One third of Australian job seekers rate their candidate experience as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’, as reported by a 2016 Workible study. Evidently, the job seeker experience in Australia could be greatly improved, but how does this impact employers? With a staggering 70 per cent of job seekers sharing their negative candidate experiences with friends and family as well as online, hiring managers simply cannot afford to neglect any applicant throughout the recruitment process.
Here are my top tips to keep candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process:
Communicate from the get-go and end an automated email to candidates to confirm you received their application. In this initial communication, thank the candidate for their application and inform them how and when they can expect to hear back from you. Include a link to your careers page and social media profiles to invite them to learn more about your organisation in the meantime. Keep the email short and sweet.
Email candidates who didn’t make it to the interview stage within a couple of weeks of their application. According to the Workible Job Seeker 2016 study, most candidates don’t hear back from recruiters if they are unsuccessful– even if they went for an interview! More than 40 per cent of job seekers are less likely to re-apply to an organisation if the company didn’t respond to acknowledge their application. In a finite candidate market, don’t keep your candidates waiting and risk reducing your future talent pool.
Be clear and explain the next step of the application process clearly to shortlisted candidates. Outline when and where the interview will take place, and what candidates should bring. It sounds simple but with the top line recruitment process to think about, hiring managers can forget their office is actually embedded in a maze of intertwining corridors on a floor only accessible with a key-card. If this sounds familiar, include step-by-step instructions for candidates to find the interview room. This simple measure will save you both time and prevent your already nervous candidates from any more stress.
Determine your new hire and contact them as soon as possible. The average a job seeker applies for 100 jobs over 6 months, according to the 2016 National Job Seeker Experience Report. So it’s more than likely then your candidate has embarked on the recruitment process with one of your competitors. In fact, in 2015, almost half of declined job offers were due to the candidate accepting another job, according to The MRINetwork Recruiter Sentiment Study. I recommend phoning your successful candidate first. If you can’t get a hold of them, send a text and an email. Don’t let your talent slip through your fingers.
Timely communication with applicants is one of the easiest ways organisations can sculpt a positive employer brand image and encourage future applications. Ask your newest employees what it was like for them to be a candidate with your organisation and revisit your current system for gaps – where can you speed up communication?
Author: Adam Rowe, Recruitment Sales and Account Manager/Leader, Employment Office
Editor’s note: Employment Office is an industry leader in recruitment advertising, shortlisting and marketing services. Learn more about our attraction and retention solutions here.