If you're in recruiting, hiring or human resources, you've probably heard the phrase "candidate experience". Reviewing 2017 Trends, hiring professionals predicted even more of a trend in power from employer to candidate. This means that organizations must provide a positive experience for candidates in order to attract top-notch talent. No longer is "branding" simply a marketing term. Human resources must also engage applicants with a strong and candidate-friendly hiring experience.
How do background checks help improve candidate experience? Read on to learn more.
How to lose a candidate in 10 days
Before we look at improving a candidate experience, let's first examine common frustrations of applicants who've had a negative candidate experience.
Vague job description - If the applicant isn't sure what's required of the job, they may avoid applying or, when they do apply, they may not be a good fit for the position.
Difficult application process - When an applicant is ready to apply, nothing turns them away faster than a long application process or an application that's only available on paper.
Uncomfortable interviews - Recruiters or managers who seem bored, disinterested or asking generalized questions can leave a job candidate nervous, unsure or unable to show their best selves.
Slow decision-making - Waiting to hear back after an interview or background check will likely leave an applicant wondering if they should seek a job elsewhere.
Don't lose top talent!
With candidates leaving negative feedback and sharing these experiences online, an organization could lose out on top talent. Just as customer reviews are widely followed and read on social media, employers must also recognize these reviews can affect their candidate pool.
Negative candidate experiences can be remedied with a few tips:
- Job description - The position to be filled must have a list of competencies, skills and requirements in order to be clear to the applicant. If the job isn't clear, at a startup, for instance, employees will wear many hats and grow with the company, the description should still state a minimum or a spectrum of skill requirements.
- Company personality - Workplace culture is very important to today's candidates. Company websites are scoured to get a sense of an organization's personality. Personality and culture should also be included in the job description.
- Applications and resumes - Many job seekers believe their resume will be overlooked since employers are using technology to review resumes. The application process may also seem tedious unless the process is also technology-forward. A user-friendly online system for applications and hiring gives candidates a sense of an organization that wants to make the experience easier.
- Communication - Since hiring managers use technology to scan and review resumes, applicants will want to know that their information is being reviewed. The more efficient the hiring process, the faster a human resources professional can pick up the phone and talk to the job seeker in person. Without that call, a qualified candidate may incorrectly assume they're not being considered for the job. Applicants are also looking for communication throughout the hiring process.
- Interviews - When conducting interviews, potential employees want to be heard and want to be allowed to shine. Consistent and specific interview questions that go beyond generalization, and listening intently for answers, will offer better insights to the candidate other than "where do you see yourself in 5 years?"
- Quick decision-making - Good candidates become less thrilled with an organization if the hiring process is seemingly endless. Employers are losing talented applicants due to delays with paperwork, incorrect data entry or inaccurate information. Technology can assist in this process, including background screening, so that a decision can be made faster.
- Build talent pool - Another trend for 2017 is staying in contact with non-qualified candidates. Both the candidate and the employer may benefit from the relationship, if not currently, then later.
Background Screens and the Candidate Experience
Employers are looking to improve their candidate experience and make faster hiring decisions so they don't miss out on qualified job candidates. An efficient and streamlined hiring process with an online applicant portal is one such way to hire faster and with peace of mind.
When requesting a background check, applicants must be informed, give consent and authorization to employers to obtain this information. This paperwork and process can slow down hiring decisions for these reasons:
- Inaccurate or illegible information
- Applicant may have a maiden or married name in addition to the name on the application
- Consent forms may not be FCRA compliant
- Candidate may wish to dispute background check information
- Adverse action procedures may not be followed if the job seeker isn't hired
A secure applicant consent portal can help streamline the hiring process, a background check can be obtained quickly and seamlessly, and the hiring decision can be made easily and efficiently. The faster a background screening can be obtained, the more likely the candidate will be available and ready to be hired.
Not only does efficient background screening affect to the overall quality of the hiring process, it also gives employees a sense of security. Negligent hiring claims and FCRA non-compliance lawsuits are on the rise. Employers are also at the mercy of their online reputation. Screening applicants improves the experience of employees, employers and customers, contributing to a positive place to work and a great candidate experience.