Picture this: your hiring manager just spoke with a great candidate for a desperately needed position. They reach out to schedule another interview and get the ball rolling on their reference check, but the candidate never responds.
If your hiring process is less than ideal for candidates, your recruiters may be waiting in vain. The candidate they decided was the cream of the crop, the absolute best for the position, could have already been grabbed by another organization. Or even worse, the applicant may have decided that your business was not for them based on how the hiring process played out.
According to a recent Hireology survey, 84% of businesses have had candidates ghost interviews. What’s more, 58% have even had candidates ghost offers!
While there’s no one size fits all approach to hiring, there is one aspect that can be fine tuned to help your company attract and hire top talent: the candidate experience.
With so many opportunities on the market, job seekers do not have to endure hiring practices that are dragged out and stuck in neutral. If they do not see traction or feel unsure of where the interviews are headed, there’s nothing holding them back from applying elsewhere.
Hiring is a hard task in and of itself; that’s why Hireology has brainstormed this list of methods to help you optimize your candidate experience so you can put the right people in the right seats faster.
Make your process faster
For nearly half of the workforce, the hiring process only takes two weeks from initial application to hire. If your business takes longer than that to offer a candidate a position, you’re likely letting top talent slip through your fingers.
As you can see, moving swiftly is no longer just a preferential option. Jobseekers have too many available opportunities to wait to hear back from indecisive companies. Conversely, they may also have limited availability for interviews due to either current employment or family responsibilities that prevent them from attending multiple interviews over an extended period of time.
One way to circumnavigate this issue — while ensuring a thorough interview process — is to respect the candidate’s time. There are many ways that your business can demonstrate sensitivity to their needs, including automating your interviews. With interview scheduling technology, your hiring managers can allocate times they are available to hold interviews on a calendar application so all candidates have to do is select a time slot that works best for their schedule. This process eliminates the need for back and forth communication, freeing up time for both parties involved.
Another way to speed up your hiring process is to automate your prescreening tests and background checks. With certain applicant tracking systems, you can trigger automations to directly send candidates follow-up tasks, such as taking prescreening tests, once their applications have been submitted. These instantaneous processes ensure that every candidate has the same hiring experience, while also weeding out less qualified candidates without wasting your hiring team’s time. You can set up the same automations for background checks as well to ensure your company is compliant with industry standards.
Once candidates have made it through the interview process and a hiring decision has been made, your team can jumpstart the onboarding process by collecting important documents and certifications — all before their first day! We all know what it’s like to waste the first day or two at a new organization filling out paperwork and essentially getting acquainted with the company. By gathering this information before the candidate walks through the door, you can start training them quicker and have them on the same page as the rest of your staff before you know it.
Keep the communication flowing
Just like your hiring team is fighting ghosting, so are your candidates. When candidates are left uncertain about where they stand in the interview process, they have time to think about — and apply to — other companies.
You never want to leave your candidates hanging, no matter where they are in the interview process. It is common courtesy to always communicate the next steps with the applicants, so they have an idea of what is to come. As humans, we fear the unknown; helping to alleviate this stress demonstrates to candidates that your business cares for them as individuals but also sees the value in them as potential employees.
While email has traditionally been the form of communication between businesses and applicants, there is a much better way to get ahold of the modern jobseeker — by texting them. Text messages have, on average, a 97% open rate, whereas emails are opened as little as 15% of the time.
Text messaging can be used to follow-up with an applicant after an interview, thanking them for their time and elaborating on next steps in the process. This channel of communication can also be used to serve as reminders for candidates to complete onboarding tasks, like document collection or background checks before their first day.
No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, but leaving unqualified candidates high and dry after the interview process is not a good look. Not every applicant is going to be a good fit; sometimes, that means having uncomfortable conversations with candidates who did not get the position.
Even if your organization has made the decision to move forward with someone else, you still owe that candidate some basic courtesy. Thank them for their time and interest, but state that your company has made the decision to fill the position with someone else. Encourage them to keep an eye out for additional openings in the future, so that the communication ends on a good note.
Frequently train hiring managers
Hiring is not one of those processes where you can set and forget about it.
Your hiring team should have standards for turnaround communication with candidates. Ideally, recruiters should reach out at most 24 hours after the interview to let them know the next steps or if they were disqualified. By sticking to this standard, your team can quickly move forward with qualified candidates to hit that two week hiring deadline.
To keep your hiring managers up to date on trends and on track with your company’s hiring standards, you need to hold frequent training sessions. Not only will this time serve as a valuable tool to drill the deadlines into their processes, but will allow you to help the managers learn to be sensitive to the candidates and your company’s efforts — whether that’s learning interpersonal and intercultural skills or how to embody the company’s values during the interview process. If unconscious bias training isn’t in your recruiter’s repertoire, we strongly urge you to incorporate it so your hiring managers are set to make the hiring process great for people of all backgrounds.
Interviews are not only for your company to decide whether the candidate is a good fit for you; it’s also a time for the candidate to get a feel for the company. Your organization should take the opportunity to highlight your core values during this time so that candidates can get an idea of what it would be like to work for you. How your hiring managers behave and conduct interviews, then, is of great importance to the candidate experience.
Keeping candidates engaged throughout the hiring process is a challenge that many businesses are facing in this hiring market. However, how much they enjoy the process — and how quickly it progresses — makes all the difference in adding top talent to your team. To see how Hireology’s powerful platform can help your business cultivate the best candidate experience possible, schedule a demonstration today.