How to Optimize the Candidate Experience in your company?

Today’s companies are constantly competing for the top talent in their fields, and getting those profiles on their payroll is in most cases holds a direct relationship with the company’s success. Companies have many different strategies to convincing those they want to join them, but nothing beats that initial interaction and the whole process that a candidate experiences during the selection process. So, in light of this, many companies have realized that a key part of getting the profiles they want is to focus on the Optimization of the Candidate Experience. It could be compared in a way that the same way we focus on the user experience of a place, service or product, we should implement strategies to improve candidate experience (CX).

The first step to improving a candidate’s experience is understanding them. We want to the CX to be the same for all applicants, just in case one of them is the “perfect” one. We have to initially realize that few “perfect” candidates are out there, either because they already have a job, or they are simply not looking. If they are, they will be looking closely to see which company they will become a part of, not only will they consider the quality of the job, compensation packages, but also that first contact they have with your company. Now, getting these candidates may not always mean they are looking, you can also reach out to passive candidates, and again that candidate experience will be essential. A good candidate who has a bad experience during the selection process is sure to opt out early on in the process.

Now, that we know what to expect, what can we do to improve the probabilities of getting that top talent into our companies?

Understand that choosing just the right person takes time. The most apt candidates will want to really understand the company, their responsibilities and career goals. To get the most out of the process, make sure to include extra steps that will ensure both parties truly get to know if their short term and long term goals match. Another important aspect to consider is that there must be excellent communication at all stages of the process, so that there is no room for confusion as to the status of the candidate at any given time.

If you are interested in looking for a top profile in your field, it’s also important to show respect for that person’s trajectory. This can be accomplished, especially in the case of a passive candidate, by excluding some of the normal steps like passing an application or taking a test. These steps can be done only if later on both parties have reached the point that they see a future career path.

 

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Image courtesy of Cydcor at Flickr.com

For a top profile the company environment will be vital as they will analyze the people who already work at the company and finally compare that to who they are being treated throughout the process to finally make an assumption. Now, the analysis and optioning out we’ve mentioned on the candidate’s side of things, can also be replicated on the company’s side. The company must have complete clarity as to the job description and make sure that perfect candidate really fits, before trying to make him or her fit. Finally, on this front part of the trick for candidates not opting out early will also have to do with your HR manager, which should be someone who is a top profile as well, and will be speaking to these profiles as equals and with the respect he knows they have earned throughout their career.

Now, choosing and ultimately hiring a new candidate is not just one person’s job, the whole team should be part of it. During the process there should be at least to sessions that are done with potential peers of that candidate. This is important so that the candidate can relate to someone who already works in the company and additionally someone who can later take on the role of coach or advisor.

Another factor to consider is the way that you are looking for the candidates. Today the conversation between thought leaders out there is occurring online, so why not consider moving to a mobile selection process, at least partially. Do some research to choose the right app, consider if they are native apps or only mobile ones and make sure to make it personal. Include Why work here videos, be sure to explain the company’s purpose clearly, so that the candidates applying through this mobile app start with an unforgettable candidate experience.

At the end of the day the secret is to create a candidate experience that will attract the best, treat them with respect and finally offer a job that motivates candidates to want to take it. The motivations could be compensation packages, vacations days, salary, future promotion plans, among others.

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