Why it’s essential to set up a candidate experience

The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand.

Paulina Jonquères d'Oriola
Editor
Why it’s essential to set up a candidate experience
Summary
This is some text inside of a div block.

The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand. And let’s not forget its intricate connection with the company’s business goals.

So what are the fundamentals of the candidate experience, and why is it important? And above all, how can you optimize the first point of contact with the company? We’re bringing you answers from two recruitment experts.

What is the candidate experience?

Starting even before their first interview, the candidate experience includes all the points of contact between the candidate and the company.

When we talk about the candidate experience, we go all the way back to the original link that brings together a company and potential recruit. This is the moment when a job seeker finds a job listing or sends a spontaneous application after learning about a company.

The candidate experience spans all the phases of recruitment, from the first emails to interviews or tests, all the way to the final selection and the communication of a definitive response.

Finally, the candidate experience is an integral part of the employee experience that goes all the way to offboarding and beyond, once a collaborator becomes an alumnus. The proof is in the numbers: 68% of workers think that the candidate experience reflects the way a company treats its employees, according to CareerBuilder.

Why create a candidate experience?

Besides improving your employer brand, taking into account the candidate experience favors long-term engagement with your employees.

The word “experience” suggest that the recruitment process is a real adventure in itself, one that should be cherished like a budding romantic relationship.

In this delicate period, the brand image is essential. It’s a time when it’s important to leverage its humanity, as Mathilde Héliès, HR specialist and founder of Fullémo. “The candidate experience means the emotional appreciation that a person will feel after each interaction with the company in the course of a recruitment process. Emotions are central in that they give meaning to what we experience and inform us about events we live through, as well as our perception of the world,” she explains.

In other words, the candidate experience is what the person in the recruitment process feels about a company throughout the journey. And according to Héliès, the impression employers give off is more important than the company’s official communications. And the recruiter represents the first entry point to the company, so their role is nothing short of essential.

What are the advantages of the candidate experience?

Improving the candidate benefits the recruitment process and business, too.

From the recruitment perspective

The challenges of recruitment are many. It’s about attracting the best recruits, knowing that 75% of workers claim that they’re not likely to join a company that treated them poorly during a hiring process, according to Korn Ferry.

Effectively, the impact of emotions is central in decision making. And the feeling of trust during interviews will be a determining factor for the candidate in their choice to join the company or not. A closer location or a better salary don’t always hold up to candidate intuition. A study about candidate behavior by CareerBuilder reveals that 77% of candidates would accept a lower salary after a positive recruitment experience.

But it doesn’t stop there. Whether for accepted or rejected candidates, the stakes are just as important. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say that a candidate who receives a negative response can turn into an ambassador for the company. But what’s certain is that they continue to interact in a positive way with the company, liking their posts for example, which allows the company to stay visible within their network,” according to Amélie Favre-Guittet, recruitment specialist and LinkedIn Top Voice Jobs 2021.

And don’t forget that a candidate redirected from a certain job possibility could very well correspond to different role. But only with the condition that they don’t retain a negative impression of their interaction with the company. “The candidate experience is central in order for the employer brand to be well perceived,” claims Héliès. 75% of job seekers consider an employer brand before vene applying to a job, according to a LinkedIn study. Furthermore, according to a CareerArc survey, about 60% of candidates said they had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.

From the business perspective

Another point is that a good candidate experience represents a strong business opportunity, often underestimated by companies. Candidates are, after all, customers with power. “And of course, they’ll want to interact with you even more if you’ve established a good relationship with them,” observes Favre-Guittet. In a CareerArc survey, 64% of job seekers say that a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employee.

The second business opportunity is that human resources translates to bringing in money. The problem, according to Favre-Guittet, is that again, companies tend not to think of HR as a business unit in itself.

Optimizing the candidate experience means money and time saved in the future, and the possibility of attracting the best talent, today and tomorrow. The candidate experience is actually the first building block of the employee experience, integral to commitment and loyalty. And what’s good internally, is good externally, too. Companies with very committed employees show 21% higher profitability compared to other groups, according to a Gallup study.

What are the pillars of the candidate experience?

Now that we’ve explained why the subject is highly important, here’s how to set up a quality candidate experience.

  1. A simple process

Filling in a detailed form for hours and then everything crashes at the final moment…that’s not a good starting point. However, many companies require that their candidates use a heavy, out-of-date interface, not to mention to include a cover letter.

“Personally, I think you have to facilitate as much as possible the process so that it works in a few clicks: a link to a LinkedIn page for example and a few words to introduce yourself and to explain why you want to meet the company,” recommends Favre-Guittet.

The simplicity of the recruitment process also has to do with the broader process the candidate will face. The less lengthy it is, the less likely it is that you will discourage your candidates.

  1. A little originality!

Use pop cultural references, contact candidates via Whatsapp, share content before the interview, send an online quiz, ask for a little video presentation…those are just a few ideas to help you think out of the box. These elements allow candidates to breathe and enjoy some originality while they go through a recruitment process.

From her own experience Favre-Guittet has observed that more and more of her clients are letting go of the resume. “One way or another, the resume is a pain and it discriminates,” she explains. She prefers more original recruitment initiatives.

  1. Leverage the right tools

To offer a good candidate experience, people are obviously important, but tools can be precious resources.

For example, personality or skills tests can allow you to evaluate hard or soft skills and to better identify candidates. “They can complement the rest and bring out another facet of the candidate,” explains Favre-Guittet. The test results also remain relevant for several months and serve the candidate in any future applications, if this one doesn’t work out.

  1. Stay in touch throughout the process

For candidates, there is nothing worse than not getting news in the recruitment process. Being clear about deadlines is central, as is explaining why there could be some delays in the decision making.

Consider letting them know when their application is under review by HR, and send appropriate communications at every step of the way, asking for their feedback. “Recruitment is like a budding romantic relationship,” underscores Favre-Guittet, and requires a certain level of attentiveness.

  1. Feedback and more feedback

In this situation, no news does not equal good news. A rejection is better than no news, it’s essential for recruiters to have the courage to say, “no.” This requires tact and training, of course, and access to tools that can help them in this task. “There are now ATS solutions that allow you to create email templates that give the candidate the impression that they are personalized,” explains Favre-Guittet

Of course, if the candidate made it further along in the hiring process, picking up the phone is the minimum courtesy. Feedback should be constructive, which isn’t always comfortable. 

Finally, don’t forget that candidate feedback is valuable. Surveys allow you to gather feedback at the end of the process and identify what can be improved going forward.

You’ve got it: A successful candidate experience is a real boon for employee commitment throughout their career. So invest in this decisive step!

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Why it’s essential to set up a candidate experience

The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand.

Why it’s essential to set up a candidate experience

The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand. And let’s not forget its intricate connection with the company’s business goals.

So what are the fundamentals of the candidate experience, and why is it important? And above all, how can you optimize the first point of contact with the company? We’re bringing you answers from two recruitment experts.

What is the candidate experience?

Starting even before their first interview, the candidate experience includes all the points of contact between the candidate and the company.

When we talk about the candidate experience, we go all the way back to the original link that brings together a company and potential recruit. This is the moment when a job seeker finds a job listing or sends a spontaneous application after learning about a company.

The candidate experience spans all the phases of recruitment, from the first emails to interviews or tests, all the way to the final selection and the communication of a definitive response.

Finally, the candidate experience is an integral part of the employee experience that goes all the way to offboarding and beyond, once a collaborator becomes an alumnus. The proof is in the numbers: 68% of workers think that the candidate experience reflects the way a company treats its employees, according to CareerBuilder.

Why create a candidate experience?

Besides improving your employer brand, taking into account the candidate experience favors long-term engagement with your employees.

The word “experience” suggest that the recruitment process is a real adventure in itself, one that should be cherished like a budding romantic relationship.

In this delicate period, the brand image is essential. It’s a time when it’s important to leverage its humanity, as Mathilde Héliès, HR specialist and founder of Fullémo. “The candidate experience means the emotional appreciation that a person will feel after each interaction with the company in the course of a recruitment process. Emotions are central in that they give meaning to what we experience and inform us about events we live through, as well as our perception of the world,” she explains.

In other words, the candidate experience is what the person in the recruitment process feels about a company throughout the journey. And according to Héliès, the impression employers give off is more important than the company’s official communications. And the recruiter represents the first entry point to the company, so their role is nothing short of essential.

What are the advantages of the candidate experience?

Improving the candidate benefits the recruitment process and business, too.

From the recruitment perspective

The challenges of recruitment are many. It’s about attracting the best recruits, knowing that 75% of workers claim that they’re not likely to join a company that treated them poorly during a hiring process, according to Korn Ferry.

Effectively, the impact of emotions is central in decision making. And the feeling of trust during interviews will be a determining factor for the candidate in their choice to join the company or not. A closer location or a better salary don’t always hold up to candidate intuition. A study about candidate behavior by CareerBuilder reveals that 77% of candidates would accept a lower salary after a positive recruitment experience.

But it doesn’t stop there. Whether for accepted or rejected candidates, the stakes are just as important. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say that a candidate who receives a negative response can turn into an ambassador for the company. But what’s certain is that they continue to interact in a positive way with the company, liking their posts for example, which allows the company to stay visible within their network,” according to Amélie Favre-Guittet, recruitment specialist and LinkedIn Top Voice Jobs 2021.

And don’t forget that a candidate redirected from a certain job possibility could very well correspond to different role. But only with the condition that they don’t retain a negative impression of their interaction with the company. “The candidate experience is central in order for the employer brand to be well perceived,” claims Héliès. 75% of job seekers consider an employer brand before vene applying to a job, according to a LinkedIn study. Furthermore, according to a CareerArc survey, about 60% of candidates said they had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.

From the business perspective

Another point is that a good candidate experience represents a strong business opportunity, often underestimated by companies. Candidates are, after all, customers with power. “And of course, they’ll want to interact with you even more if you’ve established a good relationship with them,” observes Favre-Guittet. In a CareerArc survey, 64% of job seekers say that a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employee.

The second business opportunity is that human resources translates to bringing in money. The problem, according to Favre-Guittet, is that again, companies tend not to think of HR as a business unit in itself.

Optimizing the candidate experience means money and time saved in the future, and the possibility of attracting the best talent, today and tomorrow. The candidate experience is actually the first building block of the employee experience, integral to commitment and loyalty. And what’s good internally, is good externally, too. Companies with very committed employees show 21% higher profitability compared to other groups, according to a Gallup study.

What are the pillars of the candidate experience?

Now that we’ve explained why the subject is highly important, here’s how to set up a quality candidate experience.

  1. A simple process

Filling in a detailed form for hours and then everything crashes at the final moment…that’s not a good starting point. However, many companies require that their candidates use a heavy, out-of-date interface, not to mention to include a cover letter.

“Personally, I think you have to facilitate as much as possible the process so that it works in a few clicks: a link to a LinkedIn page for example and a few words to introduce yourself and to explain why you want to meet the company,” recommends Favre-Guittet.

The simplicity of the recruitment process also has to do with the broader process the candidate will face. The less lengthy it is, the less likely it is that you will discourage your candidates.

  1. A little originality!

Use pop cultural references, contact candidates via Whatsapp, share content before the interview, send an online quiz, ask for a little video presentation…those are just a few ideas to help you think out of the box. These elements allow candidates to breathe and enjoy some originality while they go through a recruitment process.

From her own experience Favre-Guittet has observed that more and more of her clients are letting go of the resume. “One way or another, the resume is a pain and it discriminates,” she explains. She prefers more original recruitment initiatives.

  1. Leverage the right tools

To offer a good candidate experience, people are obviously important, but tools can be precious resources.

For example, personality or skills tests can allow you to evaluate hard or soft skills and to better identify candidates. “They can complement the rest and bring out another facet of the candidate,” explains Favre-Guittet. The test results also remain relevant for several months and serve the candidate in any future applications, if this one doesn’t work out.

  1. Stay in touch throughout the process

For candidates, there is nothing worse than not getting news in the recruitment process. Being clear about deadlines is central, as is explaining why there could be some delays in the decision making.

Consider letting them know when their application is under review by HR, and send appropriate communications at every step of the way, asking for their feedback. “Recruitment is like a budding romantic relationship,” underscores Favre-Guittet, and requires a certain level of attentiveness.

  1. Feedback and more feedback

In this situation, no news does not equal good news. A rejection is better than no news, it’s essential for recruiters to have the courage to say, “no.” This requires tact and training, of course, and access to tools that can help them in this task. “There are now ATS solutions that allow you to create email templates that give the candidate the impression that they are personalized,” explains Favre-Guittet

Of course, if the candidate made it further along in the hiring process, picking up the phone is the minimum courtesy. Feedback should be constructive, which isn’t always comfortable. 

Finally, don’t forget that candidate feedback is valuable. Surveys allow you to gather feedback at the end of the process and identify what can be improved going forward.

You’ve got it: A successful candidate experience is a real boon for employee commitment throughout their career. So invest in this decisive step!

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Paulina Jonquères d'Oriola

Paulina Jonquères d'Oriola
Editor

Why it’s essential to set up a candidate experience

Changelog

Summary
Summary

The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand. And let’s not forget its intricate connection with the company’s business goals.

So what are the fundamentals of the candidate experience, and why is it important? And above all, how can you optimize the first point of contact with the company? We’re bringing you answers from two recruitment experts.

What is the candidate experience?

Starting even before their first interview, the candidate experience includes all the points of contact between the candidate and the company.

When we talk about the candidate experience, we go all the way back to the original link that brings together a company and potential recruit. This is the moment when a job seeker finds a job listing or sends a spontaneous application after learning about a company.

The candidate experience spans all the phases of recruitment, from the first emails to interviews or tests, all the way to the final selection and the communication of a definitive response.

Finally, the candidate experience is an integral part of the employee experience that goes all the way to offboarding and beyond, once a collaborator becomes an alumnus. The proof is in the numbers: 68% of workers think that the candidate experience reflects the way a company treats its employees, according to CareerBuilder.

Why create a candidate experience?

Besides improving your employer brand, taking into account the candidate experience favors long-term engagement with your employees.

The word “experience” suggest that the recruitment process is a real adventure in itself, one that should be cherished like a budding romantic relationship.

In this delicate period, the brand image is essential. It’s a time when it’s important to leverage its humanity, as Mathilde Héliès, HR specialist and founder of Fullémo. “The candidate experience means the emotional appreciation that a person will feel after each interaction with the company in the course of a recruitment process. Emotions are central in that they give meaning to what we experience and inform us about events we live through, as well as our perception of the world,” she explains.

In other words, the candidate experience is what the person in the recruitment process feels about a company throughout the journey. And according to Héliès, the impression employers give off is more important than the company’s official communications. And the recruiter represents the first entry point to the company, so their role is nothing short of essential.

What are the advantages of the candidate experience?

Improving the candidate benefits the recruitment process and business, too.

From the recruitment perspective

The challenges of recruitment are many. It’s about attracting the best recruits, knowing that 75% of workers claim that they’re not likely to join a company that treated them poorly during a hiring process, according to Korn Ferry.

Effectively, the impact of emotions is central in decision making. And the feeling of trust during interviews will be a determining factor for the candidate in their choice to join the company or not. A closer location or a better salary don’t always hold up to candidate intuition. A study about candidate behavior by CareerBuilder reveals that 77% of candidates would accept a lower salary after a positive recruitment experience.

But it doesn’t stop there. Whether for accepted or rejected candidates, the stakes are just as important. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say that a candidate who receives a negative response can turn into an ambassador for the company. But what’s certain is that they continue to interact in a positive way with the company, liking their posts for example, which allows the company to stay visible within their network,” according to Amélie Favre-Guittet, recruitment specialist and LinkedIn Top Voice Jobs 2021.

And don’t forget that a candidate redirected from a certain job possibility could very well correspond to different role. But only with the condition that they don’t retain a negative impression of their interaction with the company. “The candidate experience is central in order for the employer brand to be well perceived,” claims Héliès. 75% of job seekers consider an employer brand before vene applying to a job, according to a LinkedIn study. Furthermore, according to a CareerArc survey, about 60% of candidates said they had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.

From the business perspective

Another point is that a good candidate experience represents a strong business opportunity, often underestimated by companies. Candidates are, after all, customers with power. “And of course, they’ll want to interact with you even more if you’ve established a good relationship with them,” observes Favre-Guittet. In a CareerArc survey, 64% of job seekers say that a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employee.

The second business opportunity is that human resources translates to bringing in money. The problem, according to Favre-Guittet, is that again, companies tend not to think of HR as a business unit in itself.

Optimizing the candidate experience means money and time saved in the future, and the possibility of attracting the best talent, today and tomorrow. The candidate experience is actually the first building block of the employee experience, integral to commitment and loyalty. And what’s good internally, is good externally, too. Companies with very committed employees show 21% higher profitability compared to other groups, according to a Gallup study.

What are the pillars of the candidate experience?

Now that we’ve explained why the subject is highly important, here’s how to set up a quality candidate experience.

  1. A simple process

Filling in a detailed form for hours and then everything crashes at the final moment…that’s not a good starting point. However, many companies require that their candidates use a heavy, out-of-date interface, not to mention to include a cover letter.

“Personally, I think you have to facilitate as much as possible the process so that it works in a few clicks: a link to a LinkedIn page for example and a few words to introduce yourself and to explain why you want to meet the company,” recommends Favre-Guittet.

The simplicity of the recruitment process also has to do with the broader process the candidate will face. The less lengthy it is, the less likely it is that you will discourage your candidates.

  1. A little originality!

Use pop cultural references, contact candidates via Whatsapp, share content before the interview, send an online quiz, ask for a little video presentation…those are just a few ideas to help you think out of the box. These elements allow candidates to breathe and enjoy some originality while they go through a recruitment process.

From her own experience Favre-Guittet has observed that more and more of her clients are letting go of the resume. “One way or another, the resume is a pain and it discriminates,” she explains. She prefers more original recruitment initiatives.

  1. Leverage the right tools

To offer a good candidate experience, people are obviously important, but tools can be precious resources.

For example, personality or skills tests can allow you to evaluate hard or soft skills and to better identify candidates. “They can complement the rest and bring out another facet of the candidate,” explains Favre-Guittet. The test results also remain relevant for several months and serve the candidate in any future applications, if this one doesn’t work out.

  1. Stay in touch throughout the process

For candidates, there is nothing worse than not getting news in the recruitment process. Being clear about deadlines is central, as is explaining why there could be some delays in the decision making.

Consider letting them know when their application is under review by HR, and send appropriate communications at every step of the way, asking for their feedback. “Recruitment is like a budding romantic relationship,” underscores Favre-Guittet, and requires a certain level of attentiveness.

  1. Feedback and more feedback

In this situation, no news does not equal good news. A rejection is better than no news, it’s essential for recruiters to have the courage to say, “no.” This requires tact and training, of course, and access to tools that can help them in this task. “There are now ATS solutions that allow you to create email templates that give the candidate the impression that they are personalized,” explains Favre-Guittet

Of course, if the candidate made it further along in the hiring process, picking up the phone is the minimum courtesy. Feedback should be constructive, which isn’t always comfortable. 

Finally, don’t forget that candidate feedback is valuable. Surveys allow you to gather feedback at the end of the process and identify what can be improved going forward.

You’ve got it: A successful candidate experience is a real boon for employee commitment throughout their career. So invest in this decisive step!

The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand. And let’s not forget its intricate connection with the company’s business goals.

So what are the fundamentals of the candidate experience, and why is it important? And above all, how can you optimize the first point of contact with the company? We’re bringing you answers from two recruitment experts.

What is the candidate experience?

Starting even before their first interview, the candidate experience includes all the points of contact between the candidate and the company.

When we talk about the candidate experience, we go all the way back to the original link that brings together a company and potential recruit. This is the moment when a job seeker finds a job listing or sends a spontaneous application after learning about a company.

The candidate experience spans all the phases of recruitment, from the first emails to interviews or tests, all the way to the final selection and the communication of a definitive response.

Finally, the candidate experience is an integral part of the employee experience that goes all the way to offboarding and beyond, once a collaborator becomes an alumnus. The proof is in the numbers: 68% of workers think that the candidate experience reflects the way a company treats its employees, according to CareerBuilder.

Why create a candidate experience?

Besides improving your employer brand, taking into account the candidate experience favors long-term engagement with your employees.

The word “experience” suggest that the recruitment process is a real adventure in itself, one that should be cherished like a budding romantic relationship.

In this delicate period, the brand image is essential. It’s a time when it’s important to leverage its humanity, as Mathilde Héliès, HR specialist and founder of Fullémo. “The candidate experience means the emotional appreciation that a person will feel after each interaction with the company in the course of a recruitment process. Emotions are central in that they give meaning to what we experience and inform us about events we live through, as well as our perception of the world,” she explains.

In other words, the candidate experience is what the person in the recruitment process feels about a company throughout the journey. And according to Héliès, the impression employers give off is more important than the company’s official communications. And the recruiter represents the first entry point to the company, so their role is nothing short of essential.

What are the advantages of the candidate experience?

Improving the candidate benefits the recruitment process and business, too.

From the recruitment perspective

The challenges of recruitment are many. It’s about attracting the best recruits, knowing that 75% of workers claim that they’re not likely to join a company that treated them poorly during a hiring process, according to Korn Ferry.

Effectively, the impact of emotions is central in decision making. And the feeling of trust during interviews will be a determining factor for the candidate in their choice to join the company or not. A closer location or a better salary don’t always hold up to candidate intuition. A study about candidate behavior by CareerBuilder reveals that 77% of candidates would accept a lower salary after a positive recruitment experience.

But it doesn’t stop there. Whether for accepted or rejected candidates, the stakes are just as important. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say that a candidate who receives a negative response can turn into an ambassador for the company. But what’s certain is that they continue to interact in a positive way with the company, liking their posts for example, which allows the company to stay visible within their network,” according to Amélie Favre-Guittet, recruitment specialist and LinkedIn Top Voice Jobs 2021.

And don’t forget that a candidate redirected from a certain job possibility could very well correspond to different role. But only with the condition that they don’t retain a negative impression of their interaction with the company. “The candidate experience is central in order for the employer brand to be well perceived,” claims Héliès. 75% of job seekers consider an employer brand before vene applying to a job, according to a LinkedIn study. Furthermore, according to a CareerArc survey, about 60% of candidates said they had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.

From the business perspective

Another point is that a good candidate experience represents a strong business opportunity, often underestimated by companies. Candidates are, after all, customers with power. “And of course, they’ll want to interact with you even more if you’ve established a good relationship with them,” observes Favre-Guittet. In a CareerArc survey, 64% of job seekers say that a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employee.

The second business opportunity is that human resources translates to bringing in money. The problem, according to Favre-Guittet, is that again, companies tend not to think of HR as a business unit in itself.

Optimizing the candidate experience means money and time saved in the future, and the possibility of attracting the best talent, today and tomorrow. The candidate experience is actually the first building block of the employee experience, integral to commitment and loyalty. And what’s good internally, is good externally, too. Companies with very committed employees show 21% higher profitability compared to other groups, according to a Gallup study.

What are the pillars of the candidate experience?

Now that we’ve explained why the subject is highly important, here’s how to set up a quality candidate experience.

  1. A simple process

Filling in a detailed form for hours and then everything crashes at the final moment…that’s not a good starting point. However, many companies require that their candidates use a heavy, out-of-date interface, not to mention to include a cover letter.

“Personally, I think you have to facilitate as much as possible the process so that it works in a few clicks: a link to a LinkedIn page for example and a few words to introduce yourself and to explain why you want to meet the company,” recommends Favre-Guittet.

The simplicity of the recruitment process also has to do with the broader process the candidate will face. The less lengthy it is, the less likely it is that you will discourage your candidates.

  1. A little originality!

Use pop cultural references, contact candidates via Whatsapp, share content before the interview, send an online quiz, ask for a little video presentation…those are just a few ideas to help you think out of the box. These elements allow candidates to breathe and enjoy some originality while they go through a recruitment process.

From her own experience Favre-Guittet has observed that more and more of her clients are letting go of the resume. “One way or another, the resume is a pain and it discriminates,” she explains. She prefers more original recruitment initiatives.

  1. Leverage the right tools

To offer a good candidate experience, people are obviously important, but tools can be precious resources.

For example, personality or skills tests can allow you to evaluate hard or soft skills and to better identify candidates. “They can complement the rest and bring out another facet of the candidate,” explains Favre-Guittet. The test results also remain relevant for several months and serve the candidate in any future applications, if this one doesn’t work out.

  1. Stay in touch throughout the process

For candidates, there is nothing worse than not getting news in the recruitment process. Being clear about deadlines is central, as is explaining why there could be some delays in the decision making.

Consider letting them know when their application is under review by HR, and send appropriate communications at every step of the way, asking for their feedback. “Recruitment is like a budding romantic relationship,” underscores Favre-Guittet, and requires a certain level of attentiveness.

  1. Feedback and more feedback

In this situation, no news does not equal good news. A rejection is better than no news, it’s essential for recruiters to have the courage to say, “no.” This requires tact and training, of course, and access to tools that can help them in this task. “There are now ATS solutions that allow you to create email templates that give the candidate the impression that they are personalized,” explains Favre-Guittet

Of course, if the candidate made it further along in the hiring process, picking up the phone is the minimum courtesy. Feedback should be constructive, which isn’t always comfortable. 

Finally, don’t forget that candidate feedback is valuable. Surveys allow you to gather feedback at the end of the process and identify what can be improved going forward.

You’ve got it: A successful candidate experience is a real boon for employee commitment throughout their career. So invest in this decisive step!

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The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand.

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The candidate experience, increasingly a focus of hiring efforts, is one of the building blocks of the employee experience, and more broadly, the employer brand. And let’s not forget its intricate connection with the company’s business goals.

So what are the fundamentals of the candidate experience, and why is it important? And above all, how can you optimize the first point of contact with the company? We’re bringing you answers from two recruitment experts.

What is the candidate experience?

Starting even before their first interview, the candidate experience includes all the points of contact between the candidate and the company.

When we talk about the candidate experience, we go all the way back to the original link that brings together a company and potential recruit. This is the moment when a job seeker finds a job listing or sends a spontaneous application after learning about a company.

The candidate experience spans all the phases of recruitment, from the first emails to interviews or tests, all the way to the final selection and the communication of a definitive response.

Finally, the candidate experience is an integral part of the employee experience that goes all the way to offboarding and beyond, once a collaborator becomes an alumnus. The proof is in the numbers: 68% of workers think that the candidate experience reflects the way a company treats its employees, according to CareerBuilder.

Why create a candidate experience?

Besides improving your employer brand, taking into account the candidate experience favors long-term engagement with your employees.

The word “experience” suggest that the recruitment process is a real adventure in itself, one that should be cherished like a budding romantic relationship.

In this delicate period, the brand image is essential. It’s a time when it’s important to leverage its humanity, as Mathilde Héliès, HR specialist and founder of Fullémo. “The candidate experience means the emotional appreciation that a person will feel after each interaction with the company in the course of a recruitment process. Emotions are central in that they give meaning to what we experience and inform us about events we live through, as well as our perception of the world,” she explains.

In other words, the candidate experience is what the person in the recruitment process feels about a company throughout the journey. And according to Héliès, the impression employers give off is more important than the company’s official communications. And the recruiter represents the first entry point to the company, so their role is nothing short of essential.

What are the advantages of the candidate experience?

Improving the candidate benefits the recruitment process and business, too.

From the recruitment perspective

The challenges of recruitment are many. It’s about attracting the best recruits, knowing that 75% of workers claim that they’re not likely to join a company that treated them poorly during a hiring process, according to Korn Ferry.

Effectively, the impact of emotions is central in decision making. And the feeling of trust during interviews will be a determining factor for the candidate in their choice to join the company or not. A closer location or a better salary don’t always hold up to candidate intuition. A study about candidate behavior by CareerBuilder reveals that 77% of candidates would accept a lower salary after a positive recruitment experience.

But it doesn’t stop there. Whether for accepted or rejected candidates, the stakes are just as important. “I wouldn’t go as far as to say that a candidate who receives a negative response can turn into an ambassador for the company. But what’s certain is that they continue to interact in a positive way with the company, liking their posts for example, which allows the company to stay visible within their network,” according to Amélie Favre-Guittet, recruitment specialist and LinkedIn Top Voice Jobs 2021.

And don’t forget that a candidate redirected from a certain job possibility could very well correspond to different role. But only with the condition that they don’t retain a negative impression of their interaction with the company. “The candidate experience is central in order for the employer brand to be well perceived,” claims Héliès. 75% of job seekers consider an employer brand before vene applying to a job, according to a LinkedIn study. Furthermore, according to a CareerArc survey, about 60% of candidates said they had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.

From the business perspective

Another point is that a good candidate experience represents a strong business opportunity, often underestimated by companies. Candidates are, after all, customers with power. “And of course, they’ll want to interact with you even more if you’ve established a good relationship with them,” observes Favre-Guittet. In a CareerArc survey, 64% of job seekers say that a poor candidate experience would make them less likely to purchase goods and services from that employee.

The second business opportunity is that human resources translates to bringing in money. The problem, according to Favre-Guittet, is that again, companies tend not to think of HR as a business unit in itself.

Optimizing the candidate experience means money and time saved in the future, and the possibility of attracting the best talent, today and tomorrow. The candidate experience is actually the first building block of the employee experience, integral to commitment and loyalty. And what’s good internally, is good externally, too. Companies with very committed employees show 21% higher profitability compared to other groups, according to a Gallup study.

What are the pillars of the candidate experience?

Now that we’ve explained why the subject is highly important, here’s how to set up a quality candidate experience.

  1. A simple process

Filling in a detailed form for hours and then everything crashes at the final moment…that’s not a good starting point. However, many companies require that their candidates use a heavy, out-of-date interface, not to mention to include a cover letter.

“Personally, I think you have to facilitate as much as possible the process so that it works in a few clicks: a link to a LinkedIn page for example and a few words to introduce yourself and to explain why you want to meet the company,” recommends Favre-Guittet.

The simplicity of the recruitment process also has to do with the broader process the candidate will face. The less lengthy it is, the less likely it is that you will discourage your candidates.

  1. A little originality!

Use pop cultural references, contact candidates via Whatsapp, share content before the interview, send an online quiz, ask for a little video presentation…those are just a few ideas to help you think out of the box. These elements allow candidates to breathe and enjoy some originality while they go through a recruitment process.

From her own experience Favre-Guittet has observed that more and more of her clients are letting go of the resume. “One way or another, the resume is a pain and it discriminates,” she explains. She prefers more original recruitment initiatives.

  1. Leverage the right tools

To offer a good candidate experience, people are obviously important, but tools can be precious resources.

For example, personality or skills tests can allow you to evaluate hard or soft skills and to better identify candidates. “They can complement the rest and bring out another facet of the candidate,” explains Favre-Guittet. The test results also remain relevant for several months and serve the candidate in any future applications, if this one doesn’t work out.

  1. Stay in touch throughout the process

For candidates, there is nothing worse than not getting news in the recruitment process. Being clear about deadlines is central, as is explaining why there could be some delays in the decision making.

Consider letting them know when their application is under review by HR, and send appropriate communications at every step of the way, asking for their feedback. “Recruitment is like a budding romantic relationship,” underscores Favre-Guittet, and requires a certain level of attentiveness.

  1. Feedback and more feedback

In this situation, no news does not equal good news. A rejection is better than no news, it’s essential for recruiters to have the courage to say, “no.” This requires tact and training, of course, and access to tools that can help them in this task. “There are now ATS solutions that allow you to create email templates that give the candidate the impression that they are personalized,” explains Favre-Guittet

Of course, if the candidate made it further along in the hiring process, picking up the phone is the minimum courtesy. Feedback should be constructive, which isn’t always comfortable. 

Finally, don’t forget that candidate feedback is valuable. Surveys allow you to gather feedback at the end of the process and identify what can be improved going forward.

You’ve got it: A successful candidate experience is a real boon for employee commitment throughout their career. So invest in this decisive step!

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