Steve Jobs once said that to have a successful company, “you need to have a collaborative hiring process.” In the current candidate-driven job market, that statement resonates more than ever. If you’ve been following this year’s biggest talent acquisition trends, you know that candidate experience is at the top of the list. That’s because it can have a huge impact on a company’s ability to recruit and retain talent. In fact, according to the Human Capital Institute, 72% of job seekers say they’ve shared negative candidate experiences online and 55% say they’ve avoided companies altogether after reading negative reviews. Pretty staggering, right?
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to create a great candidate experience and maintain a strong employer brand. The best way to do this is to ensure that candidates have the tools they need to succeed at every stage of the process. This means setting expectations from the get-go and offering as much information as possible about each step. Here are some key tips to help you and your candidates make the most of every interview.
Set expectations early and often
We’ve all had an interview experience we’d just as soon forget and poor communication is almost always to blame. To give your candidates a better shot at success, it’s important to tell them as much as you can about the hiring process so that they can show up prepared to put their best foot forward.
Pro Tip: In addition to providing key information about the number of interviews and the hiring timeline, it’s also important to set expectations about interview formats and hiring managers. So if you’re planning to have three rounds of interviews within a one-month period, let candidates know this during your initial phone screen. In addition to ensuring that they feel informed, this will also help you gauge their level of interest and move forward only with the best candidates.
Offer as much information as possible
Giving candidates a high-level view of the hiring process is a great first step, but setting them up for success means preparing them for each round of interviews. A great way to do this is to schedule a call the day before each interview to go through the list of people they’ll be meeting and the best ways for them to prepare. For example, if your team has separate tactical and culture fit interviews, it’s important to let candidates know how these will be structured and what they’ll be asked to address in each round.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to focus on the details. Many candidates feel uncomfortable asking about things like dress codes so if you know that your company prefers business casual attire, let them know this ahead of time. This is a great way to put them at ease and help them start the interview feeling confident.
Outline the types of questions they’ll be asked
Once you’ve given candidates some background on each part of the process, it’s time to walk them through what types of questions they can expect. If you have a very structured interview process, this can be as simple as letting them know about the most common behavioral or culture fit questions your team likes to focus on. If you have a more free-flowing process, you can let them know to expect a more conversational style of interviewing. This will help them feel prepared and protect against any surprises.
Pro Tip: While you shouldn’t coach candidates on how to respond to questions, you can offer tips on how they can put their best foot forward. For example, if your team prefers a data-driven approach, it’s okay to let candidates know that they should try to quantify their previous experience whenever possible.
Offering candidates a great overall experience is all about prioritizing their needs and giving them the necessary tools to succeed. By being transparent about your interview process and providing key information, you can streamline your hiring and bring top talent to your team.
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