Your candidate experience includes every interaction that a candidate has with your company. From the moment an applicant first lands on your careers page to the final hiring decision, the candidate experience encompasses all of this.  

Every member of your recruiting team that encounters a candidate plays a pivotal role in creating a successful candidate experience. The way that your team communicates with candidates, in terms of both quality and frequency, shapes their perception of your company.  


Why should you make candidate experience a priority?

A good candidate experience makes candidates eager to work for your company – it’s that feeling of excitement when you’re filling out a job application and imagining yourself working there. An even better candidate experience might compel them to share their positive perceptions and feelings with others, helping to build your reputation. However, a poor candidate experience can cause candidates to lose respect for you, both as an employer and as a brand, leading to a tarnished reputation. In fact, Talent Board found that 46% of applicants will sever their business relationship with a brand if they have a negative candidate experience.  

Candidates who are rejected but have had a positive experience with your company will often voice their satisfaction through their own personal or professional networks. According to Randstad Employer Brand Research 2020, 91% of candidates seek at least one resource to evaluate an employer’s brand before applying for a job. As such, having a good track record of positive candidate experiences is critical for attracting future applicants. 


4 tips for creating positive candidate experiences in a remote environment

Each step in your hiring process needs to be optimized to ensure a good candidate experience. Whether it’s your careers page, job descriptions, or interviews – these all play role in shaping candidate perceptions. That being said, when you’re operating in a remote environment, it usually takes a little more effort to manage these touchpoints.  

The good news? Creating a positive remote candidate experience is relatively simple – there is no need to completely revamp your hiring process.  

To optimize your existing candidate experience for today’s virtual world, consider the following four tips: 


1. Walk in your candidates’ shoes

The first step for optimizing your remote candidate experience involves going through your company’s application process. Pretend that you are a candidate – start with your career site and then stop once you hit “submit” at the end of your application. Ask yourself the following questions as you navigate the process: 

  • Is it easy to navigate the career site and find open positions? Am I being dismayed by confusing searches?  
  • Is the apply flow confusing and/or filled with redundant questions? 
  • Is the application process time-consuming? 
  • Do I have to upload my resume only to be asked to fill out the same information again?  

Going through the process firsthand will help you determine where the pain points lie. If your applicant tracking system or career site presents any of these frustrations, consider investing in an Employee Experience Platform. This solution will allow candidates to have a delightful experience that is branded, quick, and optimized for all their devices. 


2. Maintain clear communication

The candidate experience doesn’t stop after applications are submitted. Candidates still want to know if they are moving forward with an interview. Though many companies only reach out to those getting interviews, this behavior can really tarnish your employer band. According to the Talent Board, 47% of candidates fail to hear back from employers within two months of their application – don’t leave your candidates in the dark! 

Keeping candidates informed is easy thanks to today’s HR technology. Take advantage of rejection templates and batch emails to keep candidates informed. According to Randstad, approximately 15% of candidates who have a great hiring experience are willing to put more effort into their job! The candidate experience that you provide has an effect long after candidates have completed this process. 

If you want to take your communication to the next level, consider PepsiCo’s approach. PepsiCo was in the middle of its hiring process for a leadership program called “PepsiCo Breakout” when COVID-19 hit. Hoping to keep the program going, PepsiCo turned their entire recruitment process into a remote experience. 

The company provided candidates with mentors and coaches and created group chats so that candidates could feel supported throughout the entire process. This approach made candidates feel more comfortable, engaged, and connected during the hiring process. Any company, big or small, can execute this simple strategy. 


3. Provide a great video interview experience

The absence of in-person interviews is a significant drawback for hiring. Without direct human interaction and the ability to experience your company’s culture first-hand, candidates might struggle to make a connection with your organization.  

Fortunately, there are many ways that you can make your interview experience memorable. To start, consider going beyond traditional interview questions. Think of some creative questions to ask that don’t necessarily relate to their job but reveal a candidate’s personality and what new experiences they can bring to your team. Consider asking about hobbies, failures, and future goals. This will help you connect with them in a more informal manner and make the experience stand out. 

Additionally, consider inviting additional co-workers to join the call towards the end of the interview. For example, if you are hiring a marketing professional consider inviting members of your marketing team to join the call. They can make introductions and share their own experiences. This will allow the candidate to form additional relationships and get a better feel for the team and work environment.  


4. Prepare newcomers for their first day

It’s always nerve-wracking starting a new job, but doing this in a remote environment can often intensify those feelings. Without in-person interactions, it can be easy to feel lost and disconnected on the first day. 

You might have a fantastic onboarding process, but make sure that you begin to welcome the new hire before their first day. Be sure to send their work essentials well in advance. Consider sharing a consolidated onboarding package that includes helpful resources, links to company collateral, and a calendar with deadlines that must be met.  

Additionally, most companies like to go the extra mile to delight their new hires. Consider sending customized company swag or small gifts along with their work laptop to make them feel like a part of the team from day one.

Don’t underestimate the importance of those few days before they join – they can help create a good first impression and set your onboarding process up for success! 


Final thoughts

In today’s digital world it takes a little more thought and preparation to create a compelling and memorable candidate experience. You may not have an in-person interview to convey your employer brand, make connections, and portray your company’s culture, but you can create the same opportunities online 

If you carefully evaluate and improve your application process, communicate effectively with candidates, and go the extra mile before their first day, then candidates will surely view your company as a great place to work. 


About the author

This article is written by VCV’s marketing department. VCV is an AI-powered platform that facilitates the hiring process making it ethical, smart, and fast by a preliminary selection of resumes, conducting video interviews with face, emotion, and voice recognition.

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