12 Ways to Improve the Candidate Experience in 2022

A new year means new opportunities to wow candidates

December 21, 2021


Eleven pipers piping? Nine ladies dancing? If you’re a recruiter in 2021, the song, “12 Days of Christmas” might sound a lot like a list of job reqs that need to be filled ASAP. Take a deep breath – you’re off the hook, in this case. Six geese a-laying sounds like a complete HR mess anyway.

However, it is a song about gift-giving. And in the spirit of giving, we’d like to give something to the recruiters and talent acquisition teams who have worked tirelessly in 2021 to help their organizations rebuild. We’d love to send each one of you two turtledoves, but with how busy the next year is going to be, we thought you might appreciate a gift that can actually make your life a little easier.

Next year, you’ll have countless opportunities to wow candidates, which will, in turn, improve the quality of your hires by as much as 70%. To help you craft this journey, we’ve wrapped up the 12 ways you can improve your candidate experience in 2022.

1. Develop clear (not cutesy) job descriptions.

A compelling job description is your first step in attracting and engaging candidates. The key is to find a balance between providing details specific to the role itself and your company, all while being concise. Make sure to outline the core responsibilities of the position and highlight what makes your organization unique. Always check to ensure that you’re using inclusive language in your job descriptions to encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

2. Leverage social media.

With 79% of job seekers using social media in their job search, it’s important to promote your brand and open roles across your company’s social media platforms. In addition to open roles, share pictures of your team and workplace, stories about your company, and posts about projects you’re working on. It will give candidates a sense of what it will be like to work with you.

3. Simplify the application process.

Even if you’ve nailed the job description, you’ll see candidates drop off if you have long and overly complicated applications. You want candidates to be excited about working for you! They shouldn’t be confused or frustrated from the get-go. For example, don’t make candidates submit their resumes and then manually enter their employment history. This is a common application faux-pas and is time-consuming for the applicant.

4. Send personalized confirmation and follow-up emails.

Letting candidates know their application was received is a simple and appreciated step in the application process that recruiters and hiring managers can set up automatically through various ATS systems. Once your talent pool has narrowed, update candidates’ on their stage in the recruiting process and always let them know the timing for the next step. Lastly, never ghost a candidate. Let them know if they didn’t land the job. If they are a good candidate, they are more likely to consider a future opening if you keep them apprised of their status in the process.

5. Respond to applicants quickly.

This is an obvious one but a huge pain point for job seekers. Don’t lose top talent to a competitor that engaged with them first. Reach out as soon as possible to qualified candidates, and make it a priority to respond quickly to their emails.

6. Overcommunicate the process and timing.

To make sure a candidate doesn’t lose interest (or thinks you lost interest), outline your recruitment process with clear steps and an ideal timeframe for making a hire in that role. Most importantly, stick to it and share it with your candidate so they know what to expect and see that you are organized. Send them details about the interview process to ease candidates’ nerves and give them time to prepare.

7. Make interviewing as quick and painless as possible.

Regardless of whether your interviews are 100% virtual, 100% in-person, or some mix of the two, give the candidate the break down from the start. Consistency is also key to keeping interviews focused, and to minimizing bias. Consider tools like BrightHire and Codility that help to standardize interviews, assessments, and how feedback is given to ease the process for hiring teams and candidates.

8. Empower them to reach out to your team.

Interested candidates are going to spend time outside of interviews thinking about a potential new opportunity. Make sure they have your contact info, and encourage them to reach out whenever a question comes to mind. This will help to develop trust, and the questions they ask will also provide you with valuable insights into a candidate’s priorities and mindset about the new role.

9. Schedule the candidate with different members of the team.

66% of candidates want to hear more from employees (outside of HR and the hiring manager) during the hiring process. Discussions with potential co-workers or someone currently in the same role add a layer of transparency to the candidate experience. These calls should feel more like conversations, rather than interviews.

10. When speaking with candidates, elaborate on the specific impact they’ll have in the role.

An April study by McKinsey found that 70% of employees said that their sense of purpose is defined by their work. As the pandemic continues to ebb and flow, candidates continue to reflect on how they want to spend their time. Go beyond communicating the role’s responsibilities and share how they will be key to your company delivering on its mission and hitting its larger, long-term goals.

11. Give candidates the opportunity to provide feedback throughout the hiring process.

Chatbots, simple email questionnaires, and follow-up surveys at steps throughout a candidate’s experience will make you look good for two reasons. First, it conveys to every candidate that their feedback is important. Two, it will help you continuously improve your processes for future candidates.

12. Always provide feedback to candidates.

52% of candidates who were given job-related feedback said they were more likely to increase their relationship with the company. Your hiring process is part of your company’s brand. Regardless of whether they were hired, you don’t want to leave them with a negative impression. They (or someone they know) could be a great fit for a future role!

In short, you can think of a great hiring journey as a series of little gifts you give to candidates.

Each step in the process, from the application to the final interview, is a chance to leave a lasting impression. By investing in a thoughtful candidate experience, you’ll help them better understand the role and your company, before they even get started. Creating a memorable, engaging process for candidates will pay off for your organization too, in that you’ll add meaningful hires to your team, and leave non-hired candidates with a positive outlook about your company for future roles.

❄️ Happy holidays from the Fetcher family! ❄️

Check out Fetcher’s other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.

About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at fetcher.ai.

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