What is a candidate's experience, and why is it important? Even though you are ultimately in charge, the candidates you are in touch with are in control of whether or not they’ll return to you and apply to a job that you’ve posted, again. It all depends on the experience you’ve given them during a former hiring process. Your goal here is to make them want to be in touch with you again.
How do you accomplish that?
From the candidates’ point of view, they want to feel as if they’ve been a valued candidate, even though they didn’t get the job. It usually boils down to getting the correct information at the perfect time, and it begins already with the job ad. It should be placed where your preferred candidates spend their time online. Targeted job ads is a good way of reaching your target group. Find out which forums or platforms they hang out on and direct your ads toward those sites/apps. How you write your ad is also of great importance. Does it hold all necessary information for someone to make an informed decision to apply? Does it describe the company’s culture so that the candidate is given the opportunity to get a good grasp on whether or not they would enjoy it there? Are you using inclusive language? If you manage to excite and engage with your job ad, not only will you receive many applicants but you’ll also see it spread across the web because a friend of a friend might think of a friend who would thrive in that job, thus share it.
Take a look at the application process and count how many steps the candidate has to go through to complete the application. Are you forcing them to write their resume in an online form? If that’s the case, be aware of that you will probably discourage many to complete the form since they simply don’t have the time to fill in a new form for every job they apply to.
It’s also wise to check how many times they have to give you the same information and if you’re fetching only the most necessary information at all times. Do they have to type their personal information first in the job ad, then in another system? If so, try to remove one of the steps and find ways to integrate the systems with one another. Do your best to keep it simple.
You also want to make sure that you have an automated email function in place (which most likely exists in your ATS) that sends emails after an action has been made. When they have sent their application, send them an email saying you’ve received it and let them know when they can expect to hear from you. After the first interview, text-based, face-to-face, or over the phone, let them know when they can expect to hear from you.
And that’s basically all. Ensure they feel seen, heard, and taken care of, never leave them hanging and always stay on top of their expectations.
Digital tools, along with an increased expectation of productivity on a global level, have generated a sense of urgency in most companies. Things “have” to happen sooner rather than later, and it’s the expectation that your clients, your boss, and your candidates have. On your side you have to turn it into a smooth process for the candidate to move on to the next step of the recruitment process. Which means you need a clear strategy from initial contact, to interview, to hire. You can speed up this process by using an automatic meeting booker, an automated screening tool and a virtual assistant that your candidates can turn to if they have any questions regarding salary and benefits. And, as already touched upon, help the candidate by making the application process simple and efficient with as few steps as possible.
To remain an eligible recruiter and remain in the forefront of your industry, your process has to reflect the expectations of the people you’re dealing with. Thus it has to be sped up on all fronts. Spending too much time sourcing, screening, and interviewing will make you fall behind and risk that your client and candidates will turn to someone else.
To avoid this, start by laying out your process in front of you to find your pain points and time-thieves. Once you’ve pinpointed where your process is faulty, find digital tools and other support (recruits, education, etc.) that can elevate your work. Let’s look at a couple of examples of digital tools that do that.
First things first - how old is your ATS? Can you easily filter your search after skills, education, experience, and character traits? If your ATS can’t support your basic work needs, look into finding a system that can, because your ATS should more or less be the heart of your work. Since you’re in high-volume hiring, you want to work with digital tools, platforms, and systems that handle large amounts of data with ease. The ATS should therefore be angled toward high-volume recruitment in terms of price, built-in functions, and sourcing capabilities. If it’s not, check if you can find plug-in’s for high-volume recruitment and integrate them into the tool.
The tool should also, preferably, contain AI-based (Artificial Intelligence) functionalities since the computer then can automate many processes, such as; quickly pull a shortlist from your existing candidate pool based on your chosen criteria and improve the candidate experience with a chatbot. When AI works together with an ATS, every point of the recruitment process is automatically logged for each candidate. This makes it easier to spot inefficiencies and pinpoint exactly which parts of the recruitment process could be improved upon.
Market research has shown that by incorporating AI into your recruitment process, you can reduce hiring costs by 70% and reduce time to hire from 34 to 9 days. Which is a major time- and cost-saver that speaks for itself. The aspect of AI does not end with the ATS, on the contrary, it can support you throughout the whole process; conduct psychometric tests without meeting the candidate in person, or use a chatbot that can conduct text-based interviews automatically and shortlist the candidates afterward, such as Hubert.
The point of these tools is to quickly gather data, decipher it, and help you make an informed decision on who to move forward with. Investing in them may seem daunting but rest assured that you’ll get better results faster by using them.
The more candidates and jobs you take on, the greater the risk that your screening process suffers. It might suffer in that you don’t have time to review every application meticulously, nor conduct adequate interviews that should give you the complete picture of how good someone would be at the job at hand. Your mission is to have a process in place, including digital tools, schedules, and timelines, that act as the foundation for your ability to achieve quality hires. Without a stable foundation, your results will be equally rickety-rackety.
A reasonable fear to have when you scale up and make use of digital tools is that of how the predictive ability of a tool affects the candidate experience when the systems deal with large amounts of data. If you would take one single candidate through 10 interviews, 10 various tests, and 100 work samples, you would get an exemplary evaluation of that candidate. But doing so with all candidates is, of course, too time-consuming for high-volume recruiting. Therefore it all boils down to which system you are using. If the system is built to handle big data and run predictive analytics, the outcome (candidate shortlists) will be based on statistical algorithms and historical data to identify the likelihood of future outcomes. But in order to give all candidates the same treatment you might have to support your workflow with a separate candidate experience tool, in case the tool you use to more easily source candidates does not support that. In conclusion, so to not chip away at the quality of the assessment, you can do a trade-off by using a supporting tool/system that conducts a fair evaluation at the same time as you give the candidate a good experience.
So, be kind to yourself and put all these pieces in place to focus fully on finding the best candidates en masse.