April 17 2017

Experience What's Next: Candidate Experiences Matter


Experience What’s Next – monthly tips from our HR Department.

MaryJo Loparco, Director, Talent Acquisition

Experience Matters — The “Candidate Experience” that is. Over 50% of new hires tell us that the “Candidate Experience” can be the difference between accepting or not accepting an offer. With this in mind, an important part of our strategy in converting offers to hires is to create a positive experience for our candidates. Every new hire at Octagon completes a survey about their interview process.  We take that feedback seriously and have created these 5 Candidate Experience Must Dos:


Communicate. Communicating with candidates throughout the interview process is a must, it begins with the initial contact and should continue all the way through to the offer process. This can be challenging at times because HR professionals may not always have an answer to a candidate’s question or the answer a candidate wants to hear.  If it's been a while since the last communication, I recommend a simple status email notifying the candidate that there are no new updates. Remember, nobody wants to be left in the dark.


Be Transparent & Honest. No job or company is perfect. We hear all the time that candidates want to know the truth. What is the reality of my day-to-day? What challenges will I face? What can I expect regarding my team? What is my manager-to-be like? While it's a recruiter's job to know how to market their company and open positions, it is imperative to paint an accurate and honest depiction of what is to come. Otherwise, that job may be open again in 3 months.


Prepare.  Preparation is a sign of respect. Interviews take time and not just for the ‘interviewer’. In many cases, candidates have to take time off work or juggle other responsibilities to be available. If HR and Hiring Managers aren’t prepared when a candidate arrives, it's an indication that the candidate's time is not being valued.  We strive to plan for each conversation, and to be thoughtful about what we want to learn from the candidate. 


Outline the Plan.  Don’t keep candidates in the dark about what’s next. HR pros know what their interview process looks like – how many steps, what’s involved, timeline etc. So, share this upfront. Knowing what comes next will cut back on a lot of the back and forth, and help to alleviate much of the stress and anxiety candidates are already feeling.


Simplify the Process.  Use technology. Almost all companies use an applicant tracking system (ATS) for online applications. Whichever system is in place, make sure it works and is glitch free. Also, try to make it as simple and streamlined as possible. If an applicant can upload a resume, why waste their time in asking them to enter in their work experience? Also, check to see the ATS is responsive and works across mobile and tablet. You don’t want candidates dropping out of the process even before they begin.


Remember, the Candidate Experience is a reflection of a company's culture and what future employees can expect. It is our goal to create a simple and enjoyable application process for candidates that reflects the values we hold at Octagon.


What’s Next? Begin your application today.