Employers are now competing for Talent. While recruiting strategies and strong compensation plans are important, cultivating an awesome candidate experience is a vital competitive advantage. Here are three ways to do this:
Stay on Top of Candidate Contact and Feedback
One timeless piece of advice given to job seekers is to always follow up and send a thank-you card to your interviewer – and ASAP. Companies in tune with how to engage Talent are reciprocating if not beating great candidates to the punch. Have company-branded thank-you cards on the ready, and take a minute or so to craft a personal message specific to the candidate. For instance, reiterate on a common ground you found during the interview (sports? A book or author you both read?), or about an unusual perk that you offer that resonated with them (telecommuting or flex-time?). Candidate experience is the foundation of employee engagement, so creating a rapport before they are hired can also have the added benefit of helping with collaboration and retention in the future.
Think of Candidates as Customers
Another hiring nugget is to observe or get feedback on how a job candidate behaved before the interview. Were they friendly to your front desk staff? Did they arrive too early or late? How were they while waiting for the interview? Creating a great candidate doesn’t have to wait until they show up for the interview. For instance, rather than simply notifying them that they will be interviewed, invite them – maybe going as far as to create an invitation template for this purpose, depending on your company culture. When they arrive, treat them like valued clients. Offer water or even coffee. After the interview, you can give them a takeaway piece similar to what you provide to your customers, but with employee testimonials and appealing (or even fun, if that’s your style) facts about your company, or factoids like the top lunch spots near your office.
Keep Connected Through Social Media
While more and more companies have started to use social media as a recruiting resource, few have leveraged it as a Talent engagement tool. If you have a social media presence for your customers, clients and industry, open it up to allow for Talent dialogues. Answer candidate questions, post meaningful company updates, or highlight great employees and brief success stories to make a career in your company more tangible and even aspirational to Talent.