An unpleasant candidate experience is the corporate version of ‘playing hard to get’. An organisation wants top talent, but, at the same time, repels it! Nobody wins. Not the candidate, and definitely not you.

Career Builder has found that, for three quarters of applicants, the job hunting process is one of life’s most stressful experiences. But now’s the time for that to change – not least because candidates themselves are changing. For entry-level grads especially, salary is no longer everything. In fact, Gen Z value salary less than every other generation before them. They’re increasingly considering how employers treat their people. 

Their first indication? Your candidate experience.

We’re seeing hundreds of organisations seek out a fast, engaging and stress-busting way to assess. For those of you similarly keen to overhaul how candidates navigate through your process, we’ve written a list of three benefits of compelling candidate experience – as well as three tips on how to access them: 

1. Impact on brand perception, retention & acquisition

IBM found that over 60% of candidates tell friends and family about their candidate experience. Certain studies, such as PepsiCo’s here, paint this in negative terms. What might people think of your business, or even your products, if your candidates aren’t properly engaged? 

We prefer to look at this as an opportunity. Google found that about half of all applicants have a pre-existing relationship with their prospective employers. So, a positive candidate experience can translate to both new customer acquisition and retention through word-of-mouth. 

2. Costs saved

Not only will great candidate experience help you prevent costly customer churn (as the Google case shows), but it will also save more immediate costs.

Candidates are more likely to drop out of a torturous hiring process. Now, with every addition to an assessment day generally costing hundreds of pounds, for example, it pays to keep no-shows to a minimum!

Invest in elevating your candidate experience, and you’ll see dropouts (and the associated costs) decrease considerably.

3. Better hires

It stands to reason that, if you can keep more high-calibre candidates engaged with your full process, you’re more likely to make better hires. The opposite of course is also true – every candidate that drops out could have been perfect for you. They’ll soon be taking their talents elsewhere.

With a rewarding candidate experience, you stand a better chance of keeping hold of talent that is more likely to enjoy multiple offers. That experience may just be what tips the scales in your favour! 

How to get there

So we’ve seen some of the benefits – now we need to look at how you go about accessing them. How can you create a process that makes people want to work for you? We’ve identified three ways.

1. Clear communication 

For candidates, uncertainty is a killer. A clear outline of what they can expect from the process, next steps and likely timelines all serve to keep them engaged with your process. It will also help position you as an attentive and empathetic employer. 

That said, there’s currently a disconnect between employers’ perceptions of their own communication, and candidates’ own experience. As Career Builder data shows, 78% of organisations feel they communicate well with their candidates. Fewer than half of those same candidates agree!

Employers need to see candidates as more than just a statistic. Small, personal touches, such as confirming interview dates and times beforehand or sending follow-up emails (ideally from a real person!), take little effort but can have a great impact on engagement and drop out rates.

2. Feedback

A candidate applies for one of your roles. They’re unsuccessful, but came close and showed real promise. Do you want them to consider any of your future roles?

One way to keep them coming back to your careers page is specific, valuable feedback. But only one in forty candidates receives such feedback today! This can lead to disillusionment and frustration at having gained very little from processes that, generally, keep getting longer and longer. Even if candidates are unsuccessful, feedback they can carry into future processes will help set you apart. We’ve written a  separate post on feedback here.

3. Easy navigability

Lastly, how simple is your process? A whopping 90% of candidates drop out because of overcomplicated online processes. Even if they’re entirely engaged with your wider employer brand, time-poor candidates won’t want to spend eons jumping through a convoluted series of platforms and portals.

This is especially so because, pre-coronavirus, unemployment was at a record low, meaning top talent especially will feel their time can be better spent applying elsewhere.

It therefore pays to seek processes that are simple and intuitive. Try to keep the number of steps to a minimum, and provide clear instructions throughout. Your candidates will thank you.

 We’ve been thinking about the navigability of our own assessment over the last year. That’s why we’re migrating our behaviour-based assessments to the web. With no app download required, your candidates can now access the assessment in just two easy clicks. To discover more about keeping your process clean and engaging, arrange a demo here.