When you’re hiring in a remote environment, it can be a challenge to stand out in the crowd. Candidates might be doing rounds of online interviews that provide very similar experiences so what can you do to stay memorable? Let’s explore some candidate experience strategies that go beyond what candidates tend to expect. By providing an exceptional experience, you can both increase the likelihood of a candidate accepting your offer and give your employer brand a boost. Putting the extra effort into your remote candidate experience might help you find your next great hire.
Energize your candidate experience
Yes, it’s important to think about details such as your job descriptions and the length of your application process when it comes to candidate experience but the quest to design a truly candidate-friendly hiring process doesn’t end there. Next time you hire, try these 5 strategies to take your candidate experience from good to great.
Take a virtual tour: Your office might be empty right now but unless you’re intending to stay remote, candidates will eventually be working on site. Showing them a video of what the physical office space looks like can help job seekers envision what life at the company might become in the future. It’s also a fun way to help job seekers contextualize the company stories they’ll likely hear during their interview rounds or later during onboarding. They might not have a desk at the moment, but knowing that layout of the office can give candidates a better sense of what they’re signing up for if they accept the role.
Make a candidate information package: Think about all the information new hires receive on their first day of a job. You probably already have some vesion of a welcome package created for your onboarding program so why not leverage some of that information with candidates? Times are strange right now and candidates might not have participated in an online interview before. Providing your candidate with information upfront about the process and the company gives you a better chance at seeing your job seeker perform at their best. Wondering what to include in a candidate information package? Try some of the following ideas:
- Details about the interview process such as Zoom links or login information, especially if any particular type of technology is going to be involved
- Video interviewing suggested tips (are there dress code expectations, lighting considerations, etc)
- Practice questions
- Information about the company history and its views on culture
- Company videos or photos of past events and happy teams
- Product information sheets on top-performing products or services
- Screenshots of online platforms
- A team’s recent social calendar if you hold monthly events
- Small messages from future team members about team life
Send a care package: Now this tactic is not one you’re likely going to use with a crowd. When you get down to your shortlist of candidates, however, you might want to consider trying out a care package if you have a candidate you really want to woo. Think about what a candidate might have been given in the office had they come in for an interview. They may have received a mug or water bottle with your branding on it. Maybe some pens or stationery. Probably a cup of coffee. Those are still things you can provide from a distance, you just have to get a little more creative. Taking the time to send something small to candidates shows how much you want them to take the role and can tip their decision in your favour.
Ask candidates to evaluate you: One of the best ways to see if something is wrong with your hiring process is to ask the people going through it. It can be uncomfortable to ask for candid feedback, particularly if candidates didn’t get the job, but you can’t fix what you’re not aware of. Maybe there are unintended barriers in your hiring strategy holding candidates back or maybe your application process is too long. Candidates are often eager to tell you the truth about their experience and that information can be invaluable in updating your hiring process to be more candidate friendly.
Evaluate candidates right back: On the subject of feedback, why not offer it to candidates who weren’t successful? Everyone has had the experience of walking away from an interview feeling great only to hear the company’s gone with someone else. It can be frustrating not to know why you weren’t picked or what you could do better next time. Ask candidates if they want feedback (some won’t) and if they do, try to have a few tips or pointers to share about how the interview went and what they can do to improve. If you use assessments, providing candidates with their results or a feedback report can also help support a positive candidate experience as they are still leaving with something valuable, even if it’s not the role they wanted.
Great candidate experience leads to better hires
It can be easy for recruiters or hiring managers to forget about providing a positive candidate experience when they can’t meet their job seekers in person. Taking the time to think about what the remote candidate experience looks like, however, can help you stand out from the competition and capture candidate attention. From how you share details about work and company life with candidates to your approach to collecting feedback, there are a number of tactics you can leverage that will help you stay top of mind. Good candidate experience is about more than just managing first impressions or having a short application process. How candidates interact with you can impact job offer acceptance rates, employer branding, and even your future talent pool. So next time you think about your recruitment process don’t forget about candidate experience. Even at a distance, it should still be a cornerstone of your hiring strategy.