. Tell the candidate as soon as you have decided on them – whether you are progressing with them or not. This shows you appreciate their time and that your organization values their people.

3. Give the candidate something back

In everything, there is a give and take. When you hire someone you are offering money in exchange for services. In the interview process, you are asking the candidate for their time, effort, and information so you can evaluate them. To give them a candidate experience that positively reflects your employment brand, it is a good idea to provide them with some level of value in that exchange. For example, when a candidate completes one of Cangrade’s Pre-Hire Assessments, they receive a Candidate Report that gives them insight into their strengths and areas of improvement.

Another example is providing them with quality feedback throughout the interview process. 94% of applicants want feedback in the interview process – but only 41% say they have ever received it. Let them know specifically why you chose to move them forward to another step in the process and where you think they would excel in the job. If you decide not to move forward with them, share an area you would like to see improvement in, and encourage them to apply down the road.

4. Share what matters to the candidate

Take the time to understand what matters to the candidate and tailor the candidate’s experience to how the role encompasses those elements. This is another area where Cangrade’s Pre-Hire Assessments can help. If you understand a candidate’s motivations, you can direct the interview process and the role toward those motivations.

Different things motivate different people, and by taking the time to learn about your applicants, you allow yourself to use your time more efficiently.

5. Follow through on expectations

Whether you set expectations in the job description or interview process, be sure to follow through with them. If you don’t, you will frustrate your candidates and set the precedent that you won’t follow through on the job. If you are unsure about anything, let the candidate know you will follow up with them and then do so.

It’s important to remember that creating a positive candidate experience continues after the candidate has been hired for the job. The goal is to create a seamless transition from candidate experience to onboarding experience to job experience. The way you attract, and retain top talent is by having a strategy for all three in place. Creating a positive candidate experience is just the first step in that process, but a necessary one.