Hiring managers: 5 tips to improve your candidate experience

Calling all hiring managers! Are you paying enough attention to the candidate experience throughout your organisation’s interview process?

Whether a candidate gets the role or not, remember that they’re likely to talk about their interview experience with friends, family, peers and even close work colleagues. The candidate experience can be the difference between winning or losing the war for talent.

With this in mind, our 5 tips to improve your candidate interview experience should get you thinking about how to better your hiring processes in order to positively impact your company…

1. Be transparent about the interview process

Do you explain the interview process at the application stage? What can a candidate expect from start to finish? The key to positively influencing candidates at this stage is to be transparent about your company’s processes and what the candidate will encounter at each stage. Whether it’s detailing the specifics within the careers section of your website, via email during the application stage or over the phone when confirming interviews, just be sure to be up front and communicate well. If you engage with recruitment agencies, have you met them and briefed them on the key selling points of the role? Are you confident the right message is being taken to external talent?

2. Access to information

Make sure you have information available on your company’s website about specific heads of department, departments and the leadership team; when a candidate is prepping, there’s nothing more useful than insider information on your employees and culture, to help them build a thorough understanding of exactly who they are interviewing with. For example, prior to onsite interviews, LinkedIn candidates receive an email with videos from senior leaders about elements of the company culture. Innovative, informative and impactful. Do you and your business sell the values you believe in?

3. Communication throughout

Establish a consistent, clear and timely process for communicating with candidates at every stage throughout the recruitment process. Even if you have little or no news, calling the candidate or your recruiter to update them will provide a positive experience for them and help your company to maintain a professional image and reputation. It’s so important to show respect and appreciation to all candidates with open, transparent communications. After all, they’ve shown a thorough interest in your organisation and even if they’re not right for this particular role, they may be perfect for another position in the future.

4. Personalised interviews

How many times have you been to an interview only to find the interviewer needs five minutes to review your CV? Treat every candidates’ interview as important and not just a process; know the candidate, what’s important to them and their career aspirations and why they have applied to your organisation and for this particular role. If there are a number of people interviewing the candidate, speak with each of them and ensure they know their background in order to tailor the conversation to them. Don’t repeat questions either; ensure you’re all on the same page and assign specific ‘roles’ to the interviewers so that there’s little to no overlap.

5. Feedback

Give specific feedback and don’t email; pick up the phone. It’s easy to give generic feedback such as “we thought you were excellent during the interview process but we just don’t feel this role is the right fit for you”. It’s much more difficult to be open with the candidate. How you deal with ‘rejecting’ the candidate will ultimately impact your organisation and the perception of its brand. You need to understand that giving constructive, honest criticism can aid the candidate’s personal and professional progression, enable them to seek further training in specific areas and paint a much better picture of your company’s hiring process.

Creating an exceptional, best-in-class candidate experience will positively impact the perception of your organisation’s culture. Don’t create a hiring environment full of insecurity or confusion; be transparent and open with your communications and be respectful of your candidate’s time, expertise and interest in your company.

If you’re keen to learn more about how to improve the candidate experience throughout the hiring process, contact Charlie Gordon, Client Relationship Director, for further advice  +44 (0)207 649 9463