Four recommendations for a great candidate experience
As an Executive Recruiter, I get to hear firsthand every week how candidates view their interviewing experiences. As you might imagine, what we hear really runs the gamut from great to poor, with a few surprises sprinkled in between.
But if I were to recommend to a CEO what a great candidate experience looks like, here are my top four recommendations!
- Make it easy to be in the process. From submitting a resume via your career page, to streamlined in-person interviews, to feedback, make it an applicant-friendly process. In today’s instant society, candidates appreciate interview ease and the respect of knowing how the process works. A question I get with every candidate is “can you share with me the next steps in the process if I get past the phone screen or first interview?” A couple of other ideas on this bullet are listed below:
- Testing is a great tool, but multiple tests become cumbersome and annoying to candidates. Pick one and keep to that.
- Offer an appropriate amount of time between interviews (not all candidates can be gone from their office for huge chunks of time, multiple times in a week), and this also puts a candidate in a position where she/he feels they need to be dishonest with their current employer.
- On the flip side of the coin, too long between interviews (we had a candidate with an in-person interview request after not hearing from the company for four months) tells a candidate a) the role is not very important to the organization, or b) you are looking for other qualifications/skills that they might not possess.
- Reserve presentations for C-Level roles. We see many great candidates step out of a process where in the middle of their work week, they are expected to prepare a significant presentation for a leadership team. We understand this for CEO roles and very senior level positions, but for lighter roles, we recommend good, thorough interviewing processes (possibly even consider interview refresher training for company leaders).
- Culture, culture, culture. Candidates like interacting with happy, friendly employees. I mean don’t we all? They like being treated with respect. They like hearing laughter in the hallways. If this is not your culture, good candidates will sniff this out and not stay long.
- Our golden rule. You want every candidate to want to work for you, even if they are not selected for the role. Word of mouth of what a great company you are goes a long way to attract top talent, not only today, but in the future.
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