Many organizations operate under the assumption that once a candidate has signed the employment agreement, they’re in it for the long-haul. But a negative candidate experience can drive quality hires away, and here at McQuaig, we believe that onboarding is a critical element to the candidate experience. Onboarding is the final stage of the hiring process, and it plays as much a part in the candidate experience as the other stages of hiring, like sourcing talent, interviewing, and assessing candidates. Here’s why the link between onboarding and candidate experience can influence the success of your hiring initiatives:
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: consistency is key in the candidate experience. Just like maintaining consistent communication with your candidates can help improve the candidate experience, maintaining a consistent experience across all stages of the hiring process can perpetuate the message that you value your candidates and new hires. A positive onboarding experience shows that you talk the talk and walk the walk. InstaHyre has a great infographic with a telling stat on it: 83% of survey respondents said that the candidate experience they receive is indicative of how a company values its people. Everything you’ve done to draw candidates in should be continued into their career with your organization. Creating a positive experience through the hiring stages, only to drop the act during onboarding, can drive new hires away. Remember – that probationary period isn’t just for you to evaluate your new hires. It’s also a critical time for your new employees to discover what your company’s really like. What happens if they feel misled?
A positive candidate experience is engaging. Job applicants take time to polish their resumes, craft a cover letter, and apply to your job – so they obviously want to engage with you. And as the hiring process progresses, a candidate’s continued engagement indicates that they want to keep interacting with your organization. Debbie Lamb writes about how “employee engagement starts before the new hire’s first day,” and it’s important to remember this as the hiring process winds down. A great onboarding program can close out the candidate experience on a high note, encouraging new hires to be more engaged from day one. And as we all know, employee engagement leads to all sorts of great benefits, like higher productivity and lower turnover.
Some organizations look at onboarding as the first step in a new hire’s journey. At McQuaig, we see it as the closing chapter of the candidate experience. This is your opportunity to double-down on your employer branding strategy, and drive home what makes your company different from the others. The candidate onboarding experience is a vital element to getting new hires engaged from the get-go – and you might be surprised to see how long its effects last.