Improving Candidate Experience

December 10, 2009 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Job Searching 

With 18 days till Christmas, many people are beginning to notice the elaborate Christmas decorations in malls, airports, and grocery stores. But why do so many retail centers choose to spend so much money on Christmas decorations, which they will be taking down a month later? One explanation is to improve the customer’s shopping experience. If a mall chooses not to decorate during the Holidays, customers will most likely choose another, more festive mall for their next shopping spree. The whole idea of improving the customer’s shopping experience seems to be common knowledge in the retail world, but why do recruiters overlook the applicant’s experience?
One explanation may be that there are so many applicants; it just isn’t feasible to ensure each applicant has a good experience. Well, isn’t that the case in most retail situations? An average Wal-Mart store serves over 3,000 customers per day, which exceeds the number of applicants most recruiters see per day. Thus, it’s just as feasible to ensure an applicant has a good experience as it is to ensure a customer at Target has a good experience. The next question would be, how important is it to ensure the applicant has a good experience?
After simply emailing unselected applicants, saying that someone more qualified has been given the position, we received great amounts of feedback telling us how much that simple email meant to them. With 10% of the country unemployed, it’s easy to overlook the importance of your company’s reputation in the hiring process, but in years to come, when unemployment goes down, the steps you take to improve your reputation for giving the applicant a pleasant experience will mean a lot. For example, if you apply for a job at a Consumer Goods company and are treated poorly, that could be a determinant in which product you choose at the grocery store. Your brand name is everything, and it includes your reputation in the hiring process.
Something that should not be overlooked is how easy it is to improve the candidate’s experience. Many applicants will say that no response from a company at which they applied would classify that company as failing to provide a good experience for the applicant. Therefore, it is as easy as creating an automatic response in your ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to thank the applicant for applying and giving them a little knowledge about their current status. In addition, mass emails to those applicants which failed to qualify, will also shed a more positive light on your company.
Simple steps such as these can help to improve your brand name, which can prove to be crucial in tough hiring times.

Byron West
President

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