Candidates are the drivers of the interview process today. Their expectations are higher than ever in understanding their probability of being hired and hearing back from their recruiters.
Unfortunately, even in this climate, organizations are not following through with successful candidate communication or even prioritizing it during the interview process. And, communication is a two-way street. Part of successful communication involves listening to candidate feedback.
When organizations do not listen to their candidates, they miss out on valuable feedback that can propel their recruiting efforts and attract more applicants.
What Candidates Want You To Hear
According to the 2017 Talent Board NAM Research Report, companies who are focused on candidate experience differentiate themselves by listening to their candidates and communicating with them more frequently.
Of course! The organizations who are listening and who are communicating are the top performers in candidate experience. But what exactly are they listening to?
The biggest pain point candidates want resolved is the black hole of recruiting. Almost 50% of candidates never hear back on the status of their application up to two months after applying. Candidates want employers to know that this behavior, quite frankly, is disappointing and lame. It creates frustration for all parties involved, and it’s not a good look for employers to exhibit.
Even while expressing this desire for change, not many organizations fix this problem with their interview process. This may be because organizations just are not listening to pleas from candidates in the first place.
Where else do candidates want change? The interview itself.
36% of candidates want to know how well they performed during the interview. But more importantly, candidates also want to let organizations know how interviewers performed.
An interview goes two ways. Recruiters and hiring managers are evaluating candidates’ skills and attributes. Equally, candidates are evaluating the demeanor of the team they may join, the company culture, role responsibilities and career development opportunities. Even more granular, candidates are evaluating employees’ opinions, professionalism and the office atmosphere. If candidates have a less-than-stellar experience, their opinions of that organization can shift.
Again, candidates express this sentiment time and time again, yet organizations are not listening.
Essentially, candidates want to offer their insights in the interview process because they have a perspective that’s undeniably valuable, and they know it.
How You Can Listen To Your Candidates
It’s clear that candidates want their voices to be heard during the interview process. It’s not enough to encourage feedback and follow-up questions during interviews anymore. There are simple steps to start listening to your candidates, all in the hopes of improving candidate experience for all of your applicants moving forward.
Automate Status Update Messaging
Repeatedly, this is something candidates want, but organizations don’t provide. Candidates crave updates on their status, yet so many rarely receive calls or emails regarding their application status. This dissuades them from wanting to work for that organization or even support that organization in the future. In fact, 65% of candidates lose interest in a job when they have a poor experience. Listen to your candidates and provide answers! Simply automate messaging to send candidates so they know their application is still being reviewed or that they’ve successfully moved to the next stage.
Leave Time For Questions
All too often, interviewers offer the last five minutes of an interview to the candidate for their questions, which is barely enough time. Even worse, this happens in the last thirty seconds when the interviewer ran over time and “has to run.” It’s great when this happens because it’s a sign that the conversation during the rest of the interview went well. But, this leaves interviews feeling unfinished and one-sided for candidates. Manage the time recruiters and hiring managers spend on their questions during the interview or extend the duration of an interview to allow for feedback and questions from candidates.
If you really want to know what your candidates think and feel, get honest feedback through surveys! Before letting candidates run to review sites like Glassdoor with their thoughts, surveys can provide an outlet for their voices to be heard. This gives you excellent data to use moving forward on possible process changes and where your candidates are most dissatisfied. Survey candidates throughout the interview process and once they’ve completed to process to get holistic, real-time results!
Offer Contact Information & Be A Resource
Providing an office phone number to candidates is a good start. Offering all contact information (including LinkedIn profiles) and genuinely expressing availability for conversations. Now that’s a step in the right direction! More than needing the physical details of how to contact recruiters (phone numbers, email addresses, etc.), candidates need to feel comfortable and welcome to contact recruiters and hiring managers. Being a resource and open ear to listen to candidates is crucial to getting honest feedback.