By Michael Macking, Published June 17, 2014
Do you think individuals who apply for jobs at your organization are highly satisfied with their experiences as candidates? The odds suggest the answer is probably “no.” A recent survey found just 5 percent of applicants rate their experiences as excellent.
One of the major contributors to candidate dissatisfaction is a lack of transparency in the hiring process. That same survey found more than three quarters (77 percent) of applicants received no communication from a company after submitting an application for an open position.
If you’re thinking a positive candidate experience is a “nice to have” and it’s a low priority, think again. In reality, organizations that provide applicants with visibility into hiring have a clear advantage over their competitors. Qualified applicants often decline job offers because the recruiting process seemed to drag on and they weren’t sure where they stood. A lack of transparency can frustrate the talented applicants you need most, causing them to accept jobs at other companies.
It’s time to take a walk in the candidate’s shoes and create more transparent hiring practices. Here are five things you can do to enhance the candidate experience:
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1. Take a step back and analyze the hiring process.
Are there steps that either take too long or are unnecessary? Map out all the work needed to hire a new employee from the moment a job description is written to the time the candidate accepts the offer.
2. Illustrate the process on your careers page.
Your company’s careers page is likely one of the first places applicants visit. Why not create an infographic, which clearly shows the hiring process and what to expect? Here are a couple of examples from Dow and A Small Orange.
3. Write job descriptions that clearly articulate what employees need to do at work.
An important part of transparency is clarity about on-the-job expectations. Focus on developing job descriptions that clearly outline the primary tasks of the position, experience requirements and the desired behavioral characteristics.
4. Reiterate the hiring process during the interview.
During phone screens and face-to-face interviews, clarify the timeline for filling the position and other relevant information such as the desired start date and the number of interviews that will be necessary.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Candidates don’t want to feel their applications have gone into a black hole. Communicating every step of the way will increase candidate engagement, as well as the applicant’s sense of respect for the hiring company. Applicant tracking systems can streamline the communication process, create a feedback loop and help establish rapport between candidates and your company.
Greater transparency improves the candidate experience and strengthens your company’s employment brand. Word of mouth goes a long way in building companies’ reputations, especially in today’s era of social media. Taking the time to improve visibility into hiring can pay significant dividends for companies of all sizes and in all industries.
Writing a magnetic job description is one of the first steps to creating a positive candidate experience. Download our eBook “11 Steps to Attract More Applicants” for more job description tips.