Candidate Experience is the most talked about topic in the recruiting world. They must have the most appropriate experience of being part of the hiring process. It not only leads to a positive outcome for them as well as you but it also helps achieve your KPIs like conversion ratio and time to fill.
While it is important to look at candidate experience but I feel it is equally important to also look at the experience of hiring managers and interviewers in the process. Imagine this like an UBER car service – where the passenger is like the candidate and driver is like the interviewer. Yes, and Uber is the recruiter. Just as Uber asks passengers to rate their experience, it also asks drivers to rate the passengers!
That is exactly our 3rd block in the Agile Recruiting Canvas! Recruitment Experience for its stakeholders namely – Applicants and Evaluators experience of being part of a recruitment process. You can read more about the first two blocks of the canvas- Applicant Persona Groups & Applicant Sources in our previous blogs.
First, let us look at 6 touch points that need to be carefully planned to ensure that the applicant and the evaluators have the best possible experience:
Generally, at this stage, applicants are looking for a job posting that sounds closer to what they want.
The motivation level of applicants is also average – even though they want a new job desperately – as they’re not sure if they’d hear back from the recruiters. You must make sure that the applicants find two things quickly and in the easy to understand manner – the exact job description and why should they join your company (better yet, if you make it what will they miss if they don’t join!).
Taking care of JD and your company’s employer branding/value proposition gets the applicant to click on that “apply” button. Two quick suggestions here for the hygiene – make the application form as small as possible and don’t ask the applicant to “register” on your site – no one’s interested in creating another set of login credentials just for a job!
Ideally, you should go beyond the hygiene, and send the applicants an acknowledgement email, possibly a link to his profile on your ATS which he can review/edit/communicate back.
Now that we have applications come into the process, the next step is to first ensure that the applicant is genuinely interested in the job. That is truly your first opportunity to talk to the applicant and hence you need almost a scripted approach to how you “screen” the applicant.
The goal here is to understand why the applicant is looking for a job, whether we have all the basic information we need about the applicant and then to discuss the actual job description to doubly ensure you both are on the same page.
I personally believe, a good recruiter considers this as the most critical step of the process as this allows him/her to make a judgement about whether to forward the application to the evaluators or not and that determines his/her own performance as a recruiter. If this step is done properly, the overall process becomes more efficient as we start to take decisions upstream in the process thereby reducing effort wastage.
When applicants reach this stage through proper screening, they have a sense of achievement and hence have the maximum motivation to look forward to the next steps. We have also seen that a lot of recruiters struggle to bring applicants for the interviews and it is more often than not about the experience of the screening process. If the first call you are making is a call to interview, you lower the value of a job.
When it comes to actual interviewing part, there are two things that are essential for the effectiveness of the process – whether the applicant understands the interviewing process (how many rounds, what are those rounds about, the location of the interview and how to get there, when is the interview etc) and secondly how to prepare for the interview rounds.
Most recruiters take care of the logistics part but only a few also provide tips on how best to prepare for these interview rounds creating the best candidate experience. Additionally, they send (or automate using modern ATS) regular and timely reminders to both applicants as well as interviewers and they also ask for an “interview experience feedback”, most commonly using NPS (net promoter score) methodology from both applicants and the evaluators too (remember the Uber example!)
Offer Making process
Going through all the rounds and getting selected is a high point for both the applicant and the recruiter as well! After all its like seeing the finish line.
If you had captured the applicants’ current salary and expected salary – clearly or through comments – you know what would be an exciting offer to the applicant. Many companies also have a salary guide or reference sheet that is used to make an offer to the applicant. Using these two sets of information, a recruiter can easily decide what would work best for the situation.
While in many cases offer making is all about salary, there may be situations when the salary being offered doesn’t match the unrealistic expectations or in-hand offers candidates have. In such cases, recruiter’s sales skills come in handy. The value is not always in salary but also in location, perks, culture, role, responsibility etc. A good recruiter, like a good salesperson, always know how to look at a win-win case for both the employer and the applicant!
Once the applicant has accepted the offer, now comes the onboarding part. This is the most boring part of the process as it is where everyone goes back to their daily jobs. Applicant has his last project to complete and handover and the recruiter has other jobs to fill.
However, this is also a stage where recruiter has to collect all the necessary information through forms and documents so that the joining process is as smooth and event-free as possible.
Many companies use modern systems that make the document collection, form filling very intuitive and easy for candidates.
It’s a D-day! Recruiters hope that the applicants will show up on time and they could complete the joining formalities and hand over the new talent to the HR Operations so that the employee lifecycle begins.
If the onboarding process is smooth and well thought out, then the joining process is as straight-forward as checking in at the airport. Show your offer letter, sign in and off you go to your desk and wait for the induction to begin!!
Now that we have seen the 6 touchpoints that determine how an applicant feels through the process, let us look at the critical metrics that would tell you exactly how to measure the effectiveness of your recruiting process.
Average application form submission time
Amount of time taken by an applicant to fill out the job application form. Lesser the better!
Time to first contact
How long does it take on average for you to get back to the applicant after he has submitted his application. This is about the first human contact and not about the acknowledgement via email notification.
NPS – Interview experience rating
This is a net promoter score of the applicants immediately after the interview is over, regardless of the outcome of the interview. It is important that you ask nothing else but a rating on a scale of 1-10.
Offer to Join ratio
How many people are taking your offer but not joining tells you a lot about a combination of employer branding plus recruitment experience.
In summary – great recruiters are sub-consciously always aware of the 6 key touchpoints that matter in the entire recruitment process and great leaders always know how to measure the effectiveness of the process by measuring the right metrics.
Hope this helps you put things in the right perspective and in the context of the entire recruiting strategy for your company. Agile Recruiting Canvas is a recruitment strategy modeling framework that helps you take control of how you run your talent acquisition function!