Aah love. Is there anywhere more romantic than the South? A mint julep or sweet tea, the warm glow of the lazy afternoon sun. Southern belles and chivalrous gentlemen. I'm not talking about your soulmate, I'm talking about falling in love with candidates. Or, more accurately, making them fall in love with you!
One of the hot topics this week at SHRM in Atlanta has been the Candidate Experience. And there's no shortage of chatter about it - so it seems like an excellent time for a roundup.
First off, it's time for companies to get serious about engagement if they want to add a CandE award to their list of achievements. The Candidate Experience award exists to enable any company to benchmark and improve their candidate experience. The second annual awards are now open and accepting applications.
So how do you get started? First, by understanding what exactly the Candidate Experience is and how to measure it. Our friends at Smashfly have a great series of posts on their blog outlining exactly what you need to know.
Once you've done that, make sure you run through your own application process to see what candidates are actually experiencing, with an eye to some of the key hurdles and areas for improvement. I think Tom Bolt put it best in his post (part of a series) when he reminded us all that "most candidates don’t get it. This is not an excuse to ignore them or their viewpoint, but a challenge to educate those we hire. It is all about setting expectations; both theirs and everyone in contact with them." Candidates really just want acknowledgement and closure. Doesn't everyone?
Now that you know where you stand, experience-wise, it's time to do something about it all! There's no shortage of big, comprehensive how-to guides on improving your candidate experience, but sometime it's easiest to build momentum by starting small. Why not start by defining exactly how you'll gather feedback from those who made it do the interview stage with a couple questions? Or ensure there's a process to continue to engage candidates you ultimately reject for a particular role.
Then, over time, you'll realize you've turned these pieces into your own bespoke recruiting process, intimately tied to your own employer brand, generating the best candidates for your organization.
And you can thank me, and the wisdom of the rest of the authors in this post, in your CandE acceptance speech!