candidate experience

A recruiter’s job is never easy. Typically, recruiters sort through hundreds of resumes to select around a half-dozen candidates for the next phase. Businesses depend heavily on recruiters to identify promising talent from the mass applications they receive. Consistently finding top-quality talent after sorting through hundreds of applications is a stressful enough job on its own.

Of course, the responsibilities of a hiring manager don’t end there – they also need to ensure a consistent candidate experience from the initial interview to subsequent onboarding to eventual integration into the rest of the workforce.

Why a Consistent Candidate Experience Is Important for Employers

As recruiters gain experience, they become very efficient at their jobs. Many develop an instinct or gut feeling that often works out very well. There is a flip side to this, however. Unless recruiters focus on keeping an open mind, they may fall victim to conscious or unconscious hiring bias. Hiring bias frequently results in discriminatory practices when hiring.

This can severely inhibit your hiring function’s ability to objectively source the best quality talent. If my firm has a tainted perception among candidates, it is going to be hard for a staffing agency near me to pitch my company as an appealing employer. It may also give rise to serious litigation based on anti-discrimination laws in nearly every state in the US. That’s not to mention the damaging impact it has on employee satisfaction and happiness levels.

You don’t have to push to achieve any candidate experience awards in the immediate future. However, improving the consistency of your staffing can have a direct impact on hiring success. A consistent experience will help new hires adjust to their roles much faster. It can also help them establish a sense of trust and belonging, easing integration into the larger workforce. Most importantly, offering a consistent candidate experience adds to the credibility of your employer brand. Here are a few avenues to explore in your efforts to do so:

Removing Bias Based on Marital Status and Family Life

Most employees will have families that demand attention. This is a fairly normal situation. Employees, especially younger millennial workers, place a lot of emphasis on a healthy work-life balance. However, women often face hiring bias in certain situations, especially when they have children or a family. The unconscious bias that women are primarily homemakers persists. It can cause recruiters to often overlook top-quality talent that happens to be a female with a family.

Conversely, a male candidate in the same situation may experience little to no bias when asking for a work-life balance. This is often reflected in gender-pay disparity, despite efforts to bridge the gap. Hiring managers and recruiters need to work towards eliminating this gender bias, especially in terms of maintaining work-life balances. This is not only the equitable thing to do but it will also boost your perception as an impartial employer with a consistent hiring process regardless of gender.

Strategic partners such as engineering staffing agencies can leverage this to present you in a more appealing light to prospective candidates. In other words, your chances of attracting higher tiers of talent can increase.

Eliminating Disturbances during Interview Stages

Consistency also applies to the way your conduct interviews. Interviews can often be stressful to candidates, and disturbances or interruptions during the interview only make matters worse. Many recruiters have been guilty of checking their phones, answering a call, or sending a quick text during an interview. Others are wont to interrupting a candidate’s answer with sub-questions. As a recruiter, an interviewee interrupting your questions is something to be frowned upon. The same applies to the interviewer.

Constant interruptions on the part of the recruiter can present a thoroughly undesirable image to the interviewee. They will most likely form a perception that your workplace does not respect new hires or value their opinions. This is only going to drive the type of talent you want to attract away from you.

With the power to set interview guidelines, hiring managers can ensure certain boundaries are in place. Encouraging interviewers to pay attention, listen, and absorb the interviewee has key advantages. It improves the consistency of the hiring process. It improves the impression you make on a potential hire. It likewise adds professionalism and inclusivity to the overall candidate experience.

Improve Preparation for Interviewing Shortlisted Candidates

We live in an age of personalization. Despite the globalization effect, businesses are working harder than ever to reach out to audiences and resonate with them. The same principle should apply from the recruitment and onboarding perspective as well. You may source candidates on your own, or by using third-party stakeholders like IT staffing firms.

In either case, you are likely to receive a reasonably large selection of applications. The candidates you shortlist for an interview will only be a fraction of the total applications. That means recruiters should be able to step up their preparation for each shortlisted candidate.

Interviews should be personalized around each candidate that you interview. The questions you ask should be prepped beforehand and should be in line with the candidate’s unique profile. Again, this offers several benefits. A personalized approach leaves an excellent impression among interviewees, even if they aren’t selected. They are likely to appreciate the interviewer taking the time to examine their applications minutely and tailoring their questions accordingly.

This is also the best way to identify key soft skills and differentiating factors among different candidates. A firm with a sensitive offering like vCISO services usually has a very narrow margin for a bad hire. A personalized, well-prepped approach is more likely to unearth any skills or traits that don’t explicitly appear on a candidate’s resume.

In other words, this is how you find the proverbial “diamond in the rough”, hire them, and nurture them to take on future leadership roles. A consistent hiring experience is an important ingredient for hiring that drives long-term, sustainable growth.

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