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Three Ways Recruiters Can Directly Influence Candidate Experience

Treating job seekers well is important to you and your company’s brand, reputation, and hiring success—and it’s just the right thing to do.  How you treat candidates can affect how candidates and their networks use or avoid using your services in the future. We know candidates gather information about the company they are interested in before applying for a job and they use sites like Glassdoor and Vault to hear what others have to say. And in surveys of both “Active” and “Placed” candidates conducted by WinterWyman, we find consistent themes in what candidates appreciate in a good recruiter and what leaves them frustrated. If you are an agency, corporate recruiter, or hiring manager, here are three proven things you could be doing to positively influence your candidates’ experiences.

1. Create positive relationships.

A candidate’s relationship with their recruiter could mean the difference between a satisfied job seeker who accepts your offer and a person sharing ugly Tweets about your company. Whether or not the candidate lands the job doesn’t always equate with how they feel about the company or if they’ll say positive things about you to colleagues and friends. It’s so much more about how they felt during the process and the recruiter is the driver for the experience.

Job seekers appreciate honesty, being treated respectfully, having their calls returned, and being fully informed. And, when appropriate, a thank you or congratulations gift does wonders, too. With so many tasks competing for your time, it may seem easier to avoid telling someone why they weren’t selected for a role or not return a call when you have no news or updates. But making time for these small but meaningful actions will solidify your relationship with the candidate and, in turn, make them feel good about you and your company. If they get an offer, you’ve proven yours is the company they want to work for. If they don’t, they can still walk away with positive feelings about you and your organization. 

2. Be responsive.

A big frustration for job seekers is the feeling of being forgotten. When calls and emails go unreturned. If there’s no follow-up after a great conversation, applying for a job, or having an interview, or no acknowledgment of receiving a resume, a candidate can easily feel neglected. No one likes being ignored. With a sometimes overwhelming volume of candidates demanding your attention, it’s easy to see how these actions can land at the bottom of your to-do list, but to what end? Improving the candidate experience is an investment in the future. It’s finding the time, or devoting resources to being more responsive and this goes for professionals you may be able to hire or place and those you can’t. Either way, you want to leave your candidates with a positive impression about you and your company.

3. Share your expertise.

It’s amazing how a candidate’s experience improves when the recruiter shares meaningful knowledge. We’re not just talking about resume tips and interview prep—which are helpful and appreciated—but market and industry updates, technical advice, employee info, articles and blogs, or any other tidbits that can help job seekers be ready for their search. Candidates want to do well, they want to be prepared, and they want to feel confident going into an interview. By sharing your professional advice, know-how, and experiences, you’re positioning yourself and your company as helpful thought leaders.

Let’s face it, not all job seekers are reasonable, honest, and open to creating positive relationships with their recruiters. But many are! And when you treat candidates the way you would want to be treated if you were looking for a job, you’ll find that the best talent will accept more of your offers, will refer more of their colleagues to your company, and will say positive things about you on social media. For more tips and advice about improving the candidate experience, check out these blogs.