11 Ways To Create A First-Class Candidate Experience When Hiring

Angela Kambouris

The interview process is a two-way street. Not only is your goal to unveil information about your candidate, but you must also be concerned about impressing them. Companies must go the extra mile to stand out. They must strive for candidates to walk away from the interview process by feeling like they gained something from the interaction. 

Positive comments about interactions can enhance a company's reputation. However, bad reviews capture attention, occasionally go viral, and can affect the bottom line. In today’s digital world, candidates can share their experiences online. Glassdoor isn’t the only option – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are pretty much fair game. Beyond online, candidates share their experiences with family, friends, and colleagues who may be your future candidates. Poor reviews can impact on attracting talent, therefore your first impression matters.  

Here are 11 strategies that will blow the minds of your candidates to ignite a positive buzz within your company:

1. Showcase Your Culture On Your Company Website

Your company website must provide insight into the culture and work environment that you offer your employees. Booking.com has taken candidate-focused content to a whole new level by building a fun, interactive multimedia experience on the workingatbooking.com website. Candidates can explore career options, watch videos introducing prospective teammates and check out a day in the life at various offices. Their content is available across multiple social media platforms and has addressed common questions, concerns, and provide tips on how to excel in the interview process.

2. Communicate From The Start

When companies stay focused and communicate early in the process about the company vision, mission, values, job description, and culture, it allows the candidate to gain insight into the essence of the company. By showing a candidate, a structure that identifies what they can achieve and what’s available to them demonstrates opportunity and growth. It opens the door for companies to create an environment that promotes discussion and encourages candidates to ask questions about how they can be part of the company’s future success. 

Atlassian is an excellent example of how they have highlighted their company goals and opportunities when talking to candidates. Atlassian always leads with the company’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal, whether it be through conversation or email, inform prospects of the kind of technology Atlassian is getting into, and the opportunities to build things from scratch.

3. Help Your Candidate Shine

Every candidate who comes for an interview must blow the hiring team away. Setting the candidate up for success creates ripples throughout a company. Here are some practical tips for a first-class experience:

  • Send helpful and detailed directions to the candidate on how to get to your company’s office to enable the interview to start on the right foot.
  •  Provide an itinerary of the interview experience to give them a heads up of what is in store for them. Tell them how long they will be in your office and who they will meet.
  •  Schedule interviews between a candidate and a group of managers, team members, and employees from different departments. There is a richness in diverse conversations and will give you greater insight into the candidate's qualities. 
  •  Accompany the candidate throughout the office and expose them to your culture. 
  •  Encourage the candidate to ask questions and invest time in giving the best answer.
  •  Ask the candidate if they want to make a final statement by letting you know if anything is outstanding that the company needs to know about them before the interview ends. 

Remember, each candidate is a potential future colleague, so make a great first impression.  

4. Show Them The Perks 

Most companies agree that people are their most valuable assets. Company perks remain a significant opportunity for most companies to keep their prospects and talent happy and engaged. Offering benefits to potential candidates may make a substantial difference in their willingness to commit to your company.

Glassdoor’s 2015 study supported that benefits had a 60 percent impact on prospective employee decisions to work for a company. Even more than that, the survey described that 80 percent of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay rise. 

There are employee perks and benefits that offer the biggest bang for your bucks, such as health insurance, performance bonuses, employee development programs, flexible schedule, and wellness programs. When the company can link perks to the mission, and discuss offering during the interview session, it will be more potent to potential recruits.

5. Embracing The Digital World 

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, and there are several tools that recruiters can use to streamline, speed up the process, and reduce errors throughout the recruitment process. It is essential to match the correct technology with the needs of your company to get the maximum benefit and incorporate technology into your recruitment process. 

Video is one example of where a tremendous amount of time can be saved. Candidates don’t have to leave the comfort of their own home to record a video interview, the company doesn’t need to reserve a venue to conduct interviews, and time is preserved, which means it doesn’t get in the way of anyone’s productivity. Video interviews provide an opportunity for the recruiter to go back and watch the conversation again. If recruiters are hiring a remote worker, then video interviews are the perfect medium for candidates to highlight their abilities.

Atlassian sets up interviews remotely over Skype or video conferencing. If the applicant moves forward to the hiring stage, Atlassian has a high-touch relocation program called "Move Happy" that provides people with temporary housing, work visas, help to find schools, furniture, and vehicle shipping, and even pick up the new hire at the airport.

6. People Love Meaningful Work 

Without direction, there is a lot of noise that can keep people and, ultimately, the company from getting ahead. Leaders are accountable for making sure people’s work continues to support the mission and vision day after day. As it trickles down, a strong delivery can magnetize future employees. When companies present their mission to employees and candidates with passion and authenticity, these elements create a recipe for influence. Atlassian has an employee referral scheme in which current employees are offered up to $10,000 for a successful referral who stays with the business over time. 

7. Give A Candidate A Taste Of Your Culture

Culture is about giving people experiences they will carry for the rest of their lives. Rather than a standard stock approach interview where a desk separates the interviewer from the candidate, do something different. Steve Jobs would take people on walks to interview them. Take the candidate out to lunch to get to know who they are. 

Another option is to stream pictures from Instagram so candidates can see the culture before they apply. Booking.com has taken it a step further by implementing Recruiter Hiring Day. An in-person event hosted in Amsterdam HQ where candidates can meet the team, take a tour of the office and interview.  

8. Leverage The Interview Experience 

Throughout the recruitment experience, Atlassian is looking for learning anything about the candidate’s personal experience to be able to really wow them. For instance, one of Atlassian’s candidate’s wife was expecting a baby, so they sent a welcome package for when the baby arrived. When candidates begin tweeting and sharing with their friends, it's branding that money can’t buy.

9. Brand Ambassadors For Your Company

If you want to impress a candidate, provide feedback throughout the recruitment experience. Inform the candidate if they are moving on in the process or not. Being upfront keeps everyone on the same page. When a candidate feels valued and respected, it raises the bar. 

By adopting a coaching mindset of wanting every candidate to succeed in their careers, builds a robust candidate referral system. When you treat people well and show them that you care about them, it helps them feel special and appreciated. 

10. Feedback For Improvement

Irrespective of whether a candidate has been successful or not, companies are in a prime position to provide feedback and interview tips to prepare and polish them for success as part of the recruitment process. Sharing any knowledge places companies as the expert that can help people secure their dream job and build meaningful relationships that can benefit both the candidate and the company.

DigitalOcean developed a central hub of resources for candidates about what to expect during the application and interview process. The central hub demonstrated how the company cares for its candidates, respected both the candidates and the company’s time in answering the same questions over again. DigitalOcean also implemented a practice where candidates who don’t receive offers once they have participated in an onsite interview, recruiters are made available to provide feedback over the phone as to how they can enhance their interview process in the future.

11. Proactively Connect

During the recruitment process, if a candidate is not an ideal fit for a role, you can add them to your talent community and keep in touch about future roles. Companies are in the perfect position to suggest other options within the company. If there aren’t any current opportunities, then being proactive about connecting with the candidate on LinkedIn must be a priority. You want the candidate to genuinely see you are interested in building and maintaining a relationship with them. When a role opens for which they are a possible fit, you are in the perfect position to reach out.

WOW Every Candidate Who Visits Your Workplace

The hiring process is a direct reflection of your company. A positive experience allows for future referrals and an opportunity to hire the best talent. Today, we live in a world where our applicants have a lot of choices of where and how they can work. The experience is critical, and even little inexpensive things that wow a candidate can be real differentiators to attracting and winning the best talent.

Are you interested in making your workplace more efficient? Check out what Eden’s Workplace Management Platform can do for your office.

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