These days, the struggle to find great talent is real…


Chances are, your current hiring process is ruining your employer brand. In fact, according to HCI(1), 60% of job seekers report a negative candidate experience with the employers they engage with and 72% report sharing their negative candidate experiences online. This is why offering an exceptional candidate experience is key to bringing the best people into your organization. Many companies have quickly adapted to an all-virtual world of interviewing and now more than ever, candidates want to feel valued and heard.

Here’s 8 steps that we’ve come up with here at Pillar to take your candidate experience from good to great…

1. Simplify the application process.

Using lengthy application forms and complicated questions will stop applicants from ever entering your recruiting process. 60% of job seekers quit an application in the middle due to its length or complexity(2). Allow various application options (upload resume or apply via LinkedIn), include only the questions that are absolutely necessary, and eliminate the need for applicants to create accounts in order to apply. The quicker the process, the more candidates you’ll have in your pipeline.

2. Acknowledge the candidate’s existence.

Make it mandatory that each candidate is thanked for their application and told when they will hear back from you about next steps. Keeping candidates appraised of their application status at set intervals is key to providing great experience. Also, make sure to close the loop with every candidate that applies or has an interview. The most important thing to remember here is to never ghost a jobseeker!

3. Be as transparent as possible about your hiring process once candidates apply.

There’s nothing jobseekers hate more than an inconsistent hiring process. Even if your process takes several weeks or months, setting that expectation from the get-go is important. Be very specific about the number of interviews that will be conducted, if references will be checked, as well as any background screens that will be required.

4. Provide resources to help candidates (& your interviewing team) prepare for their interview.

Offering tips to candidates can make your interviews go more smoothly and also shows that you’re invested in their success. This can be as simple as sending an email with a few pointers like a link to your preferred video platform’s FAQ (if virtual), what to wear (as we always say, dress for the job you want!), what kind of questions they’ll be asked, etc. It’s also not just candidates who may need pointers on conducting interviews, but also the interviewing team. Ensure that your interviewers know what questions to ask, are aware of unconscious bias, and make the interview a conversation vs. a “grilling” session (fun fact: Pillar can help with this).

5. Show off your company culture.

Company culture is becoming even more important and is just one of the ways that you can stand out during the hiring process. Get creative in showing off why someone should work at your company, including any videos, presentations, pictures from team events, or links to your social media channels. You should also make the time for informal conversations as the candidate progresses through the process. Schedule a video call with their potential team so they can get to know who they’d be working with before accepting the role.

6. Provide interview feedback.

94%(3) of candidates want to receive feedback after an interview. Whether they get the job or not, every candidate deserves a great experience with your company. If you have the time, let the candidate know what they did well and what they can do to help them do better next time. This way, the candidate walks away from the process with something valuable, and they’ll appreciate that you took the time. As a plus, they might even leave you a good review on Glassdoor!

7. Don’t delay in sending out offer letters (& level up the offer itself).

In today’s job market, candidates are on job boards all the time and are most likely interviewing with multiple companies at once. If a prospective employee receives an offer letter from a different company while they’re waiting for yours to come through, they may take that offer even if they’d rather work for you. Don’t lose out on the perfect candidate because you didn’t send out your offer in a timely manner. Make an impact with your offer by sending it over in a creative way (maybe with balloons or a floral arrangement). People share a good story, and landing a job is hard work - stand out and don’t let them decline!

8. Ask candidates for feedback about your recruiting process.

Asking candidates for feedback is a powerful, but simple tactic. Have candidates respond to a short survey by having them rank their experience with your recruiting team from 1-10. You could even consider sending the survey out through a texting platform for quicker feedback. Follow up with those who selected a 6 or below so you can continuously learn what needs to be improved upon.

Why A Positive Candidate Experience Matters

Candidates are craving better experiences! Putting extra effort into creating a great experience for every candidate not only excites new hires, but also attracts a better pool of candidates and leaves rejected candidates with a positive view of the company. A bad candidate experience can spread like wildfire through word of mouth or online reviews, even potentially affecting future revenue.

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