Recruiting as „Candidate Experience“?

If you deal with the topics recruiting and employer branding, one term will come up more and more: “candidate experience”.

This concept has its origin in marketing. The experiences of customers with a company and its several marketing messages are summarized with “customers experience”. The aim is to build up as many positive contact points as possible in order to establish and promote an emotional connection between the customers and the company or its products. Based on that, the experiences of candidates in the recruiting process can be named as “candidate experience”. At first glance, the most influential part is the job interview itself, but there can be much more touch points between candidate and company, e.g. at career fairs, researching on the website or a call with a HR manager.

The objective of “Candidate Experience Management” is to improve the touch points between candidates and company in order to convince the potential candidates of an application and – in the second step – to make them to an ambassador for the employer brand. This can lead so far that the candidate – even if he was rejected – experienced the recruitment process so professional and pleasant, that this good impression motivates him for further applications or that he recommends the company as an employer.
However, there are some obstacles to consider. These can be time-consuming, complicated online registration forms or that a candidate gets no response to his application because it was overlooked in the day-to-day business.
In the first step, HR managers should analyze which touching points can arise in the recruitment process and how these can be optimized. The easiest and most effective way are internal tests and benchmarks. Does the career website provide all relevant information? Is the job board up to date and are all contact persons named? Is it possible to send the online application without technical problems?

More complicated is the analysis of the interpersonal touch points. A respectful, appreciative interaction with interested persons and candidates should be obvious for every employee, not only in the HR department. Furthermore, standardized processes can be helpful to keep the overview of recruiting activities. Details, e.g. a confirmation of receipt and a brief information on the status of the application, cost little time, but show the applicants a professional handling of their data.
A successful “Candidate Experience Management” provides a higher number of more qualified applicants; positive experiences are often spread and thus can reach potential customers.

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