How to Design a Great Candidate Experience (and Why it Matters)

designing a great candidate experience

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Successful temporary recruiting agencies know that with the current talent shortages, they can’t afford to lose candidates to their competition. The conversation is no longer centred around increasing the number of people in the database, but instead it’s become about the most efficient way to manage and leverage the database through a better candidate engagement.

Creating a strategy around building an engaged talent pool of workers is more time and cost efficient than constantly trying to acquire new talent. Your candidate engagement strategy will impact your fill rates, time to fill and client satisfaction, and it all starts with designing a positive candidate experience.

What are candidate engagement and candidate experience?

Candidate engagement refers to how responsive candidates are. Candidate experience is the candidate’s overall evaluation of the entire recruiting and hiring process. It includes every touch point, including accuracy of the job description, transparency during the hiring process and ability to contact a recruiter. Historically, it’s an area of recruitment that has been given less attention, and thus remains an important area of opportunity.

Why are they important?

In a seeker-driven market, agencies are in fierce competition to fill the same roles. Ensuring a positive experience for all of your candidates will not only increase many key metrics like referrals, time to fill, fill rate and client satisfaction, but it can also be a key differentiator that sets your agency and brand apart from the competition.

A negative experience can often result in declined job offers, no-shows, and a poor response rate. A positive candidate experience makes a candidate more loyal to your agency, and more likely to accept an offer, refer friends and perform better on the job.

Using User-Centred Design Thinking to drive positive candidate experience

User-centred design thinking is a process of solving problems by considering the needs, wants and limitations of the user during every stage. In the recruiting world, your users are your candidates.

Here is a simplified framework to get you started on designing a better experience for your candidates

1. Research

Foster empathy for your workers by talking to them and making an effort to understand who are they are. What are their lifestyles? What is important to them and why?

2. Detect potential barriers

Using your research, try to find problems they are having during the recruiting process. Are they having trouble contacting a recruiter? Is the timeline hindering their experience?

3. Brainstorm solutions with your team

Consider how you can account for these barriers. Can you adapt your workflows? Is it time to seek out a tech solution that will give candidates what they are looking for?

4. Create the solution

Beyond determining and enacting the solution, make sure you’ve accounted for implementation. How will it be communicated to the team to make sure adoption is seamless?

5. Measure and test the effectiveness of the solution

Pay attention to how candidates are engaging with your solution (and think about developing benchmarks for its use). And seek feedback from candidates when possible so you can iterate on successful elements and revisit less effective ones.

6. Keep improving by returning to Step 3

How TimeSaved is designing for a better candidate experience

Providing worker-driven availability

Enabling workers to set their own availability through a mobile app means they have the power to do it when they want, how they want. It also allows recruiters to efficiently search for candidates who are available instantaneously.

Promoting transparency

Workers are able to rate and give feedback about the client. Agencies can use this information to confirm and promote highly rated clients to attract candidates, and they can share actionable areas of improvements.

Increasing ease of communication

Gone are the days of telephone tag and constantly refreshing your inbox. Candidates and recruiters can easily reach out and share information with each other through the in-app chat function.

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