There are many moving parts in the recruitment process, comprising to create the candidate experience: an all-important journey that every applicant — unsuccessful and successful — goes through. It’s hard to compartmentalise recruitment for this reason. But on the flip side, it’s easy to make quick improvements to most aspects of hiring, 20 of which we’ve listed below.
1. Include interesting videos
Most applications are text-based. So, why not mix things up and include a video on your vacancy page? This makes advertisements more engaging for applicants and lets them learn about a role from a personal perspective.
To make videos, you don’t need to do anything expensive or overly fancy. Simply set up a camera and ask someone in the same or a similar position to the one you’re trying to fill to talk for a few minutes about their day-to-day.
2. Inject company culture
Don’t make advertisements all about the role and its responsibilities. Yes, that’s why someone browsing will initially click on a vacancy, but culture is more often than not why they’ll stay.
Try to weave in information about company benefits, paint a picture of the office environment and talk a little about the team. Company culture can also come through the job advertisement by striking the right tone of voice that distinguishes your brand’s personality from the other recruiters in the same sector.
3. Use inclusive language
Simply being mindful when crafting job applications can help to polish this part of the process. Steer away from gender pronouns, include information about accessibility and jot down a few lines about your commitments to fair hiring practices.
It might seem like it should be a given or like a waste of time forcing some fine print. But, inclusivity is imperative for employers to ensure they’re actively discouraging discrimination and widening their talent pool by not alienating anyone from applying.
4. Balance the benchmark
Applications should feel aspirational — but not impossible. When creating job vacancy content, be realistic about what skills and experience you deem as must-haves and which are worth negotiating.
Never make applications sound insurmountable, so you only get a few ambitious applicants through the funnel. Instead, make them realistic to talent in your area and focus on attitude and skills, knowing you can train the right person for the job and achieve the same outcome.
5. Create careers page content
Before promotional strategies comes content. Think about where you might want users to navigate other than the application page. Should they research your company's history and value? Can they watch videos of your team or listen to podcasts? Try to find a home for this content on your careers page.
Do more than the bare minimum by adding something other than the usual ‘explore our current vacancies’ spiel. Think about what organisational knowledge you expect candidates to bring to an interview and how you can best convey this on your careers page.
6. Consider remote working
To promote your latest vacancy to the broadest audience, consider remote roles, so the opportunity is immediately opened up to more than local job hunters. Set your advertisement to nationwide or, better yet, worldwide and watch the applications roll in.
If remote working isn’t feasible for your company, yet you have multiple offices worldwide, consider hiring for every role in every location to boost your chances of a recruitment win.
7. Share on social media
You might be sharing your job vacancies in all the usual places, like job sites and your own careers page, but why not share them on social media? This allows you to bring the job to the people, not wait for the people to come to the job.
We’re not just talking about LinkedIn either. Instagram and Facebook can also be good for advertising jobs, especially with a dedicated culture page. As a bonus, you might also get more engagement on your channels in doing this as others tag individuals in posts and share it with their communities.
8. Ask for internal shares
If and when you share job opportunities on social media, don’t forget to spread the word to your existing employees. In most cases, they can help spread the word by sharing the post on their respective pages and directing others to your account.
This can give you greater and more relevant reach than a generic job website ever could. It also adds social proof to the application process for those who come across it by an endorser.
9. Test referral programmes
Getting employees involved is a good idea across the board. In fact, many companies use referral programmes to get top performers to pull out people they think would be good for a position.
Usually, referral programmes have some sort of incentive, be it a financial bonus or another form of reward. But they’re often worth the outgoing as they help to build a team of like-minded individuals, as well as people passionate about their profession.
10. Keep candidates on file
Filling a new position might be as simple as looking back at an old one. Have you ever interviewed someone for an opportunity and almost gave them the job? When was the last time you received a great application that just wasn’t relevant to the role in question? These near-misses can become future employees if you keep their details on file.
Remember people’s experiences and keep them in mind for more fitting opportunities. Notify department leaders of talent in the area and don’t be afraid to invite someone to interview, even if they didn’t make a formal application.
11. Automate your communications
For applicants, the most nerve-wracking part of the recruitment process is waiting around for a reply. This could be hearing if they’ve made it to an interview or learning that they’ve scored a job. You should never leave people waiting for too long or keep others completely in the dark. However, recruitment communications shouldn’t overwhelm the rest of the hiring process — and that’s where automation comes in.
Automation might feel like a worryingly un-human process for such a people-focused role. However, clear communication gives power to the people, letting them know where they stand and quickly informing them of failure or success.
12. Template post-application emails
In the same breath, templating emails can speed up the shortlisting process and take care of any FAQs. In this email, you can break the news — bad or good — and link to your careers page or calendar, depending on the outcome.
This means every applicant will receive a reply and in the same format. As well as it being a common courtesy, it also ensures you can eliminate bias from this part of the process.
13. Inform unsuccessful candidates
Plain and simple, you should let people know when they’re out of the running. For you, it might seem like a low-priority task, but for those applying, it provides peace of mind. In the long run, this can also have significant benefits for your organisation, most importantly, by protecting your employer brand.
Controlling this part of the candidate experience is important in ensuring nobody comes away feeling like their experience was wholly negative or that their brand perception has changed.
14. Sense check your software
If, like most of us, you’re carrying out interviews remotely, it’s always a good idea to sense check your software before officially setting up the call. Review things such as internet connection, audio quality and camera function to ensure there won’t be any technical errors to interrupt your flow.
Not only does this ensure efficiency but it also allows you to appear professional. Now that we’re hosting interviews over online platforms, we should think of them as our digital environment. So, just as we might housekeep our office before welcoming a visitor, we should do the same over the internet.
15. Introduce the panel
The more individuals there are on a call, the more daunting it is for an interviewee. However, the event becomes even more intimidating when the candidate doesn’t know who they’re speaking to.
Help out the interviewee to make the best impression by breaking the ice at the start of every session and explaining clearly who everyone is and why they’re attending. This will help ease any nervousness and make it more apparent where questions and answers should be directed to.
16. Explain the agenda
To keep interviews on track and allow candidates to prepare, the agenda should be outlined in every call (or even be sent before the start time). This means giving prospective employees prior notice if there will be an assessment, quick-fire questions to contend with or just more of a casual chat to expect on the day.
The agenda can also align those from the organisation and help to stop interviews from going over time.
17. Reference the job description
It makes the most logical sense to structure interview questions as per the job description. In doing so, you’re making the fairest assessment of an individual based on the role they applied for.
That said, every interviewer should have studied, if not scanned, the description ahead of time and crafted questions and/or assessments relating to the job. For example, if a particular role calls for expert knowledge of Photoshop, a fair assessment would be a task set on this software. However, if an advertisement deems this skill to be ‘desirable’ and not essential, an assessment of its use is perhaps not the best way to determine a candidate’s suitability.
18. Assess culture and aptitude
While skills-based questions should mirror the initial advertisement, interviewers should feel free to squeeze in other conversation related to culture. Don’t shy away from asking candidates questions about themselves.
Make conversation about their hobbies and interests. Ask about their lifestyle and preferences. So long as you ask them to everybody, these questions allow organisations to select the right fit for a company ― both in terms of culture and aptitude.
19. Let them learn too
One of the most common mistakes for interviewers is dominating the interview and leaving no room for the interviewee to take control. Remember, these sessions are just as much about identifying if a candidate is sure about you as it is checking you’re confident about them.
So, pause at regular intervals, ask the interviewee if they have any questions and leave some space at the end for more general discussion.
20. Trial recruitment software
Improving any process often calls for the help of handy technology. The same is true in recruitment. Purpose-developed recruitment software, whether it's an application tracking system (ATS) or a specific interview software, helps you to make recruitment more efficient.
Whether it’s keeping close tabs on your recruitment pipeline or receiving helpful prompts in live interviews, technology can play a crucial role in recruiting without making it feel impersonal.
Technology might feel like the most forward-thinking recruitment tip, but it isn’t the only one. In fact, there’s much to know about enriching the candidate experience, aside from these twenty quick fixes.
Discover even more ways to improve your recruitment process in our candidate experience checklist
Our candidate experience checklist explores even more ideas to better your recruitment efforts (none of which are included in this blog). We also pull from the latest recruitment data and research to support our recommendations, keeping you in the loop with all the current trends.
To find out what applicants want and increase your chances of attracting the best of them, download your digital copy by clicking on the link below.