The way potential candidates perceive your business can make all the difference in attracting and retaining top talent. It’s not just about the job itself; it’s about the journey candidates take, from their first interaction with your organization to their eventual onboarding and beyond. This journey is shaped by three pillars: Candidate Experience, Employer Brand, and Employee Value Proposition (EVP). How these three elements work together has a significant influence on how individuals view your company, impacting your ability to recruit and retain the best minds in the industry. We’re going to take you through some candidate experience best practices and explore how to align it seamlessly with your brand identity and EVP. Most importantly we’ll provide valuable insights on how to effectively assess the success of your brand, from simply employer to career destination of choice.
Understanding Candidate Experience Best Practices
Candidate experience is how we describe the interactions that job seekers have with a potential employer, from the moment they first encounter a job posting to their very first days on the job. It matters immensely for talent attraction because it directly shapes how candidates perceive your organization.
A positive candidate experience not only makes your company more appealing, it creates a positive employer brand perception. When candidates have a smooth, respectful, and engaging experience, they are more likely to share their positive impressions with others, improving your company’s reputation and making it a magnet for top talent. A poor candidate experience can lead to negative reviews and deter talent, Deloitte found that 80% of candidates will tell others about a bad experience, damaging your employer brand and making it harder to attract the best candidates.
Key elements of candidate experience best practices include:
- The application process itself should be simple. Avoid long application forms and provide details of the job, the expected timeline for decisions and benefits up front.
- Keep communication clear and timely. 54% of applicants walk away from the process due to poor communication. Let candidates know about the progress of their application and respond to questions quickly. Personalizing communication shows you appreciate candidates as individuals.
- Use technology to help you. ATS systems can aid in communication, personalization, and scheduling. Make sure your website and application forms are mobile friendly.
- Respect candidates’ time by scheduling interviews efficiently and avoid multiple rounds. Train interviewers and hiring managers on conducting professional, courteous interviewing while minimizing unconscious bias.
- Give tailored feedback to candidates who didn’t make the cut, especially if they reached the interview stages. This helps them understand areas for improvement and leaves a positive impression.
- Maintain communication with successful candidates before their start date. Consider providing an onboarding pack with everything they need to know and ensure they have key log-ins and paperwork in advance of their start date.
Aligning Candidate Experience, Brand, and Value Proposition
Candidate experience best practice is only one part of building a positive candidate perception. While a recent survey found long application processes and a feeling that their time was being disrespected were two of the top three reasons candidates had a negative perception of an employer, the third was related to a poor EVP. Candidate experience needs to work alongside your EVP and wider employer branding to really work.
Your overall employer brand is the compelling and distinctive image of your workplace culture, values, and overall desirability as a place to work that you portray to current employees and potential candidates alike.
Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) are the things that you can offer to candidates and employees that would make them choose you as an employer over another company. Things like:
- Career Development Opportunities.
- Company Culture and Values.
- Work-Life Balance.
Aligning all three (EVP, Employer Brand and Candidate Experience) requires you to be consistent across candidate touchpoints. Each interaction a candidate has with your organization, whether it’s through your website, social media, or in-person interviews, should reinforce the same message and values.
That’s not to say you can’t tailor elements of your EVP and candidate experiences to a target audience! This can be especially valuable if you are a global organization. But those unique elements should support your overall workplace culture, values, and brand.
Measuring the Impact of Your Efforts
To assess the effectiveness of your candidate experience best practices, employer brand, and Employee Value Proposition (EVP), you need a set of key metrics and ongoing feedback mechanisms. Here’s how to measure success:
Application Completion Rate:
What it measures: The percentage of candidates who start the application process and successfully complete it.
Why it matters: A high abandonment rate may indicate issues with your application process or a disconnect between candidate expectations and the actual experience.
How to track: Use analytics tools to monitor the application funnel and identify drop-off points. Adjust your application process based on insights gained.
What it measures: The average time it takes to fill a job vacancy, from the initial vacancy to a candidate being productive in their new role.
Why it matters: A lengthy time-to-fill can deter top talent and may signify inefficiencies in your recruitment process.
How to track: Calculate the time-to-fill for each position and identify trends or bottlenecks. Streamline processes to reduce time-to-fill while maintaining quality.
Offer Acceptance Rate
What it measures: The percentage of job offers extended to candidates that are accepted.
Why it matters: A high acceptance rate indicates that candidates find your offers attractive and aligns with your EVP.
How to track: Analyze your offer data and identify reasons for offer declines. Adjust your offers or EVP messaging accordingly to improve acceptance rates.
What it measures: The number of new hires who were referred by current employees.
Why it matters: High employee referral rates often signify a positive candidate and employee experience.
How to track: Implement a tracking system for employee referrals and incentivize current employees to refer candidates. Monitor trends and assess the quality of referred candidates.
You can also discover new ways to improve your candidate perception by gathering candidate feedback through:
Why it matters: Post-interview surveys allow candidates to provide feedback on their interview experience promptly.
How to implement: Send automated surveys to candidates after interviews, asking about their experience, communication, and impressions of your company. Analyze feedback to identify areas for improvement.
Why they are important: Exit interviews are valuable for understanding why employees leave and can provide insights into areas where your EVP or candidate experience may need adjustment.
How to conduct: Schedule exit interviews with departing employees to discuss their reasons for leaving and their overall experience with the organization. Analyze patterns in exit interview data to make necessary improvements.
By regularly tracking these key metrics and actively seeking candidate feedback, you can continually assess and refine your candidate experience, employer brand, and EVP strategies to attract and retain top talent more effectively.
Get more advice and support on building best practices into your candidate experience and using analytics to measure the success of your employer brand with Pierpoint. Talk to an expert today.