Successful interviews often point to a positive candidate experience as being a key factor in winning over a job seeker. Candidates want to gain a sense of what life at a company would be like and what they can expect to experience if they take the job. In a world where everyone is remote, however, how can you provide the same sort of candidate experience you would in person? It can be a daunting task as much of candidate experience relies on personal interactions and information candidates can glean from physically being in the workspace but it is possible. We just we to adjust our thinking to what candidate experience really is and how we can provide the same sort of atmosphere in a virtual setting.
How can you improve remote candidate experience?
What can a hiring manager or HR professional do to make the interview process run more smoothly? There are a number of tactics to consider when providing great candidate experience from a distance.
Be clear about the process: Conducting an interview online can feel a little weird at first which is why it's a good rule of thumb to over communicate with candidates and be incredibly clear about what they can expect to happen throughout the hiring process. If there are going to be multiple stages, or candidates are meeting multiple people, let them know in advance so they can prepare accordingly. It's also helpful to cover what to do in case of a tech glitch. If a candidate can't join the interview meeting, for example, do they have a number they can call to reach the hiring manager?
Pick your tech: No one likes being caught off-guard right before an important meeting. Think about what kind of technology you'll need before an interview and ensure you'll have access to it on the day you meet your candidate. Some things to consider are how many people you'll need to have on the call to conduct the interview and how long everything is going to take. Some video conferencing tech like basic Zoom accounts have a limit of 40 minutes. That's perfectly fine for a screening call or a quick interview but if you're going to need to go more in-depth you'll probably want to pick a platform that won't cut you off.
Make an FAQ: These days, everyone is likely going to have a very similar set of questions for a potential employer. How is the company dealing with the pandemic? What is being done to provide a safe working environment? What is the sick day policy like? You know you're going to get asked these questions so take the opportunity to get ahead of it. Preparing an FAQ for your candidates is a good way to cover any basic information they want to know about in advance, though it's always a good idea to follow up during the interview about any lingering questions they may have. This can also be a good chance to cover any non-COVID-19 related details too like benefits or important company policies that would be helpful for a candidate to know.
Remote tour: If it's possible, consider taking a video of the office for prospective candidates. It can be hard for job seekers to envision what life might be like at the company once life goes back to normal and having a video aid can help them gain a better sense of what they're signing on for. Taking a video of the company can show candidates where they'll be working, amenities of the office, and the area they'll be in. It's a nice way to paint a picture of what life might look like without anyone needing to come in for an onsite tour.
Share company content: It can be difficult to expose candidates to what your organization or your company culture is like from a distance. If you have any interesting content to share, consider sending a sample to your potential new hire. This could include blogs, articles, videos, event or team photos, or even CEO addresses. Exploring your content can help your candidate learn more about your marketing messaging to customers and get a better sense of your brand. While it'd be nice to have candidates into the office to experience the culture for themselves, this is one way to share some of the work being done.
Candidate experience makes a difference
Hiring remotely can be a challenge, it's true. But if you're going to grow your team right now, don't forget about the importance of the candidate experience. This this your chance to show candidates what they can gain by working at your company and what sort of relationship they can expect to have with their future employer. Even in a remote work setting, this is important information for candidates to consider in order to make informed decisions that will hopefully help them, and you, avoid early turnover. So next time you have a new job to interview for, plan out your talent acquisition process and come up with a strategy for candidate experience. Even when you can't meet face-to-face, you can still show your job seekers exactly why you're the company they should want to work for.