One of the first impressions a candidate will have on your firm is the recruiting process. Long, complicated and confusing procedures, including the application and interview process, can result in fewer candidates. The recruiting landscape continuous to evolve and compete for the attention of prospective candidates. Why not take the time to streamline your process and maximize the first impression candidates have with your firm? Here are three steps to take to boost the candidate experience.
Step 1- Define the Path!
I love the character Dory in Disney’s Finding Nemo. She’s a beautiful surgeonfish who has some minor memory issues. It seems she can recall long-term memory but tends to forget anything her friends tell her only minutes before. In her second movie “Finding Dory”, she is determined to find her family held captive at a local aquarium. She is given directions through a complicated maze of pipes within the aquarium that would take her to the majestic tank where her parents are thought to be. Not long into the journey through the winding pipes, she begins to forget the directions to her destination.
Unnecessarily complicated processes during the candidate journey can have them feel a lot like poor Dory. We tend to forget that most candidates just want to learn about and apply to a job without being required to venture down some winding maze of pipes known as HR processes. When candidates are confused by the process, they tend to have the same reaction as Dory: anxiety, fear and ultimately mental shut-down.
Always keep your candidate at the center of your design process. When you work with your team to redesign your process, focus on candidates’ needs and the frustrations they may encounter. Your redesigned process can be shared in an infographic with candidates when they begin the application process. You can also use your new journey map as a way to map out new communications with the candidate to identify the next steps in the process.
Step 2- Trim the Processes
I hate long processes. I blame it on my ADD but honestly, I’m just impatient. When you decide to review your candidate journey, begin by finding ways to streamline the process. There are often duplicative steps throughout any recruiting process that can be combined to enhance the candidate experience.
As you begin your research, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are there ways you can combine steps within the process to make it more efficient and take less time?
- What is the employee experience during this process?
- Do they (candidates) question the validity of the process?
- Are there too many confusing steps?
- Are there ways to honor the process but streamline it?
I usually begin any redesign process with these questions. I’ve found them to help stimulate lively discussion with recruiting teams and generate some pretty cool solutions.
A helpful trick I use:
- Have color coded post its coordinated with each of the questions above.
- Have your team document your process step by step using the appropriate colored post it to help categorize the process.
- The team can use a white board to document the process in a visual format to ensure every step is captured.
- Review with the group why they selected the post-it color and work together to streamline the process.
This is a fun and interactive way to begin enhancing the candidate experience at your organization.
Step 3- Trash the Unneeded
Evaluate what needs to stay and what should go. Think of this as Spring Cleaning that will benefit your candidates as they interact with your company. Here are some questions to ask during the design process:
- When you examine the process, are there redundancies that should be eliminated?
- Identify processes and ask if they are needed to satisfy some law or regulation? If not, do you really need it? (If so, can you make the process easier?)
- What are the minimum requirements involved in the process? This should be your base framework.
- If you can’t answer the question: “Why do we do this”, trash it. (It’s kind of fun!)
While this might be an easy concept, execution is pretty tough. You’ll find all types of HR professionals who want to stick to your current process until you begin to question the validity of a step. Dig in and fight for your candidates and keep streamlining the process. A great way to get buy in from opponents to this change is to test the new process in a few areas of your company before going live. This not only helps you attain buy-in from naysayers but also allows you to be sure the process is efficient.
“Candidate experience is increasingly gaining importance within recruitment as it not only helps securing top talent but also shapes an organization’s employer branding. Providing a first-class experience to candidates gives you the upper hand in the fierce competition with other companies. A poor candidate experience can make top talent feel that companies must treat their employees poorly too.”CandidateID
If you find your application rates dropping off or you’re getting negative reviews on candidate surveys, it’s time to overhaul your candidate journey. Be sure to follow the three steps above to begin your process. Remember, this is not a one time event! I would encourage you to review the process at least twice a year and continue to iterate. It’s an easy way to stay ahead of changes and will keep your candidates happy!
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