We all know that the customer experience can make or break an organization. But customers aren’t the only people who have a say in your company’s success. Your employees are a critical piece of this puzzle, and their experience within your organization can be as influential as customer experience. From hire to retire, the way your employees perceive your organization can have a lasting impact on profitability, output, turnover rates, and much more. For anyone who’s vying to get hired at your company, a positive candidate experience can mean the difference between new hires who feel empowered and confident, and new hires who feel overwhelmed and lost. And for candidates who didn’t make the cut, well, their experience with your organization can lead to future applications and referrals, or more negative reviews that dissuade others from applying to your open positions.
One of the most powerful ways to affect candidate experience is to create a hiring process that’s seamless. When we talk about a seamless hiring experience, we mean an experience that’s:
Let’s look at how focusing on these elements of your hiring process can make the experience seamless for your candidates:
A Seamless Hiring Experience Is Honest
The first step is to look at your hiring process and determine if it’s honest to your company and the candidate. Do you accurately describe and represent your organization’s culture? Would a new hire be surprised at some of the expectations set forth by management? iCIMS notes that by the time you bring a candidate it for an interview, they’ve already formed a perception of your company. Your job description, application process, and more can affect this perception, even before you have your first 1:1 interaction with the candidate. It’s important that a candidate’s experience throughout the process is authentic and honest; otherwise, the disconnect between expectations and reality can throw the whole process out of whack.
A Seamless Hiring Experience Is Clear
There are two parts to this one. Firstly, candidates want to know how things are going, and when more actions will be taken. By letting candidates know when they’ll hear back from you, or by communicating with candidates who don’t make the cut, you’re giving answers to the questions that candidates have but never ask. You’re getting out in front and tackling some of the unknowns before they even crop up, which can significantly boost your candidates’ perception of the hiring process.
Secondly, but equally as important, you’ve got to follow through. Be clear, set expectations, and then deliver on those expectations. If you’ve promised to let candidates know whether or not they’re getting called in for an interview by the end of next week, make sure you give them an answer by the end of next week. Clarity only works if there’s follow-through. Laura Bartkiewicz breaks these elements out further in this blog post.
A Seamless Hiring Experience Is Consistent
Consistency is critical across the board. Does the language in your email correspondence with each candidate feel similar to the language in your job posting? Is there a consistent point-person who speaks to the candidates? If you have a lengthy interview process, does it reflect the culture and values you describe in your organization? The team at Lever describes an example that involves making candidates feel comfortable and part of the team, even during the interview.
What about after the interview? If a candidate gets the job, who will they speak with? Who will they meet on their first day? Consistency can make the hiring experience more manageable for your candidates, and consistency beyond this point can help maintain that sense of confidence well into the onboarding stage. Which brings me to the final element…
A Seamless Hiring Experience Is Supportive
Your process is honest. It’s clear. It’s consistent. But don’t let that go to waste once the offer’s on the table. A positive, supportive onboarding experience is just as critical to the overall hiring experience as the rest of the process. Throwing candidates into the lion’s den on day one can be overwhelming and disorienting, especially if the experience has been stellar so far. Make sure you’ve considered what your new hire might need, based on how you’ve positioned the rest of the hiring experience. Do they know where to go when they get to work? Should they go to HR, or meet with their supervisor? Is there a familiar face who they can rely on to help with orientation? Do they know what they’ll be working towards during their first few days and weeks on the job?
Supporting your employees from the get-go is a natural extension of the seamless hiring experience. It reinforces the other elements, by emphasizing your company’s honesty and authenticity in terms of culture, clearly setting and communicating expectations, and maintaining consistency throughout the experience.
This is your chance to double-down on what sold your candidates on your company in the first place. By providing a seamless hiring experience, you’re demonstrating that your organization cares about the well-being of candidates and employees alike. And who wouldn’t want to work for a company who cares so much about their employees?