Candidate experience is becoming evermore important in today’s candidate-led market. But how can you improve the candidate experience amongst the pressures of high volume recruitment? This blog covers everything you need to know.
Providing a high-level candidate experience when you’re hiring in volume can be tricky. In a world where candidate expectations are getting higher and higher, how can you provide a streamlined, speedy process that all job applicants want?
We’ll explore what candidates are looking for in the recruitment process, why it’s important to meet those expectations, and the most common reasons it suffers during high-volume hiring. But more importantly, we’ll look at what you can do, to make sure you’re providing a great candidate experience.
What is Candidate Experience?
Candidate experience is the journey a candidate goes on when they apply for a role at your company. It includes every interaction a candidate has with you, from the first job posting to the final decision.
That means, a great candidate experience needs to deliver in a range of key areas. Communication. Response time. Clear job adverts. These are just a few examples. To provide a great candidate experience, you have to deliver on all these different fronts.
If you write a great job ad, but never communicate the process, you’ll still be providing a poor candidate experience. The same goes for writing a great job ad and communicating the process but taking two months to respond. Again, the candidate experience would be poor.
Candidates expect quick responses to match the pace of a fast-moving world. So that takes us to the next question. Why is candidate experience important?
Why is Candidate Experience Important?
Believe it or not, a poor candidate experience can be the difference between a successful recruitment campaign and an unsuccessful one. A negative candidate experience can hurt your employer brand, lead to negative reviews, and decrease the likelihood of a candidate accepting a job offer.
But, a positive candidate experience can attract applicants, improve your employer brand, and increase the chances of a candidate accepting a job offer. By giving a candidate a great experience, you don’t just impress them, but everyone that person has access too. They may talk about your company with friends, family or even on social media.
Why Does Candidate Experience Suffer When Hiring in Volume?
Higher number of applicants
Due to the high number of candidates, candidate experience can suffer in volume recruitment. When you’re dealing with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of candidates, it’s hard to maintain a personalised and timely recruitment experience. Because of that, the hiring process can suffer in the key important areas.
This is all the more true if your recruitment process has more manual tasks, rather than using a recruitment automation system. So many candidates will mean that you’ll inevitably miss a few or won’t get back to candidates you’re interested in fast enough. Which brings us to the next point.
Fast turnaround times
Volume hiring usually has much faster turnaround times than traditional recruitment. They may need to hire within the week, and sometimes even the next day.
That need to hire so quickly, means the things that make a great candidate experience aren’t given the time they need. Look at the example below taken from a Facebook group recruiting HGV drivers for various logistics companies:
And another example below for a care assistant:
Unfortunately, a lot of the volume hiring industries tend to be extremely understaffed and over-worked. Because of that, they don’t have the luxury to spend a month hiring the perfect candidate. Their focus is getting qualified people into the job as fast as possible.
No-shows at interviews are common, but they can be even more common in volume hiring. Because of the relatively fast need to hire, some candidates might struggle to commit to a job interview at such short notice.
Some candidates don’t show up to interviews, and others don’t show up on their first day of work. Either way, both end up being a waste of a hiring manager’s time and leave a company in a situation where they have to start the hiring process all over again. That costs them time, money, and effort.
How to Improve Candidate Experience
Improving candidate experience in volume hiring means you need a strategy, a method that you can follow every time you start a new recruitment campaign.
It starts by being aware of the problems you have in volume recruiting that other recruiters don’t face and what you can do to overcome those problems. Below are 4 things you can do to improve the candidate experience in volume hiring.
Speed Up Your Hiring
Even though high-volume hiring requires a fast turnaround time, it doesn’t mean you should sacrifice quality for speed. Streamline your recruitment process by automating repetitive tasks. Use smart filtering and make use of an automated recruitment system to speed up the hiring process.
A recent survey showed that 71% of applicants abandon an application process if it takes more than 15 minutes. Keep in mind, if you’re looking to hire quickly, you want your application process to match. Don’t post a job for an immediate start if the application takes an hour to finish. If it doesn’t match the expectation of the job, it will lead to a poor candidate experience.
Personalise Where You Can
You may think it’s hard to personalise for every candidate when you have hundreds maybe thousands of applicants – but that’s where recruitment technology comes in.
For example, you can use the candidate’s name in every communication (e-mail, text), or when you provide feedback on their application.
With the help of filtering technology, you can filter out any unqualified candidates giving you the time to focus on the qualified ones. Below is a screenshot of occy’s automated communication tool, which allows you to personalise and send automated messages using the candidates name.
Communicate Clearly Throughout
Clear communication throughout the hiring process is key to providing a positive candidate experience. Keeping candidates informed throughout makes them feel valued and stops them guessing.
Even if it’s a rejection, an e-mail to thank them for applying and wishing them luck on their job search is better than nothing at all. After all, that applicant took the time to apply, so an automated thank you e-mail isn’t time-consuming and is always appreciated.
In one UK survey, 87.5% of applicants left an application process because of communication issues from the employer. That leads to a poor candidate experience. If you use auto-communication tools and let them know what to expect from the process, you minimise the risk of losing applicants.
Make it Digital
Whilst paper applications might have their place here and there, for the most part in today’s world you’re going to want to offer your candidates a digital recruitment experience. By doing so, you make it easy for candidates to apply.
One click apply, applications from mobile, remote interviews, and e-signatures are all examples of making your hiring digital.
In 2022, 70% of candidates applied from a mobile. Not offering a digital recruitment experience will only frustrate candidates and damage their candidate experience. Adding to what we said earlier, making your hiring digital lets you keep up with volume hiring’s pace and volume.
Providing a positive candidate experience in high-volume hiring can be challenging, but it’s essential to attract the candidates you need. You can improve candidate experience by speeding up your hiring process, personalising where you can, communicating clearly throughout, and making it digital.
A recruitment system like occy, which is designed for the needs of volume recruiters, can help with all the above and more. But a great candidate experience is just one part of a successful hiring strategy – for more tips, why not download The Ultimate Talent Acquisition Toolkit below.