Why Does Candidate Experience Matter?

Avatar of Mimmi Arndt

Mimmi Arndt

Chief Marketing Officer at Teamtailor with a passion for employer branding and candidate experience.

Candidate Experience has become a flashy buzzword within recruitment and HR over the last couple of years. But what is Candidate Experience and does it matter? We met up with Lisa Skinner Källström (CPO at Teamtailor), Alex Tidgård (Psychologist and co-founder of Asker), Simon Werner-Zankl (CEO and founder of Trustcruit) and Leonam Espindola (People and Growth at Oneflow) to figure it out together. Here are 5 of the most interesting questions discussed during our chat! 🚀

Question #1 ☝️
When should we start thinking about candidate experience, we are a small company and don't even have a recruiter in the business yet - is it too early?

Lisa Skinner Källström: It is never to early to think about candidate experience! Candidates are like customers so we should never chance it and always take the opportunity to make a good and lasting impression. What you can consider is what investments; tools, processes and structure you want to put in place at a very start up phase for a company and what is the growth plan that you need to support. Providing a good candidate experience is the responsibility of everyone, not only recruiters, so even if you don’t have a dedicated team working with hiring for your company - start with the basics:

1. Provide feedback to candidates, even if they are not matching your requirements - don’t leave them hanging without any response. If you don’t have time to call - send an email!

2. Be realistic when you describe your planned recruitment process, if you know that it will take time then that is what you need to tell the candidate!

Question #2 ☝️

Could you give a business case example of why we should invest in candidate experience?

Simon Werner-Zankl: Over 70% of the candidates that are in your processes, are also in other processes. The candidate experience will be a deciding factor here directly connected to your cost of hiring. Every time a candidate picks a competitor and you need to start over or have interviews with more candidates, your cost of hiring will go up.

Question #3 ☝️
Interview anxiety is a big problem for a lot of candidates (93% of people are anxious about going to an interview and feel that it's worse than going on a date). What can we do to make candidates feel more comfortable and decrease anxiety?

Alex Tidgård: Start by focusing on these 5 areas and you will quickly see your candidates becoming more relaxed and comfortable - and create a better candidate experience. 

Info. Provide the candidates with clear expectations of the interview questions. Don’t be afraid to send over information about what you will be asking and how. If you’re using the STAR method, send over info about it since you’ll be assessing them by that framework.

Let them know how long the interview will take, if there’s a range like 30-45 minutes, then say that. You don’t want candidates that only use 32 minutes of the allocated 45 to think they’ve done a bad job. 

Let the candidates know who they will meet.

I would also highly recommend having a checklist for the introduction when starting the interview where you make sure you provide the right information to the candidate about how the interview will look like, what things you will go through, how long they will take and so on. 

Address it
. If you notice that the candidate is anxious, address it in a nice way and ask if there’s anything you can do for them? Skip the chit chat and get straight to it? Sure! Wanna take a walk through the office? Absolutely? Have a short break? No worries? Write on the board instead of looking at each other? Go for it! Whatever floats your boat. It’s not always easy to know what a candidate needs and they might not now it themselves.

Remember to round off the interview and tell the candidate about the next step in the process and when they can expect to hear from you.

Question #4 ☝️
How do we ensure a consistent process in the organisation? How do we make candidate experience scalable?

Alex Tidgård:  A lot of it boils down to getting the WHY and HOW out into the organisation. Why why why should we focus on candidate experience? Well we know for a fact that it has a major business impact, for instance 46% of people say they’ve turned down offers based on a bad interview experience alone. 

"The way we treat candidates today will impact our ability to attract talent tomorrow."

Make it a business goal to improve it. And that starts by understanding where you’re lacking by using Truscruit for instance. Where in the process do we lose talent and where do they give us bad feedback? Use the feedback to start improving the experience.

The second part, HOW, has a lot to do with structuring your recruitment process by using the right tools and having easy to follow processes in place. What does the recruitment process look like? What happens when? Who is in charge of what? That way it’s so much easier to communicate with candidates and prepare them for the recruitment process. That way they know what to expect. Also explain WHY you’re using certain tools such as psychometric tests or structured interviews. Communicate with the candidate throughout the entire recruitment process and be super transparent about what you expect from them and what you’re looking for at the get go. And remember to also communicate with the candidates that don’t proceed in the process.

Question #5 ☝️
How can you engage hiring managers and interviewers so that you can own the candidate experience together and not only Talent Acquisition Team and HR team?

Lisa Skinner Källström: Understand what makes your hiring managers and interviewers engaged! Are they into data? Are they into sharpening their interview technique? Keeping up with the latest market trends? Suggest finding common topics to create engagement and commitment so that you develop that mutual ownership. Also connect your mutual work and responsibility of offering a great candidate experience to the business goals of your company so that you can track, measure and tweak as you go along! Don’t be afraid to show your stakeholders how you as a TA expert can contribute with your skills and in combination with your hiring manager’s expertise of their respective business insights you can make magic together!

Wan't to know more?
Watch the full recording of the webinar! 


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