How to Improve the Candidate Experience

improve-candidate-experience_blog_staff-management-SMXWe have been focusing a lot of energy on the temporary candidate experience in the past six months. Beginning by conducting an extensive survey of our candidates in the fall of 2010, we are really trying to understand how they feel about our recruitment and selection processes.

We asked things such as: What did they like best about our process? Where did they feel that we could make improvements? What would they like to see during the interview? How did we make them feel throughout the entire process? Did we communicate effectively? Did they feel we focused on only our needs or did we really try to focus on their needs as well?

So what did we find out?

Overall, our temporary candidates thought the recruitment process was very thorough and that they had a firm understanding of the job requirements, benefits and value to them. They also felt that we communicated well throughout the entire process, as they progressed from initial screen to start date.

Here’s what they had to say:

  • Candidates overwhelmingly felt that there was too much paperwork to fill out, and that the process could be very time consuming.
  • They also consistently asked for a way in which to apply remotely without having to come into our offices.
  • Finally, they asked us to continue to communicate with them throughout the process, letting them know how they were progressing and when they would start.

The following are the main drivers we found to ensuring a positive candidate experience for our temporary staffing positions:

  • Continue to survey candidates to ensure that the recruitment process is sound and make continuous improvements. You don’t know if you don’t ask.
  • Make it easier for candidates to apply online.
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. A candidate simply wants to know how they are doing in the recruitment process and how soon they will start working.
  • Simplify the process as much as possible and eliminate redundant paperwork. Continually look to streamline your process so that the candidate’s time is valued.
  • Hire and train knowledgeable staff. One major key to ensuring a strong candidate experience is to address their needs at first contact. A candidate needs to feel that the staff is there to help them obtain a job and understand their needs are being cared for.
  • Lastly, treat every candidate as if they are the most important one. At the end of the day, staffing is a numbers game. The best firms attract and retain the highest quality candidates. Make sure your process makes candidates feel important and they will remember you and want to work for you.

In the part two of this candidate experience blog series, I will share more insights on what we have learned from our candidates and how we have revamped our selection and onboarding process based on their feedback. I’ll also share information on our all new proprietary software, PRO (Paperless Recruitment and OnBoarding).

What do you think are the best and worst qualities of common recruiting and onboarding processes?