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Candidate Experience First Impressions Count!

6th Dec 2016 'Cilla Arnold

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When I moved to Australia from India around 5 years ago, one of the first things I did was send out my resume to specific jobs and recruiters in my area of specialization. Imagine my disappointment when I didn'™t receive any email confirmation from around 65% of the said recruiters and talent managers and when I called them up a few days later my calls were redirected to voicemail! Of course, luckily a few did get back to me and I eventually got hired, but my experience with some of the recruitment agencies left a sour taste in my mouth!

Now, sitting on the other side of the desk I try my best to ensure that I walk the talk and ensure a great candidate experience for job seekers who’ve applied for my roles  I try my hardest to give feedback to all the candidates who apply for the jobs I post.

This may sound impossible, given that we receive anywhere between 50 to 100 applications a week but in my opinion we should at the very least be able to drop our applicants an email letting them know we have received their applications and will respond if we can take things further or let them know they’ve not been successful for the role they applied for give them closure of sorts.

After all candidates do not know about the volumes of applications we receive, about the recruitment goals we are trying to achieve or the fact that only a small pool of appropriately skilled applicants finally make it to the interview process. When you don't respond, you are just one more high-handed recruiter who’s making a negative impression on the candidate.

And it's almost a given that some of them will stand on their social media soap boxes and give vent to their frustrations. No one can ignore the power of the keypad in this day and age. And no, all publicity is not necessarily good publicity. Negative postings could easily reduce the referrals and the numbers of qualified candidates you attract or leave a bad impression about your company.

Ignoring applicants can also result in losing potential customers and workers. Put yourself in their shoes  for e.g.  - imagine you apply to a company but your application is ignored. Not just that but you don'™t even hear back from the team on why your application was not successful! You will probably feel so disgruntled that you will talk negatively about your experience with your mates and other potential job seekers who in turn will end up not wanting to associate with the company. This will affect the company’s customer base and potential hires.

What you can do as a recruiter is at the very least, send a simple confirmation email or, give the candidates you don’t hire resources that can help them. No one is asking you to become a career consultant for free but rather give these candidates tools or information they can help themselves with.

So is it worth responding to each applicant? If you are still not convinced, this might do the trick.

Referrals - This is the biggest benefit of improving the candidate experience. Candidates who don't get hired but are treated respectfully are often happy to give you referrals of other more suitable candidates in the hope that you will consider their applications for other jobs in the future.
Brand value and perception -Giving candidates a positive experience ensures that the value of the brand increases. A good reputation also results in top-of-the-line talent approaching you for recruitment opportunities.

Whilst these ideas might seem simple, as a recruitment business that consults and partners with a wide range of employers we see that these simple to-dos are very rarely put into practice consistently. At Xpand we try to build a strategy that better attracts and nurtures candidate relationships and provides a way for candidates to feel like their voices, their time, and their efforts are respected.

So go ahead“ all it takes is a bit of effort from your end I promise you the results will be worth it!