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Why the candidate experience matters

Nasser Oudjidane
December 19, 2022

As recruiters, we’re all looking for those champagne moments where we hire the perfect candidate and everything works out happily ever after. But for every successful hire, there are countless stories of candidates we missed out on: those elusive tech stars that disappeared from our galaxy. What can we learn from these ‘ones that got away’, and what does it tell us about the importance of the candidate experience?

Closing candidates is hard

Founders and hiring teams are rightly proud of the companies they’re building, and to some extent, we all think we’re the bee’s knees. But inevitably, not every candidate is going to see it that way. In fact, a report by Glassdoor found that almost a fifth (19.4%) of tech candidates in the United States reject job offers. If the cream of the crop are saying no, it’s always worth listening to find out why. Recruitment is labour-intensive, and spending all that time, energy and money on talent acquisition – from sourcing candidates to conducting interviews – could be an expensive waste if the candidate says ‘thanks, but no thanks’. That’s why creating a great candidate experience can be worth its weight in bitcoin.

Why candidates turn down roles

It’s worth thinking about some of the reasons why candidates reject a role, and whether you can fine-tune your candidate experience accordingly. Here are three common reasons why employers might get jilted at the aisle.

A better offer elsewhere

The most obvious reason is that competition is fierce, and one typical hiring pain is the imbalance between the huge demand for tech skills and the shallower pool of super-talented candidates. The reality is that someone might have their head turned by higher compensation, or a role that promises a more attractive work-life balance. Whatever the reason, making sure your entire candidate experience is best-in-class means that if you do get turned down, it won’t be because the interview process sucked.

Reluctance to leave a secure job

In a world of global pandemics and gas price shocks, we can all be forgiven for making steady-Eddy decisions some of the time. If a candidate is already in a seemingly stable job, then it may take more than a great pay packet to entice them away. We ask candidates to go the extra mile, so the same must be true of a hiring team – a professional, friendly, transparent hiring process gives a candidate extra confidence, and less reasons to say no.

They don’t connect with your vision

This one’s tough. You might have produced the most dazzling presentation, and made the case confidently for your company’s driving mission, and… they could still say no. But every experience is a learning opportunity. One solution is to establish early in the hiring process what the candidate’s motivations are, which could reduce the likelihood of a last-minute fall-through.

How to improve your candidate experience

Here are some ways you can tweak your candidate experience for the better:

  1. Share responsibility. Hiring managers are busy beavers, and the danger of spreading your key personnel too thinly is that your candidates may feel forgotten about. Getting your employees involved – for example, by taking the candidate to lunch – can make your candidate feel wanted and give them an insight into your organisational culture.
  2. Ensure founders are visible. Leadership comes from the top, and while not every founder is going to have the time for a 60-minute chin-wag, even a simple meet and greet can demonstrate that your company cares about all its staff.
  3. Prioritise communication. No one likes the sound of radio silence if they’re expecting to hear from a recruiter. Follow-up calls should be prompt, and your offer letters should be detailed, with proactive answers to commonly asked questions. This will show that your organisation is professional and understands what really matters to candidates.
  4. Set deadlines. While no one wants to be pressured into making a decision, a job offer shouldn’t remain on the table indefinitely. Setting a deadline for each offer (perhaps a week) shows that you’re running a professional operation, and you believe in your company as a great place to work. It can also maintain a healthy morale among your hiring team, who will appreciate that you mean business when it comes to hiring.
  5. Remember the basics. While making grand plans, it’s easy to forget that a candidate will notice small details, like whether the interviewer turned up on time, or called back when they said they would. First impressions count, and even your existing employees will notice if your candidate experience is a positive one. If the answer is yes, they’ll be more likely to refer talented people in their network.

Not every candidate will accept a job offer, but if that happens, you want to make sure it’s not due to a shoddy candidate experience. The good news is that all of this stuff is absolutely within your control. As Kapwing co-founder and CEO Julia Enthoven argues: “Creating a positive impression of your company through content marketing, publicity, and thought leadership is the highest ROI with hiring.”

Make better hiring decisions with Intrro

Even with the best candidate experience, you need to make sure you’re getting the right folks through the door. Intrro gives you a clear view of the most talented people in your employees’ networks, and you’ll have the inside track you need to make a friendly introduction (without a hint of cringe). Take a free trial and see how Intrro can help transform the way you hire.

Give Intrro a try!

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