Candidate experience refers to the experiences that a candidate has during the application process. This begins with the job search and continues through the application process to the interviews and the onboarding phase. The term is derived from customer experience, which is concerned with customer satisfaction and loyalty. This way of thinking is applied to candidates in order to create a positive corporate image not only for customers, but also for candidates.
What are the benefits of Candidate Experience Management?
The labour market is changing and companies often have to look for applicants for less sought-after positions. Candidates have higher expectations of employers and how they treat them. Candidate experience measures therefore serve to positively influence applicants and build a relationship with them. Right from the start, it is important to be remembered by applicants and to leave them with a positive feeling. Negative experiences spread quickly through social media and can reflect badly on your company as an employer. Candidates will also take these experiences with them into their new job with you.
How can Candidate Experience be measured?
Measuring the experience of candidates can be difficult. On the one hand, you can use the career site to measure how well it is visited, how long candidates spend on it on average and where you lose the attention or interest of potential applicants. The best way to Candidate Experience However, the best way to measure this is to obtain feedback from candidates. This will tell you how applicant-friendly your process is and which potential weaknesses you need to work on.
Tips for improving the candidate experience
These tips can help you optimise your candidate experience management. This will help you leave a positive and lasting impression on your applicants.
Tip #1: Strengthen online presence
Gathering candidate experience doesn't just start with the application process, but already in the perception of your company. Applicants put a lot of time and effort into their job search and research online in advance. The first port of call is usually Google and social media or job platforms. You should therefore strengthen your online presence to make your company appealing to candidates. Always consider which target group you are reaching with which channel. Make sure that you offer clear and convincing content and enable potential applicants to contact your company.
Tip #2: Optimise your career page
Your careers page is a very important touchpoint. It should always be user-friendly, clear and easy to use. You leave a personal impression with pictures and testimonials. In addition, the page should definitely be optimised for mobile devices, as more and more people are applying "on the go". Naming contact persons makes it clear to applicants that they can get in touch with you at any time if they have any questions.
Tip #3 Designing appealing job adverts
An exciting and stimulating job advert evokes a positive feeling in the candidate. The text should be of an appropriate length, contain bullet points and describe the most important facts about your company. List the benefits of working for your company and include an authentic photo. You will score another plus point if you briefly explain the application process and the individual sections. This way, the candidate knows what to expect.
Tip #4: User-friendly application process
Use a simple and straightforward process. Once you have defined this, you should test it and have it checked by an external person. Ideally, the candidate should always know which step they are currently in and when they can expect to hear from you. The application process itself should also automatically adapt to mobile devices.
Tip #5: Optimised communication channels
Communication plays a central role in a positive candidate experience. That's why you should always put yourself in the applicant's shoes. You can make a positive impression with a simple confirmation of receipt. This lets the candidate know that you have received their application. Notifications and information about the process and the next steps are also positive. If candidates are given the opportunity to provide feedback on your application process, they can help shape it individually. As a company, the feedback you receive gives you the opportunity to optimise your application process. The rejection email is an increasingly important message. Candidates also expect to be informed about less favourable news. However, you can take something positive out of this message yourself by inviting candidates to become part of your talent pool. In this way, you do not rule out the possibility of working together at a later date.
Tip #6: Evaluation of the application process
Use the analysis tools of job boards or networks on which you advertise. Data such as the bounce or exit rate will show you where you are losing your potential applicants, so you can actively work on improving the candidate experience at this point. As already mentioned, feedback from candidates can also be a great help.
Example of the optimal candidate experience
Anna is not challenged enough in her current job and would therefore like to look for new opportunities. During her research, she comes across your company and wants to find out more about you. Anna wants to know what it's like to work for you and what other candidates and employees have to say about you as an employer. After she is impressed by your online presence and has learnt important information about your website, she takes a look at the vacancies on your careers page. Thanks to the clear design and user-friendliness, she quickly finds an interesting vacancy, which also provides information about the job, the contact person and the application process. As Anna is convinced of the benefits, she decides to apply.
She is surprised that the application process is also simple and structured on mobile devices. After Anna has sent off her application, she receives an email a few minutes later confirming that you have received her documents. The email also states that she will receive more information about the process within the next week and who she can contact if anything is unclear. A few days later, Anna receives another email. Her application was convincing and you would like to get to know her. After an interview, it turns out that Anna unfortunately does not have the qualifications you are looking for in this position. So you write her an e-mail a little later. You thank her for her time and explain why she is not suitable for this position. However, as you can imagine working with Anna in the future, you let her know that you would like to add her to your talent pool.
In the next step, ask Anna to tell you how she felt about the application process and whether she has any constructive criticism. This will allow you to identify possible weaknesses and Anna will realise that her opinion is important to you.