Article: Candidate is king: How to create a great candidate experience


Candidate is king: How to create a great candidate experience

Here’s how some companies have redesigned their hiring strategies to improve their candidate experience.
Candidate is king: How to create a great candidate experience

A recent research shows about 11 percent of candidates globally are willing to sever their relationship with a business based on their candidate experience. 

Gone are the days when employers were in control and candidates were treated like inferiors. In the new digital era, candidate is the king. Employers across industries are fighting to attract and hire the same scarce talent. As the hiring game becomes tougher, the rules now have to be changed and so do the ways of recruitment. Among the many new trends shaping the ‘New Age of Talent Acquisition’ is the emerging importance of enhancing candidate experience. 

A comprehensive candidate experience serves as a good component to the employer brand strategy, and helps firms gain a talent acquisition advantage, in a tight, fast-moving labor market. 

But the question is how can organizations create a comprehensive candidate experience? Employers today are increasingly becoming aware of its importance but are still struggling to get their head around it. One way to find the answer to this question is to learn from the companies who have been able to design comprehensive candidate experiences and are reaping the benefits of it. 

Here are some companies that have redesigned their hiring strategies to take candidate experience to the next level:

Airbnb: Capturing the candidate journey through stories

In their blog, Airbnb wrote, “We believe each interview process is about the experience as much as it is about the outcome or destination.”

With this thought in mind, the team at Airbnb brought in the element of storyboarding and used it to capture and share the candidate journey and experience. 

The founders of Airbnb had enlisted an artist to help them visualize both the host and guest experience on Airbnb, and used these frames to think about how they can simplify, streamline, and improve the guest experience. 

The same method was then applied to the interview process as well and the frames were used to represent how Airbnb thinks about recruiting. 

In their blog, Airbnb shares, “Each frame is meaningful and unique as a standalone, and yet when we consider them as a whole, they comprise a holistic picture that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”

The entire storyboarding process helped the recruitment team identify several areas they wanted to focus on and improve, from how to gracefully pass on candidates, set expectations about timing, to celebrate the company’s culture and branding through communication and the onsite experience. 

By using storyboarding they were able to define critical moments in their recruiting process and figure out what the ideal candidate experience should be. The new approach enabled them to start from a point of empathy with the candidates and helped them learn about the things that generally concern the candidates during recruitment. 

In fact, they also learnt how important it is to work on designing the rejection experience as it is both sensitive and critical for their employer brand. 

DocuSign: Improving experience with insights from ‘Recruiters Scorecard’

The electronic signature solution provider, DocuSign gauges the candidate and hiring manager experience through scorecards to further improve their hiring process. 

DocuSigncaptured responses from all candidates. The questions measured how well the recruiter explained things (the company, the role, and the process), and evaluated courtesies like follow-ups and respectfulness. The survey also asked how likely the candidate would be to recommend DocuSign to others based on their experience. 

After one year of collecting data and assessing recruiters through this survey, DocuSign saw the candidate Net Promoter Score go up 55 percent. 

Slack: Removing bias from hiring process 

By using the blind recruitment strategy, Slack is not only removing the bias element and strengthening diversity, but also enhancing the candidate experience by having a just and convenient assessment process. 

So what Slack does is, it  gives candidates a problem to complete at home and wipes out all personal identifiers from each candidate’s homework, which is later evaluated against a rigorous checklist.

In fact, when Slack learnt that this approach presented additional challenges for candidates who had children and didn’t have dedicated time for homework, the company shifted gears again, last year. Candidates now have the option to do the assignment in the office if they prefer. 

Candidates must know that the company is excited to accommodate them, believes the leaders at Slack. 

As candidates act as external touch points, and the world becomes smaller, the importance of creating a great experience for them increases. From speaking about the recruiter and the employer with their family and friends, candidates now take their feedback and experience on platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Twitter. The three examples, discussed here are some ways in which companies can relook at their hiring strategies and work on improving the candidate experience. 

However, a lot will also depend on the ability of recruiters and hiring managers. So the leaders have to invest in building capabilities among recruiters and hiring managers and they themselves have to work on their skills and improve the way they deal with the candidates across different hiring stages.

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Topics: Recruitment, Talent Acquisition, #NewAgeHiring

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