3 Overlooked Practices for a Positive Candidate Experience

Marketing Specialist

A job candidate’s journey with a company from application to hire (or not hire) is no longer just a process, it’s an experience. As a job seeker travels through the different recruitment phases—sourcing, interviewing, screening, hiring and onboarding—they naturally develop their own perception or opinion of your company. Whether it’s a positive or negative experience, it can have a lasting impact on your employer brand.

According to recent news release by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more job openings than there are candidates to fill them. Healthcare, specifically, saw an increase of over 79,000 job openings, just behind the construction and food industry.

What does this mean for healthcare employers? It’s now a candidate-driven job market, which means you no longer pick the talent. The talent picks you. That’s why, now more than ever, developing a positive candidate experience is key to attracting and onboarding top healthcare talent.

As you review your recruitment strategy, here are three practices you should consider that are often overlooked to improve the candidate experience.

1. Preparation

From the way they dress to how well they respond, job candidates are often held to a high degree when it comes to how they present themselves during an interview. Their level of preparation is frequently used as an indicator of their fit for the position and the company. However, what about the hiring manager? “Most hiring managers are conducting interviews as an ancillary duty to their job, and not a lot of companies perform interview training,” says Tom Weinert, President of Mount Indie Recruiting Solutions, a talent acquisition and recruitment solutions company. Weinert recommends having your questions written down, know what you’re hiring for, and make sure your questions address the qualifications you are seeking. “Nothing is more frustrating than asking a candidate to come back in because the interview wasn’t thorough enough to complete an evaluation.”

2. Response Time

In the age of instant gratification, providing immediate feedback is one of the most important facets to delivering a positive candidate experience. Not only do candidates expect a brief hiring process, but they also want a timely response from the prospective employer. According to Kristina Martic, Head of Marketing and Employer Branding at TalentLyft, a recruitment software company, most candidates say three to five business days is an acceptable time frame. Kudos if you can respond quicker! “A candidate is more likely to take the first of two equal offers because the risk of losing both feels worse than the benefit of getting both. A job offer now is worth two in the future, so don’t wait to respond,” Martic says.

3. Personalization

Technology and automation both play a critical part in our daily interactions. From the apps we use to catch a ride to the mass emails that flood our inboxes, digital communication has dramatically altered the way we navigate our everyday lives. Therefore, when you can add a personal, human touch to any occasion—whether it be a thoughtful gift or a handwritten note—you are sure to stand out from the crowd. 

Experts at Namely, an HR platform for industry leaders, say when extending an offer to an applicant, don’t just shoot them an email, consider delivering the good news over the phone. This will offer a more personal experience and help the new hire feel like a part of the company culture and team from the start. 

On the contrary, turning down a candidate is never a good feeling, so experts at Namely recommend taking the time to send emails to candidates who don’t land the job. That way, they’ll still think fondly of your brand and may even apply for a more suitable position in the future. Maintaining good relationships with all job applicants help foster a reputable employer brand as well as a positive candidate experience from beginning to end.

Recruiting quality talent in healthcare is not an easy feat. With more job vacancies than there are available candidates, it’s crucial that employers develop an effective and seamless recruitment strategy. What steps have you taken to ensure a positive candidate experience at your organization? Please share; we’d love to hear from you.

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