3 dimensions of your scaleup’s candidate experience

3 dimensions of your scaleup’s candidate experience

A candidate-driven market is something that can often prove to be quite challenging. The competition for talent is more intense than ever, because everyone is going after the same talent. This means that candidates have the upper hand and are the ones choosing where they want to work. That is exactly why candidate experience now is more important than ever before.

In this blog, you will find out about the 3 different dimensions of candidate experience and how to take your candidate experience to the next level.

What is candidate experience

Everybody is talking about candidate experience and the importance it plays in both making the right hiring decisions, as well as creating an employer brand that people want to work for. But what is it exactly? Is it the job application procedure that determines this? Or perhaps the interview process? Actually it is the combination of all these interactions between an employer and a potential employee. To put it simply – candidate experience is the perception of a candidate about an employer based on the interactions during the recruitment process.

Did you know that 4 out of 5 candidates say that their overall candidate experience is an indicator of how the company values its people?  That’s exactly why ensuring a great candidate experience should start at the very first stages of the recruitment process and should be important to maintain all throughout the process. Starting from attracting, sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, hiring and eventually onboarding new employees. But how can you do this? 

The 3 dimensions of candidate experience

Never hearing back, slow and extensive process, poor communication, no respect for feelings and time, lack of transparency – these are only a few of the frustrations candidates experience throughout their job search and application process.

To ensure a positive perception of the candidates of your employer brand, it is first important to become familiar with the 3 most important dimensions of candidate experience – comfort, respect & speed.

Dimension 1: Comfort 

This visual depicts the two feelings candidates should feel regarding the application process - it should be pleasant and easy.

The very first Candidate Experience Dimension, Comfort, is focused on the hiring stages itself: the first job application, the phone screening, interviews, etc. . Especially your first hiring stage (the job application experience) is a very important stage for your company since this is your first touch point with your candidates. It’s basically your business card. Your company’s first impression. 

This dimension of candidate experience is all about the extent to which the candidate experiences the various stages of the hiring process as comfortable and pleasant

To assess whether the candidate experience is pleasant and comfortable, for every hiring stage as well as your overall hiring process you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How easy/comfortable will it be for our candidates to (i) apply to our jobs and (ii) to complete the entire hiring process? In other words: Do we have an easy-to-understand and easy-to-walk-through hiring process?
  • Is our hiring process a fair reflection of our company (culture)? I.e. do we offer an innovative experience and do we show our ability to act quickly?

Dimension 2: Respect

This visual depicts the three underlaying dimensions of a candidate experience that is respectful - transparency, communication and privacy.

The second Candidate Experience Dimension, Respect, is all about the candidate’s feelings and perception. In practice candidates get frustrated about three different topics that are connected to feeling like you’ve been treated with respect: transparency, communication and privacy

If you want to assess whether your hiring process is built on the basis of respect towards candidates, for every hiring stage as well as your overall hiring process you should ask

yourself the following questions:

  • How would you rate your company’s communication to (rejected) candidates if you were a candidate yourself? Are you giving your candidates something back in return? (Here’s how to reject candidates without burning bridges)
  • How would you experience a typical interview at your company if you would be sitting at the other side of the table? (i.e. questions asked, (in)formality, etc.)

Dimension 3: Speed

This visual shows the two underlaying dimensions of ensuring a candidate experience that has to do with process lead time, task automation and the speed of communication from the employer.

Finally, the last Candidate Experience Dimension, Speed, focuses the candidate’s perception of the speed, lead time and response time of the employer through the entire hiring process. The risk you are taking in this case as an employer is that your top-quality candidate walks to your competitor. And trust me, you probably don’t want that to happen in a candidate-driven market. Because, let me remind you, it is the candidates that have all the power to choose where they want to work.

If you want to ensure that your hiring process is fast & efficient in terms of communication with your candidates, for every hiring stage as well as your overall hiring process you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • How would I feel about our average lead time for a position if I were the candidate here instead of the employer?
  • Which tasks raise the intensity of our process and what can we do to make these tasks less intensive to decrease lead times?

6 tips to boost your scaleup’s candidate experience

Tip 1. Your job application is your business card

Make your job application a fun, pleasant experience! My tip: Throw away the traditional application form and introduce an interactive application experience. Gamification might be something cool to check out.

Tip 2. Less is more can also work in hiring

‘Less is more? But I want to know everything about a candidate!” No worries, we fully understand. However, the willingness to know everything shouldn’t be translated into a never-ending application procedure. Try to collect as much information as possible and as early as possible to reduce your hiring stages and prevent rejected candidates from feeling disappointed after completing multiple hiring stages. 

Our tip: Introduce assessments early in the process to learn more about a candidate’s personality, skills and potential right away and to be able to eliminate the next hiring stage and strengthen your interviews. Take a look at this blog we wrote on how introducing assessments at the beginning of your hiring funnel can help you fight hiring bias!

Tip 3. Be an open book

A candidate is four times more likely to consider your company in the future if you offer constructive feedback and ask for feedback. So be an open book! By sharing your feedback or for instance assessments results, you’re not only providing your candidates with a good feeling, but you moreover help them to become better – and maybe that leads to being the perfect fit a year later. 

This visual depicts a statistic that shows that 75% of candidates were never or rarely asked for feedback about the hiring process after applying to a job position.
Source: Talentegy 2021

Even more so – why not ask candidates their feedback about the application process? This way you will be able to continuously assess the hiring process and keep on improving it to create the best candidate experience. Be an employer that cares about what your candidates think!

Tip 4. Sending an email takes you a minute

In 52% of all cases, it takes longer than three months for a candidate to hear something back from the employer. Three months! Always try to send candidates at least a confirmation email and preferably a status update ASAP. 

This is a visual showing that 52% of candidates have to wait for 3 months or more before they get a response from an employer about the status of their application.
Source: TalentBoard 2020

PS: You can automate this as well if you are working with an Applicant Tracking Software. Here you can link automated emails to your pipeline stages. Not sure whether to implement an ATS? Read here about how an ATS can benefit your business!

Tip 5. Not only your boss values efficiency

Hiring efficiency not only lowers your hiring costs, but also provides your candidates with a better experience! Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like saving time? Try to raise the efficiency of your hiring process by merging specific hiring stages and defining the information you would like to collect per hiring stage.

My tip: The earlier you have collected important information, the better. 

Tip 6. Automation can make it personal

”Automation makes it personal?! Hell no!” Wel, actually it does. Candidates don’t expect you to handle every single task manually. They want you to handle it right. So if that means you are getting some help from technology, that’s all fine. In the fourth tip I already mentioned how an Applicant Tracking Software (like TeamTailor or Recruitee) can help you automate administrative tasks. 

My next tip: Also start checking out tools that can help you optimise non-administrative, yet time-consuming tasks – such as candidate screening.

How Equalture can help you create a better candidate experience

Here at Equalture, we help our scaling clients evaluate candidates by collecting and interpreting the data required to properly evaluate candidates. Our predictive hiring software provides candidates with:

  • An outstanding job application experience by introducing neuro assessment games.
  • A fast process by helping employers evaluate candidates right away.
  • A well-structured process by helping employers collect the right information as early as possible to prevent them from wasting a candidate’s time, as well as their own time.

Want to know more about how it works? Have a chat with us and we’ll tell you all about how gamification will revolutionize your candidate experience!

Cheers, Anete

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