From customer experience to candidate experience

08 September 2020

Recruitment process? Just assume that the candidate has no idea!

The recruitment process starts when you have a vacancy. This is all so familiar for you as an employer: defining a profile, trialling applications, organising assessments, etc. However, you should not assume that a candidate is equally familiar with this. They may have a vague idea of what is about to happen, but they really have no idea of the exact what, how, why, and when of the recruitment process. Unless you tell them. And that still happens too seldom; we have to intuit this from the questions we are sometimes asked by candidates about the assessments. Apparently, they can only guess at who they will see and why, what the steps are and what these mean, where in the process they are and what the further timing is, etc. And yet, just as you make customers excited to buy from you, you also make candidates excited to work for you: through involvement.
Candidates are used to being customers
Your candidates are ‘the customer’ in other, everyday situations. They are customers of the telecom company, of the baker, the pharmacist, etc. There they are used to having others assume that they are critical, articulate, and want to be served at their beck and call. They take into account where and how they want the desired service or product delivered, online or offline, 24/7. The customer’s needs, wishes, and experience are taken seriously. And that’s what your candidates are used to.

The customer experience of the recruitment process: candidate experience

A new batch of recent graduates enters the labour market around this time every year. And now, there’s also the coronavirus to contend with. So, there’s definitely a lot going on right now. Whether it is someone’s first time in the role of candidate or not, it is wrong to assume that people will automatically know what awaits them. It is not uncommon to find that they receive (too) little information or were not involved enough. Sincere empathy for the candidate is too rarely shown, all while candidates should be able to expect that. Moreover, paying attention to the candidate experience isn’t just window dressing: it prevents stress, misunderstandings, and loss of time, on both sides.

Candidate experience in brief: a clear timeline and constructive feedback

Informing your candidate about when what is about to happen seems obvious. But because one party is familiar with the process and the other is not, clear communication about the course of the process too often falls by the wayside. This doesn’t even take a lot of effort.
Feedback is another thing that should be obvious and that you can use to win or lose candidates. Constructive feedback puts a candidate on the right track in their development path. And giving constructive feedback results in receiving constructive feedback, which is always a good start for a possible partnership.
Whether a candidate eventually gets the job doesn’t really matter: a candidate who can look back on a positive experience is always more valuable for your employer branding than a candidate with a negative experience.

Make the recruitment process a positive, memorable experience

Don’t forget that people don’t apply to your company alone. An ambitious person never puts all their eggs in one basket. And so your company wants to be memorable in a positive way. You want candidates to remember the recruitment process they go through with you as being constructive, personal, and empathetic. Because the better you manage to give them the experience they hoped for, the more likely they will indeed choose your company.
Are you ready for a busy autumn? Do you need some help getting your candidate experience up to the level of your customer experience? Then please visit or call 09/252.63.58.

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