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5 top tips to improve your Candidate experience

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

Like it or not, we’re in a Candidate-driven market where top talent can effectively cherry pick the roles that appeal to them the most. This is because Employment is at an all-time high which means that more people are in rather than on the jobs market. However, the talent is still out there and ensuring the Candidate experience is optimised can position you ahead of the competition when it comes to securing the best people to fill your vacancies.

Here are five high-impact ways to achieve this.

1. Keep it short and sweet

In the public school sector, a teacher can apply for a job, be invited for interview and be accepted or rejected within days. It’s literally that quick. While that approach may not sit well with all businesses, the key lesson to learn is that of timing.

Despite being in the middle of the most competitive battle for top talent there has ever been, some Employers can take too long with the hiring process. Yet the longer it takes and the more stages a Candidate is subjected to, the greater the risk of that talent losing patience and opting to work for another organisation instead.

In fact, a survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 60% of job seekers have abandoned their application due to a lengthy and often complex process. So, if you see someone who fits the bill of what you are looking for, don’t hesitate in making an offer. As the saying goes, if you snooze you lose!

2. Optimise your website

Several studies have found that on average 75-80% of job seekers will use their mobile phone to search and apply for a vacancy. But there remains a worrying number of Employers whose websites still aren’t mobile-ready. This is not good for a number of reasons.

First, it portrays the business as being rather dated and could give a prospective Candidate the impression that yours is not a progressive company. Second, you risk losing out on top talent. Job seekers conduct most of their searches at lunchtime or on a break, so they will either search and apply via their mobile device or save their searches and complete the application process later on. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you could lose out on a rich source of talent frustrated by your lack of accessibility.

3. Share your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

It is important to take time to walk in the shoes of your Candidates and look at the journey they take, from the moment they see your job advert to the second they enter the building for an interview. What are they buying into? What makes your offering better than that of another company who is recruiting for a similar role?

The way in which you communicate your EVP can boost your chances of hiring success. Include Employee stories on your website and within the Careers page, use video as well as blog content to give people an insight to your culture, what it’s like to work there and the opportunities available for further progression. Consider also the environment of the interview room itself – if the Candidate might be waiting for a few moments, this is a great opportunity to stream a video about the business and its people.

4. Respond…to every applicant (it’s easier than you might think)

You may receive umpteen number of applications (not if you partner with an agency like ours of course, where we screen and send you only the most relevant Candidates). But better use of technology can reduce – even eradicate - the time required to respond to each applicant. It’s about managing expectations and removing the need for the Candidate to follow up on their application.

You could also include details of other live vacancies within the organisation, too. And, if they have been unsuccessful, give some idea as to the level of competition for the role, the difficulty faced in making your decision and offer words of hope that they will find the right role for them soon. Being nice can go a long way to raising your profile as an Employer of choice and encouraging future applications from the same people for other – more suitable – roles.

5. Keep in touch

It is a safe assumption to make when we say that most Employers will have a database of previous applicants who have shown an interest in the company but narrowly missed out on the job they applied for at the time. The question is what do they do with this rich source of potential talent? So, if a new role comes up for which a previous Candidate might be suited, let them know. This could reduce both your time-to-hire and cost-per-hire.

Over the last 20 years, we have grown as a business to become one of the leading independent Recruitment agencies in Oxfordshire, and in 2018 have opened our first London office, to service Clients in the capital.

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