8 Actionable Tips for Improving the Candidate Experience in 2020

Although it’s easy to understand the importance of excellent customer experience, many businesses miss how essential improving the candidate experience and recruiting process is for the success of their company.

If you want to improve your recruiting process to ensure you’re getting amazing people for your homebuilding operation or building materials company, it’s essential to focus on and continually improve the candidate experience. You want potential candidates to be eager and excited to work for you. You also want candidates that don’t work out to see your business and industry in a positive light.

Below are eight ways you can improve your candidate experience during the hiring process in 2020.  Consider implementing these the next time you’re ready to hire someone, and you should start to see great results.

How to Improve Your Recruiting Process and the Candidate Experience in 2020

1. Use AI Technology to Start with Only the Best Candidates

If you have a big group of candidates to sift through, it can be hard to find ones that meet your criteria. When you hire someone that isn’t a good match for your business, they’re going to have a bad experience with your company.

Consider using AI technology to sort through candidate applications for you based on your hiring criteria and measurable KPIs. Then, you’ll have a narrowed-down pool left at the end. From there, you can go into each interview, knowing you only have the best candidates in front of you.  With the best candidates in front of you, you can also speed up the interview process, which is one of the easiest ways you can give a candidate a better experience.

By using technology, you can also set up automated notifications that help keep a candidate up-to-date on the hiring process. For example, they can receive an email when they complete your survey to let them know their application was received.

Then, you can send out another email to the candidates that you’ll be going through manually after the initial automatic sorting.

image depicting ai technology and candidate experience

Finally, sending out a “no thank you” message to those who didn’t make the cut will leave them feeling appreciative that you were transparent with them. It also allows them to proceed with other opportunities they’re considering.

2. Get Feedback from Your Candidates with a Post-interview Survey

Listening is one of the most important things you can do in any relationship, and a professional one is no different.

A candidate wants to know early on in the process that you see them as a human being, not some numbers on a piece of paper. Don’t be afraid to ask some personal questions and share personal details about yourself to make that connection with them. One of the things you should be listening to is what motivates them and what are their personal goals. These questions allow you to show them how being at your company can help them accomplish these.

Separately, following your recruiting process, you should consider doing a post-interview survey on how their interview experience was. The survey gives candidates the chance to be heard and will help you improve your process for future candidates.

Keep a list of points candidates make during their post-interview survey so you have specific things you can work on as you move forward with making improvements to your hiring process.

3. Communicate Clearly with Your Candidates By Having One Point of Contact

In most cases, there’s a team of people involved in the hiring process. Use applications that allow for organized group discussions about each candidate instead of trying to track information through emails as these can quickly get confusing.

Part of this is having one point of contact between your team and the candidate. One point of contact prevents any information from being repeated to the candidate and can prevent you from missing important communication to and from the candidate.

When you only have one point of contact, it makes the process far more smooth for the candidate since they don’t feel confused about who they need to contact about any questions, and they won’t feel bombarded with the same information from different sources.

Also, don’t forget to let the candidate know who their main point of contact is. Knowing the primary contact helps them feel secure and free to ask any questions they may have since they’re not wondering if they’re talking to the right person or bothering anyone.

4. Tell Your Story to Connect Personally with Candidates

A candidate needs to know they can connect with real people and that the business they’re working for makes a difference in the world. That’s why it’s so important to use the recruitment process to share your story.

image of recruiters improving the candidate experience

Your story is your chance to connect with a candidate and show them that there is a real human behind the company. They’ll also get to see why you do what you do and your passion for your business.

Sharing your story and mission is also a good chance to talk about your company culture and to show how much you value your employees.

5. Make Job Descriptions Specific and Concise to Eliminate Confusion

In some cases, the job description is going to be the first point of contact a candidate makes with your company. You want to make sure it’s well-written and clearly describes what you’re looking for.

A job description should include:

  • Location
  • Job title
  • Detailed responsibilities
  • Description of the company culture, mission, and work environment

By keeping it to the basics, a candidate can quickly see whether or not they’re interested in learning more about the opportunity. When you have a well-written job description, this provides a good experience for the candidate.

6. Make the Application Process Easier by Keeping it Short and Simple

After an individual reads through your job description and wants to apply, make sure it’s easy for them to do so. You don’t want someone to have to jump through a bunch of hoops just to submit their application.  Keeping the application process short and simple is another key point to consider for improving the candidate experience.

In most cases, a simple online form where they can fill in their contact information and upload a resume will be enough to get them started.

image of building materials recruiter creating a job description

The simple application process is also where you may want to include a few other questions to weed out those who don’t make the cut. However, questions should be simple and fast so that the entire application process only takes a few minutes of their time.

Candidates don’t want to feel like you’re wasting their time during the application process, which is why it’s so important to keep this part of the process as quick and simple as possible.

7. Be Transparent and Keep the Candidate Updated During the Recruiting Process

Communication is a key factor for improving the candidate experience as well. Being transparent about your hiring process and meeting set expectations will help your candidate trust you and want to work with you.

For example, if you know, you’ll likely take two weeks to get to each application, state that in the job posting. These expectations keep applicants at ease during the process.

Then, as you move a candidate through the recruiting process, keep them updated about each step. Let them know when you’ve had a meeting about them and when final decisions will be made, so they stay in the loop.

Candidates will appreciate your transparency as this will help them make plans for when they should start wrapping things up at their previous job or when they need to make other changes in their life, such as moving.

8. Find Ways to Reduce Stress for Candidates During Interviews

An interview has to be a two-way conversation to help you both decide if you want to take your professional relationship to the next level. That’s why you don’t want to think of the interview only as you seeing if they’re right for the job.

Your candidate is likely looking at tips to nail their interview with you, and you should be doing the same for them. Be prepared to ask good questions and to answer just as many.

Around 78% of candidates say that their experience during this process shapes the way they view your company. That’s why helping to reduce stress may be an integral part of improving the candidate experience. It could be your last chance at leaving a great impression too.

building materials candidate interviewing for a job

Here are some ways you can make the interview process go as smoothly as possible:

  • Start the interview on time, so the candidate doesn’t have time to get nervous
  • Limit the number of people in the first interview
  • Smile and greet them by name
  • Introduce them to some of their potential future co-workers
  • Offer them a drink or snack to ease their nerves
  • Administer the interview in a more casual environment

Remember that your candidate will probably be nervous, so do whatever you can to put them at ease. By allowing them to relax, they’ll have a much better experience during the interview and will be pleased that you took the time to help make their interview less nerve-wracking.

Get More Help with Your Recruiting Process

We hope you consider these eight tips for improving the candidate experience and your hiring process. As you can see, many of these are easy to implement, so you can start benefiting from them today.

If you want help finding the best possible candidates for your homebuilding operation or building materials company, please consider partnering with us.  We would love to ensure your recruiting process gets off to a great start with a selection of excellent candidates.

As an HR professional or business owner, you may be interested in our recent posts featuring How to Make Better Hires With Evidence-Based Recruiting and How to Modernize Performance Management.


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