August 31, 2022 | Hiring Tips for Managers

Nine Ways to Give Job Candidates a Positive Experience

It’s a hiring manager’s nightmare. Someone on your team alerts you to a new review on an employer review website. You cautiously click, and it’s an all-out roast of the organization, its people, and its culture.

Encouraging a Positive Candidate Experience

Interestingly enough, the negative review wasn’t even written by an employee. It was written by a job candidate who was brought in for interviews but ultimately was not hired for the role. It’s bad enough to lose a great candidate because of a poor showing by your organization. It’s worse to have your brand eroded by poor interviewing practices. For these reasons, positive candidate experience is very important.

Candidates are unofficial members of your marketing team. If they have any interaction with your organization, they will tell their friends, their family, or even leave public reviews on sites such as Glassdoor. In the age of the online review, it is easier than ever for people to broadcast their impressions of a company. Negative candidate experience can drive away future talent, hurt your sales, and jeopardize future partnerships.

Great candidates can be hard to come by. Don’t lose a great candidate by providing a poor candidate experience. Encourage positive candidate experience by following these nine tips: 

1. Get specific about who will succeed in the role.

In order to encourage positive candidate experience, be specific about who will succeed in the role. Take inventory of the responsibilities of the role. Speak with the people on your team who will be working closely with this person. Develop a clear picture of who will thrive in the role. Zero in on candidates with high potential for success. To foster positive candidate experience, avoid wasting candidates’ time. Additionally, avoid wasting your own time. Most importantly, ensure that anyone who is brought in the door for an interview feels qualified and competent.

2. Make it easy to apply for roles.

In order to encourage positive candidate experience, make it easy to apply for roles. Evaluate each open role you post to your organization’s website. Ensure the description of the role is clear. Include as much relevant information as possible, including compensation and benefits. Also ensure that there is a clear way to submit resumes or other application forms. Additionally, double-check that your links work. Expedite the early stages of the process by providing a clear scope of the role and making it easy to send in an initial application. Encourage positive candidate experience by creating a good first impression of your organization.

3. Have a structured interview process.

In order to encourage positive candidate experience, have a structured interview process. A well-structured interview process is critical to candidate experience. Get everyone involved in the process on the same page. Inspect and revise your current flow as necessary. Set up a timeline for getting each candidate through the process. Ensure you and your hiring team know each step of the procedure, exactly what each step entails, and the schedule for such. Save time and frustration by investing in this early pre-interview stage. Ensure that candidates can be told what to expect at every step along the way.

4. Send prompt communication for inviting and scheduling interviews.

In order to encourage positive candidate experince, send prompt communications. Stay in frequent contact with your candidates. Thank them for participating in each step of the process. Keep the candidates in the loop about where they are in the process. Tell them who will be contacting them next and when. Be forthcoming about any delays in the process.

5. Align your team on the interview process.

Don’t keep your team in the dark about your search for new candidates. Instead, inform your team about when and how the search will take place. Avoid awkward situations. Employees should not unexpectedly run into candidates on a tour of the facilities, as this would leave a bad impression. Be transparent with your team. Foster positive candidate experience by being appropriately transparent with potential hires.

6. Ensure your hiring team is on the same page.

In order to encourage positive candidate experience, ensure that your hiring team is on the same page. Hold a meeting with everyone involved in the process. Ensure they all know the specifics of the role, the qualities of the ideal candidate, and the hiring procedure. Emphasize their individual responsibilities within the hiring process. Be creative. Bring members of the team into the process who wouldn’t normally be involved, such as receptionists. These team members can observe candidates outside of the formal interview setting. Additionally, these team members can contribute to the candidate’s impressions of the overall organization.

7. Make in-person events positive interactions.

In order to encourage positive candidate experience, make all in-person events into positive interactions. Ensure the positive aspects of your brand and culture are intentionally demonstrated. Of course, your brand is what people say about you, not what you say about yourself. Be polite. Be organized and prompt. Most importantly, be hospitable to every candidate during every in-person interaction.

8. Send news of rejection quickly and kindly.

Avoid ghosting candidates during the interview process. One of the most common complaints candidates have involves being ghosted by an organization with whom they have gone through several steps of the hiring process. Regardless of which step of the process they are in, don’t go dark on a candidate. Be gracious. Be professional. Most importantly, be forthcoming about any bad news. Always express gratitude for their time and efforts. Prompt and kind rejection notices contribute to positive candidate experience.

9. Invite candidates to provide feedback on their experience.

In order to encourage positive candidate experience, invite candidates to provide feedback. Create an online candidate experience survey with structured questions. Then fine-tune your process based on this candidate feedback. Show that you value the candidate’s time. Also show that you value their impressions of your organization. Within the survey, include the clarity of the role description in the job posting, the communication with the hiring manager or other team members with whom they interacted, and their impressions of the facility and employees. Finally, inquire as to how you might improve your hiring process.

Final Thoughts

Positive candidate experience is important. We hope these tips will provide some insight into how to give candidates a positive experience. For more helpful content, check out our other Thought Leadership articles.

Posted by Mark Whitman

Mark Whitman is the founder of TeamBuilder Search. Mark’s mission is to help clients recruit the top five percent of digital marketing executives, taking great satisfaction in helping clients out-recruit their competition. In the process of fulfilling his mission, he takes great care to help digital marketing leaders elevate their careers. People say Mark owns a recruiting and staffing company. He says he owns a life improvement company. To learn more about Mark visit our Leadership page.
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