Defining the Candidate Experience

These days, you’re striving to create the best candidate experience, but as a goal, it can be vague. For TA teams looking to elevate their hiring performance, a better candidate experience can be a more tangible way to approach it. This kind of candidate experience is:

  • Better than traditional, employer-centric hiring processes
  • Better than the candidate experience offered by your competitors
  • Better than sticking with the status quo

Here’s a look at the whats, whys, and hows of a better candidate experience.

What “Better” Looks Like

Using better as your measuring stick brings your new definition of candidate experience into focus. Being candidate-centric, not employer-centric in your interactions with candidates is essential. For most organizations, that means leaving status quo hiring behind. Modern candidates expect to interact digitally with your organization in their job search. Better also helps you concentrate on your position in the talent marketplace, and the need to set yourself apart from competitors to win candidates. In your goal-setting around candidate experience, status quo metrics like speed to hire and interview to hire ratio could be your floor.

start the change in better candidate experience

5 Ways to Start the Change

Candidate experience covers so much territory, so where do you even jump on the path to better? Here are five starting points:

  • Check your first impression. Today’s candidates are exploring your online presence before they decide to apply. Your careers site is a common starting point for candidates, so review it and refresh if needed to make it a stronger point of engagement.
  • Shop your interview process. More than eight in ten candidates (83%) say the interview experience influences their decision to work for an organization. To elevate this critical step on the road to better hires, ask someone with fresh eyes to participate in your interview process from start to finish and provide feedback on their experience.
  • Measure your speed to hire. Streamlined hiring that doesn’t keep candidates waiting is a must for a better candidate experience. Begin tracking speed to hire if you aren’t already to illuminate where slowdowns – and long candidate wait times – occur in your process.
  • Review your technology. Innovative HR technologies like interviewing platforms are changing what’s possible in hiring. For instance, with on-demand text interviews, recruiters can engage a large talent pool within a few hours or days to determine which candidates meet basic job requirements, like the ability to work third shift. Armed with the information, they can immediately invite qualified candidates to move on. Depending on talent pool size, this process would normally have taken days or weeks in a status-quo process.
  • Phase your approach. As you evaluate where you need to transform, also identify actions that will drive the greatest results most quickly. Then, change your candidate experience in phases, giving priority to key actions.
How to Know If Your Candidate Experience is Better

Progress against your own metrics can help signify that your candidate experience is better. You can also benchmark through the Talent Board’s Candidate Experience (CandE) Award and Benchmark Program. Organizations participate in this research to better understand their own candidate experience and where it is and isn’t aligned with the needs of today’s candidates.

TA Leaders Make Candidate Experience Top Priority

In recent research commissioned by Modern Hire, TA leaders at the director level or above-identified candidate experience as their single most important initiative. With this level of emphasis on candidate experience, it becomes riskier for organizations to stick with a status quo hiring process. Is it time to change your candidate experience for the better?