Candidate experience – or CX if you prefer it’s the more trendy abbreviation – has become a hot topic within HR departments; and with good reason. Excellent candidate experience has a positive impact on your employer brand, will improve the quality of your talent pipeline, reduce time to hire and results in a more successful onboarding rate.
All of these factors sound pretty appealing, not only to the HR team but also in relation to wider business goals, growth and profitability. When it comes to the delivery of a seamless candidate experience, this should be consistent regardless of the location of the candidate. This means building a candidate experience so good that it overcomes geographical barriers – a tricky feat which can be made a whole lot easier by following our advice.
How to Define Candidate Experience
In layman’s terms, candidate experience refers to an applicant’s feelings or perception towards a company as a result of the recruitment process. This incorporates all touchpoints within the hiring journey; so your careers site, the application process, interviewing, hiring and onboarding procedures all play a crucial part in candidate experience.
Of course, a positive candidate experience sounds nice but it’s no longer just a ‘good to have’ asset in recruitment. Candidate experience is a key component in a company’s overall marketing strategy. The link between applicant interviews and revenue may not be immediately apparent but a negative candidate experience has been found to have an impact on purchase intent. After all, candidates are also consumers and negative interactions with your brand – even in a recruitment environment – will result in a loss of brand loyalty.
A prime example of this came from Virgin Media who, after digging into the statistics, found that a poor candidate experience cost the business $5M annually as a result of cancelled subscriptions of applicants. This wasn’t limited solely to candidates but also to their family and friends whose brand loyalty also shifted in favour of Virgin Media’s competition as a result. Luckily for this media giant, they had the resources to turn this around and now pride themselves on their ‘gold standard’ in recruitment experience.
How to Deliver a World-Class Candidate Experience
Like most businesses, you’re probably keen to reach the same gold standard in candidate experience the first time around. Or, at least before current processes are detrimental to profits and brand perception. We’ve put together the key ingredients for creating a candidate experience that will win brand loyalty and create a positive experience for applicants.
Step 1: Unite Marketing and HR
Which division of your business knows best about how to influence brand perception through interactions? Of course, it’s the marketing team. Empower your HR department by having dedicated marketing resources to advise on and build great CX through brand positioning and communications at each applicant touchpoint.
Step 2: Clear Communication
Clearly outline the application process in terms of timeframes, interview formats and any tasks or assessments which may need to be completed – no one wants to find out they need to present to their new team with a few hours notice! When creating these timeframes, ensure that these deadlines are achievable for your HR team. If they are unable to be met, communicate any delays to the applicant ahead of time.
Aside from the hiring process, it’s crucial to communicate the company’s mission statement, ethos and values before the first interview. Establish that each applicant shares the company’s values is just as important as checking that they have the right skill set.
Step 3: Introduce the Team
An applicant can do hours of research on the company, but an introduction to the team they’ll be working with or reporting to will help them to gain a better grasp of the company culture, values and operational structure. Plus, on their first day, it will help them to integrate quickly if they see a few familiar faces.
Step 4: Prompt and Honest Feedback
Leaving candidates in the dark when it comes to the progression of their applications will certainly have a negative impact on their perception of the company. Especially if the application won’t be taken forward, provide the feedback as soon as possible with constructive advice for any future applications. In addition – don’t forget the feedback loop. It’s always valuable to ask candidates, whether successful or not in their application, to provide some feedback on their recruitment experiences.
Step 5: Onboarding
There’s a lot of pressure on the first day, for both the employer and the candidate. It’s where the expectations set in the interview come into fruition. However, onboarding starts well before the first day; onboarding is the time period from the final interview to the first few days or weeks into the new role. Try to keep timelines tight from the final interview to the start day – this means sending the offer letter and providing any necessary employee background screening ahead of time.
When the employee joins the business, onboarding isn’t just the responsibility of the HR department, but of all those who will come into contact with the new employee to make sure they have the necessary knowledge and resources to successfully fulfil their new role.
Tailoring Candidate Experience for Overseas Applicants
When hiring talent from around the world, adhering to each of these five factors for candidate experience success can be tricky. For example, timeframes are sometimes at the mercy of a third party. The additional components which need to be taken into consideration for a positive international candidate journey include the following:
1. Consider time differences – great interviews don’t often happen at 4.00AM
2. Transparency around visa/residency processes – obtaining a work permit, visa or residency status in a new country can be an alien concept. Ensure you let the applicant know what to expect and what documents they will need – including any professional documents which may need to be attested or verified for their new role.
3. Clear relocation expectations – if you need the candidate to be in situ within a certain timeframe, this needs to be outlined. Plus, any assistance with relocation also needs to be communicated.
4. Cultural norms – to prevent any mishaps and help the new employee integrate into their new host countries, it’s important to provide some information around cultural do’s and don’ts.
Aside from serving the candidate’s needs, overseas recruitment is a considerable investment which has the potential to deliver huge returns for your company. When hiring excellent talent from overseas, it’s vital to safeguard your company’s investment by building a solid global recruitment strategy, detailed interview process and thorough background checks to ensure the new employee has the correct skills and experience for the role.
Ready to get started with the gold standard in candidate experience?
At TrueProfile.io, we are proud to represent the New Standard in document verification. Your applicants don’t want to get to the start line of their career, only to realise their aspirations are on hold due to lengthy and unexpected background checks. By providing a digital service for quickly verifying applicant qualifications and references, our technology is designed to enhance the candidate experience and reduce time to hire – a win-win for both applicants and employers.
Visit our Business Partners area or reach out to us on email@example.com for more information.