• Reuben Roth

Candidate Experience

Meet Jerry.


Jerry is a software engineer that works for a mid-size company. Despite not having a computer science degree, he’s quite talented. He’s coming up on his two year employment mark, and things are getting a little dull at his current company. Jerry’s expecting a promotion soon and values the trust that’s been built with his team, but he’s worried of becoming complacent. He hears of an amazing new company on the news that night, but decides not to apply since it’s late and he’s counting on an upcoming promotion.


Just like every morning, Jerry checks his inbox, and there it is — an email from one of the recruiters about this amazing company. Quickly, he finds a time to chat with the recruiter. It sounds perfect, a fast paced company with unique technical challenges. He’s told the culture and work life balance can’t be matched.


Jerry updates his resume that night, but take the weekend to make sure there aren’t any mistakes. This could be a huge opportunity. On Monday morning, he sends the recruiter his resume and quickly get a response that it will be reviewed ASAP.


Three days go by and Jerry isn’t sure if the recruiter forgot, or if the hiring manager hasn’t gotten around to checking their inbox. Another day… and he ask himself — should I follow up before the weekend comes around? Will it affect my chances if I give it a gentle nudge? Am I being annoying?


We’ve all been there — Jerry’s situation isn’t unique. We’ve all experienced this frustration and thought things could be better.


Everyone knows that good candidate experience is important, and nobody gives bad candidate experience on purpose.


I’ve found the following to be great tools to enhancing candidate experience:


Communicate.

Let your candidates know how long it will take to get feedback after each stage. Over-communicate what to expect from each stage. Interviewing is an incredibly vulnerable experience and the more information you can give the better.


Take Airbnb for example. They’re one of the market leaders in great candidate experience by adopting the following criteria:


Set expectations oftenMaximize what makes you differentUse your brand voice

Set expectations often.


There’s so much ambiguity around timelines. When will I hear back? “It’s been three days, should I follow up?” Let candidates know what to expect and when they should expect it. This will provide a more transparent experience.


Maximize what makes you different.

What makes your company different from the next? Is it the culture, industry, compensation, or perks? With such a high demand for candidates, express why your candidates should choose you over your competitor.


Use your brand voice.

Jill Marci, former Director of Global Recruitment at Airbnb, states that rejections are just as important as offers. With a high volume of inbound applications, many companies resort to using automated rejection filters. It’s clearly automated and doesn’t provide candidates with adequate feedback.


Let your candidates know why they were rejected. It will help them improve for their next interview. Your brand name will improve by your actions and it’s the right thing to do. Candidates go through enormous effort to prepare and rejections can feel personal.


Keep Challenges Relevant and Hard:

Give candidates relevant interview questions based upon the position they’re applying for. Why ask coding questions to a System Administrator? This doesn’t make sense and can frustrate top talent. Top talent loves to be challenged. It’s much more fun to come to a job where the problems are difficult and satisfying to solve.


Define Success:

Does everyone know what position we’re considering the candidate for? Does everyone know what questions they’re going to ask so we don’t ask duplicates? Does everyone know what a good and bad answer looks like?


How many candidates did it take to find one that satisfies your hiring bar? Take some time and prepare your team for each interview so everyone is on the same page. Define what we’re looking for and what good answers looks like. Give everyone a lane to drive in.


Ask for Feedback:

How does your interview process compare to your competitors? How do you know? Send each candidate a survey asking for feedback. Do this a few weeks after each interview. It will give candidates in the running enough time to give honest feedback and those who were rejected enough time to give feedback without bitterness.


Refine your process based on the feedback. This will improve your process and give you a competitive edge.


Choosing your next position is a life changing event. Give candidates a sneak peek into what it’s like to work at your company. Make your experience stand out.

#workculture #likability



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