7 Steps to Elevating Your Candidate Experience in the Hiring Process

Justin Schmidt
November 9, 2023

To help talent acquisition professionals elevate their candidate experience, we've gathered seven insightful tips from HR managers, HR directors, and top executives. From investing time in personalized candidate experiences to creating an introductory video, these leaders share their first steps and recommendations for starting this crucial project.

  • Invest Time in Personalized Candidate Experience
  • Tailor Final Interview Questions
  • Map Out the Candidate's Journey
  • Focus on Your Career Site
  • Evaluate the Hiring Process
  • Understand Applicant Needs Through Feedback
  • Create an Intro Video

Invest Time in Personalized Candidate Experience

For me, it all starts with the questions you ask and the time you invest in creating an experience for candidates that shows you truly care about their application and interest in working for your company. 

The more process-driven you can become in your hiring processes, the more bespoke an approach you'll be able to take on a per-candidate basis when it comes to the questions you ask, and ultimately, how well you can get to know each candidate that comes through your door.

Wendy Makinson, HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

Tailor Final Interview Questions

A seemingly small improvement that any business can make (that really does make a difference) is to tailor your questions at the final interview stages specifically on a per-candidate basis, rather than sticking to the same questions throughout the process. 

Not only does this allow you to obtain more detailed responses from candidates, but it also shows that you care and have taken the time to analyze the strengths of each candidate and how they'll fit into your operations.

Tracey Beveridge, HR Director, Personnel Checks

Map Out the Candidate's Journey

The first steps are crucial to elevate the candidate's experience. Start by mapping out the candidate's journey. Here are the steps I would take:

  1. Identify the pain points: Identify potential pain points where candidates generally face problems. They can face issues with lengthy application forms, unclear communication, and extended waiting periods.
  2. Collect feedback: Seek feedback from past candidates or conduct surveys to understand their experiences and gather insights into areas for improvement.
  3. Set clear expectations: Ensure that job descriptions are accurate and transparent. Outline responsibilities and expectations clearly. It will eliminate mismatched candidates.
  4. Simplify the application process: Streamline the application process to minimize complexity and reduce the candidate's drop-off rates. Consider allowing candidates to apply using their LinkedIn profile.
  5. Candidate experience metrics: Track and measure the effectiveness of your improvements.

Saikat Ghosh, Associate Director of HR and Business, Technource

Focus on Your Career Site

You need to be hyper-focused on your career site. The job posting section of your company's website might seem like a small aspect of the recruiting process, but it is far from it. According to a survey from LinkedIn, 59% of all job seekers visit a company's career site to look at the job posting before applying. 

What's more, almost 90% of candidates say that a company's career site is the most valuable asset they interact with during the hiring process. Those are hugely important statistics! If you've treated your career site as an afterthought up to this point, I would rethink that, and fast. 

The first step in improving your career site and elevating your overall candidate experience is meeting with your dev team (or the outside agency that manages your company's website). You need to start discussing improvements with them directly. You will need to work closely with the devs to make some updates.

John Ross, CEO, Test Prep Insight

Evaluate the Hiring Process

Start by evaluating your current hiring process. Put yourself in the candidate's shoes and think about every touchpoint they have with your company—from the job application to the interview process.

Is it seamless? Is it user-friendly? Are there any unnecessary steps or roadblocks that can be eliminated? 

Identify any pain points or areas where you can improve the experience. For example, simplify your application process to make it more user-friendly, provide timely communication and feedback to candidates, and ensure a smooth and organized interview process.

Johannes Larsson, Founder and CEO, JohannesLarsson.com

Understand Applicant Needs Through Feedback

The first step in elevating a candidate experience is to understand the needs of applicants. To gauge what potential recruits value, it may be helpful to conduct polls and surveys before making any changes. 

Additionally, inviting current and past employees to provide feedback can be an invaluable tool, since they have direct experience with the process. A tip for talent-acquisition professionals is to speak directly with industry leaders or partners working in related fields. By gathering insights from outside sources, recruiters will gain fresh ideas for staying ahead of their competition and providing a superior experience.

Michael Alexis, CEO, Virtual Team Building

Leverage Video Stories from Your Team

Making a quick intro video for the company and the role is enjoyable. It personalizes the experience a bit, and the person gets a sense of how the hiring manager acts before they go in for an interview. The idea was not originated by me, but was adopted from a great recruiter that is still in use to this day.

Trevor Ewen, COO, QBench

Justin Schmidt

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