Talent Circles

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Why the Candidate Experience is a Life or Death Matter for Your Prospective Employee

By Jessica Miller-Merrell

The recession of 2008 took its toll on nearly everyone including my own family. My husband was laid off from his consulting IT job just two weeks before the birth of our daughter, Ryleigh. Confidence shaken but not shattered, I watched him smile and dial calling recruiters, contacts and prospects looking for his next consulting project. He searched tirelessly, effortlessly and without fail for ten long months. It was one of the most stressful and hard times of our lives. It’s not something I ever want to relive ever again.

For those individuals who are in the job search whether it’s by choice or forced through reduction in force or being laid off, it’s a critical time not only for one person but likely an entire family. The candidate experience puts recruiters and companies who are hiring in the shoes of the job seeker providing resources, information and making the candidate comfortable even when they aren’t your number one prospect for the job.

We don’t know the life situation of those job seekers who are applying for an opportunity to work for our company. That’s why making a positive candidate experience is critical not only for the job seeker but can make a huge impact a candidate’s impression of that same company. Without treating each candidate with the same type of attention and respect recruiters can potentially create an unfair bias that’ll discredit their hiring abilities.

The candidate experience is a life or death matter for your prospective employee because without it there is no loyalty to your company. As recruiters attempt to recruit only the brightest in a competitive job market, wooing a candidate can only happen successfully if they have a good experience during the hiring process. Delayed responses, lack of information, or unattractive career portals are guaranteed ways to disengage the candidate. Hitting on specific touch points in the candidate experience cycle will allow human resource professionals to effectively recruit with a successful employer brand.

One of the most important things that Human Resources departments can emphasis is how their employer brand is perceived throughout the entire candidate experience process. Without evaluating and setting proper expectations for each candidate that passes through your candidate funnel, not only will your company suffer missed opportunities in recruiting the best, but might suffer a loss in brand loyalty on the sales side of your business. Recruiting is no longer just about finding the perfect candidate, but the journey you take in getting there.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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