Building a Better Candidate Experience Starts with a GR8 Communication Strategy

Is poor communication costing you great hires? Employer brand messaging has become more essential than ever in today’s hiring climate. However, all the hard work invested in elevating the employer brand won’t negate poor communication and stalled feedback loops to candidates throughout the hiring process—and that’s true whether a job offer is extended or not.

Related Resource: Is your candidate journey running off course? Ge a better roadmap for your employer brand.

While there’s no question that a positive candidate experience is essential for hiring success, candidate resentment rates are again on the rise. According to the 2021 North American Talent Board Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report, positive candidate experiences initially showed an increase during the onset of the pandemic, however candidate resentment has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Candidate resentment rose from 8% in 2020 to 14% in 2021. That’s a 75% increase and the largest spike the Talent Board has ever seen. The report also reaffirms that, “Candidates reporting high levels of resentment are less likely to apply with a company again or refer others. They are also more likely to completely sever their relationship with that company. This has a big impact on your talent pool. It can even affect purchasing behavior of current or potential buyers for consumer-based companies.”

Deliver More Immediate and Meaningful Candidate Communications

Effective communications can be achieved by ensuring that you communicate via channels that are most convenient and visible from the candidate perspective, as well as putting safeguards in place to avoid the all-to-common frustrations that are associated with the dreaded ATS black hole across every step of their hiring journey including:

• Pre-Application: Make sure you have multiple available channels for job seekers to join a talent pool based on their career interests or opt-in to receive job alerts. Once they do, ensure a quick response via automated and personalized communications thanking them for their interest or informing them of next steps in the recruiting process.

• Status Change: Keep candidates in the loop regarding the status of their application. For a highly qualified candidate, there’s nothing worse than applying for a job and not receiving any feedback—whether it be good, or bad. A status change could mean something as simple as a candidate’s application passing the review process. Think of this as another opportunity to have a simple, personalized message baked into your workflow.

• Interview: Allow candidates to self-schedule. Your automated communications, including text messages, can be set up to send candidates a link to login to their profile and follow a prompt to self-schedule an interview and eliminate the hassles of all that back-and-forth coordination that usually happens over email.

Post Interview: Automate internal reminders. Set automated reminders within your workflows that nudge hiring managers and interviewers to provide the feedback you need to move a candidate forward in the process in a timely fashion.

• Post Offer: Close the loop. Obviously, candidates that have been extended an offer have been notified, but it’s equally as important to notify those that didn’t make the cut. These applicants may be a good fit for a different opening in the future and remember—people talk. That candidate may have someone in their network that they would direct to your company if their experience was a positive one.

Remember to Request Feedback

Communication is a two-way strategy. To improve your candidate experience, you need feedback from candidates during and after interviews, even if the candidate wasn’t offered the position. Not only does feedback show candidates that you care about their experience, but it also keeps them engaged in your recruitment process. Consider sending short and anonymous surveys that allow candidates to share honest information without the fear of judgment. You can use the data collected to enhance your recruitment process and improve the candidate’s experience.

Review your Communication Channels

Creating a robust candidate communication strategy largely boils down to understanding what your candidates want and giving them ways to easily connect with your organization. Recruiting teams should evaluate which communication platforms prove most effective for converting job seekers into applicants too.

For example, it’s no secret that email often results in delayed candidate communications while texts, due to their much greater visibility, offer recruiters a huge advantage when it comes to candidate engagement. As reported by Mobile Marketing Watch, unlike email and voice mail, SMS text messages have a 98% open rate. Recruiters can leverage texting to prompt candidates to self-schedule an interview or to remind applicants that they need to complete an assessment as part of the hiring process, as well as update applicants on next steps as they move through the pipeline.

Finally, technology alone won’t solve your candidate experience challenges. Assigning accountability for a good candidate experience will also be critical to your organization’s hiring success. So, guide your organization with clear standards for what a great candidate experience looks like to improve your candidate experience and achieving exceptional hiring outcomes.