A Guide to a Good Recruitment Experience

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Approx. 10 min. read
Last updated: April 26, 2018

Recruitment processes are opportunities to grow your talent pool, improve your employer brand and find out what type of professionals your company attracts. How do you ensure a successful recruitment process for all candidates involved, including those who don't get employed by you?

Recruitment processes can be burdening for everyone involved. Especially those who go through a recruitment process only to not be selected in the end can often take it hard. By paying close attention to the entire recruitment experience, you can make sure everyone involved is left off with a good impression of you, both as a company and as an employer. In this article, we explain the importance of a good recruitment experience and offer you tips to succeed in different stages of your recruitment process.

Why is a Good Recruitment Experience Important?

1. Word-of-Mouth Around Recruitment Experiences Affects Employment Brand

Your employer brand is your reputation as an employer. Your employer brand is also the perception of your company to the talent you wish to attract. The people involved in your recruitment experience are the people who have hands-on experience of your company’s methods of recruitment, and they can either make or break your employer brand. Just like someone discontent with your product may complain about it on social media, someone discontent, disappointed, or unhappy with your recruitment process may also voice these feelings online and offline.

Bad reviews reflect poorly on you as an employer brand and also make it likely for other people to hesitate to apply for your company. Remember that the more niche skills and talent you need, the more likely candidates are to know each other already and communicate in the same social media networks on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. A candidate who has had a good recruitment experience is likely to recommend you as an employer to a talent they know. Likewise, if someone has a very negative recruitment experience from a company, they are likely to warn or dissuade an acquaintance who is considering applying to the company. Make sure everyone applying to your company has a good feeling about the recruitment process, even if they don’t get chosen for the job.

2. WOM Around Recruitment Affects Your Brand in General

Recruitment experience has an effect on your company beyond just your employer brand. The way people view your employer brand expands to how they view your brand in general, and bad recruitment experiences may trickle down to negative brand images. If the recruitment experience is very positive, you may end up with brand advocates, instead: people who talk highly of your company and recommend it to others, even if they did not get selected as employees. Every person applying to your company starts off with a positive image of your company since they considered working there. Do not ruin this good image by leaving these enthusiastic people with a bad feeling towards your company. Instead, use their interest in your company as a way to maintain their interest as a customer and maybe as someone who recommends your brand and company to other people.

Remember that potential candidates may become your employees in the future, even if their skills did not match your needs right now. The working life is hectic and situations and needs change quickly. So be aware of burning bridges or ignoring applicants who you feel don’t have the right type of skills. Not only are you harming your brand, you might be upsetting someone you might soon realize you actually need to hire.

So, now we present ways to create a good recruitment experience with three steps.

Outlining a good recruitment experience

Step 1: Beginning of Recruitment Process

Think About Readability and Usability of Your Job Description

Make sure your job description is mobile optimized, as 90 percent of those looking for a job occasionally use a mobile device for job hunting. As candidates may search for a job on mobile yet are more likely to send the actual application by desktop, make sure it will be easy for the candidate to send a link to the application process to themselves, or start the application on mobile and continue on desktop.

Many applicants feel frustrated having to fill in pages and pages of forms, only to have the last page add a CV and another application. To alleviate their frustration, explain in the application that the fill-in boxes are used to scan through the first applicant batch, after which the company will take a look at the individual CV:s and the applications of those applicants which made it through the first round. This will give potential candidates patience to fill all the necessary parts and pages and understand the importance of each step. Make sure that the first-round application process isn’t unnecessarily difficult and add in an option to save a draft and go back to the application later if need be.

Be Truthful and Clear in the Job Application

You want your applicants to be honest, so expect the same from yourself in return. Don’t oversell a position or try to make it sound different to what it is. Applicants who think they will be applying to one position, only to find out the position is not what they were told, will feel fooled and even taken advantage of. There is nothing wrong with trying to make your job description stand out and adding adjectives to make it sound more interesting, but if the majority of time spent in on the job will be answering emails, tell this at the very beginning.

Pay attention to the clarity of your job ad. Nearly three-quarters of those responsible for hiring say they write clear job descriptions, but only 36 percent of candidates agree. Make sure the job description isn't too vague or too technical, and that all the important details can be quickly found in the description.

Add an Application Deadline

Add a deadline for the submission of job applications, even if you don’t actually have one. With a clear end date, even the busiest applicants will schedule time for applying. If the job ad just disappears one day, it may leave a bad taste to the mouth of those candidates who thought they had more time to plan for the application. Also add a number or at least an email where candidates can get in touch with you and ask more questions, and make sure the questions are answered well before the deadline ends.

Explain the Application Procedure

In your job description, explain what will happen after a candidate submits their application. Will they receive an automatic email if the application has been successfully sent? Will they receive a notification by a certain date, regardless of if they got to the next round or not? When will they be notified if they got selected for the next round? If they continue to the next round, how will they be contacted, via phone or email?

Use Social Recruiting to Humanize the Recruitment Process

Social recruiting, hiring people by using social platforms and social media, is a good way to bring a human touch to the recruitment process. When you are posting a job description to social media, encourage (but don’t force) your employees to share the job posting to their own social media channels. This tells the potential candidates that the people currently working in the company are happy to see new talents join in and do not feel threatened by the new workforce.

Engaging your current employees in the recruitment process will also make the process more transparent to both existing employees and to the potential new employees. When planning a job description or updating your careers page, talk with the employees in a similar position than the job you are currently recruiting for. If possible, ask them for a video entry where they talk about their job and explain what their typical workday is like. These steps help humanize your brand and make the recruitment experience feel more personal to the candidates.

To read more about social recruiting, feel free to download our guide to succeeding in social recruiting with Employee Advocacy:

Free Guide - How to succeed in social recruiting with employee advocacy

Step 2: Selection and Interviews

Calls for the Next Round

Notify everyone when you are ready to make the next step in your interview process. Let those who didn't make it to the next round know as soon as possible.

Next, think about the candidates who you chose for the next round. Contact all of them personally and when you call them, remember to introduce yourself and your company and mention the exact position they are being interviewed for. For you it may seem evident they will know where you are calling from since they applied to work for you but remember many people apply to several places simultaneously. Many people also apply for several positions within one company or apply with an open application, and this is why it is important to announce the specific title they are being considered for.

Schedule Time for the Interviews

Remember candidates are real people who come with lives and possibly full-time jobs. If you offer them one option for the interview and that is to come by the next day during office hours and tell them that if they can’t make it you are no longer interested, you are creating a bad impression of your company. Anyone who is currently working and has strong work ethic may not be able to suddenly leave their post on a sudden notice, and if they are, this is not necessarily the type of person you want to work for your company, since they are so quick to leave their desk to go to a job interview. You are looking for someone who is loyal and hardworking, and this might be someone who needs some time to move things around to be able to make it to an interview. Understand this and you are a company that shows it values its workers and their time.

Tell the Candidates What to Expect

For the interview process, tell the candidate how many people will be in the interview, who these people are and if the interview is an individual interview or a group interview. This makes it easier for the candidate to orientate themselves to the interview. If they arrive expecting a one-on-one interview and are met with a jury of five or six people, they might feel overwhelmed and even ambushed. Introduce the people who are involved in the interviewing process at the beginning of the interview.

Step 3: Selection

After the interview round, you have the person or people who got the job, and the person and people who didn't. The recruitment experience for these two groups is vastly different but remember that the experiences of both are equally important.

The One You Chose…

For the person you chose, let them know about the recruitment decision as soon as possible. Tell them why they were chosen and what specific skills, talent or expertise you are especially excited about them bringing to the house. This will make your soon-to-be employee feel valued and they will start to feel engaged with the workplace right away. Assign a person the soon-to-be employee can be in contact with in case of any practical or other questions regarding the job and the start of it. Even before they begin work, encourage them to follow your company’s social media channels, to start to get a feel of the company and its’ people. This is another way to get the future employee feel more engaged with your company and your brand even before they start working for you.

And the One You Didn’t

This is a very, very important step in the process of creating a good recruitment experience. All of those who got to the interview process but were not selected for the job should be personally contacted, preferably by phone. If possible, explain why the person was not chosen and again, if possible, what they can do in order to be considered in the future. Being very close to the finish line and then being rejected is a difficult situation for most people, and if the company does not do a good job in finishing up the recruitment process, they are left with many people who have negative feelings towards the company. If, however, you manage to explain your position and end the conversation with a good vibe, you can find yourself with a valuable brand advocate for the future. So pay extra attention to this stage and make sure you are not leaving anyone feeling unappreciated. End the recruitment process on a positive note and make sure the applicants know their time and skill is valued and should they have any additional questions, let them know who to turn to. This way, you are paving the way for a good recruitment experience even to those who didn’t end up working for your company.

Read Next:

How to Make Social Recruiting a Company-Wide Effort

How to Attract Top Talent on Social Media

Improve Employee Engagement - Invest in Employee Experience

Reach more talent with the help of employee advocacy and social recruiting