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Candidate feedback is a crucial element in improving the Candidate Experience and creating a positive employer brand. Gathering feedback can help companies identify areas for improvement in the recruitment process, streamline the process, and empower hiring teams to make better decisions. By listening to and acting on candidate feedback, companies can establish themselves as an attractive employer and attract top talent.

Understanding the power of first-hand candidate feedback is a big step towards improving your Candidate Experience. Learn how to build a recruitment process that embraces the candidates and gives you the competitive advantage you need.

For all businesses, big or small, the quest to improve is significant. How can you bring about positive change to uplift your company culture and working practices?

If you get this right, it could propel you ahead of your competitors and broaden your potential customer base. This pursuit of improvement and development also extends to your Candidate Experience.

What is Candidate Experience?

Candidate Experience is the way applicants perceive a company’s hiring process, regardless of whether they were successful in getting a job offer or not. Their experience begins even before the candidate’s application is submitted and can continue beyond a rejection or an offer.

Since every step of the process can affect an individual’s Candidate Experience, it is imperative that you identify any areas that can be improved. By utilizing your candidates' feedback, your company can drastically improve its Candidate Experience.

Why is Candidate Feedback So Important for Improving Candidate Experience?

If you are keen to improve and enhance your Candidate Experience, your applicants’ opinion of the hiring process is the most critical voice you can listen to. 

Amongst HR staff worldwide, 83% of those asked believe that employee experience is either essential or critical to their organization's success. The same applies for your candidates.

In most cases, your candidates are with you for the long run. A hiring process takes weeks or – most likely – months to complete. According to a recent Randstad study, a successful job hunt can last even up to five months.

The hiring process starts with a post online or an advertisement on a careers page, and finishes when the chosen candidate begins working at your company. 

In that time, the recruitment process encompasses an application, preliminary tasks, interviews, pre-onboarding and a lot of waiting.

When you actively seek for ways to improve the hiring process, fine-tune, streamline, and make it more personal and human, it makes sense to ask for a natural and unfiltered opinion from the individuals living through the process.

Candidate Feedback Leads to a Streamlined Recruitment Process

Since they have experienced all the highs and lows of applying for a job at your company, candidates can tell you what works and doesn’t work in your recruitment process.

Seeking opinions and communicating with all your candidates, regardless of how far they advanced in the process, can highlight things that may be overlooked or work well in the current setup. 

An increased volume of specific feedback provides actionable recommendations to continually improve your strategy and/or the specific touchpoints of your application process.

Don’t overlook the opportunity to collect feedback from candidates who, unfortunately, didn’t make the cut, even as early as the initial screening stage. Since they tend to be more open and willing to express their views on their experience, feedback volumes tend to be the highest after a rejection.

But their feedback will ultimately help you see how to improve Candidate Experience and give your recruitment an edge. Problem solved.

If well-implemented, candidate feedback will:

  • Educate, inform and initiate positive change to the recruitment process
  • Help you embrace new systems and tools that will give your process the cutting edge in Candidate Experience

Direct Feedback from Candidates Empowers Your Recruiters…

Candidate feedback can do wonders for the teams responsible for the hiring process. By reaching out directly to the people they come into contact with daily, they can understand them better and make their job more effective.

Candidate feedback gives your hiring team:

  • A better understanding of candidates (e.g. what they like and dislike, and how to leverage this in subsequent interviews)
  • The ability to detect growing recruitment trends locally or globally and tailor the hiring process accordingly
  • Information about the candidates’ preferences that can aid them in designing their onboarding plan
  • The opportunity to develop processes that improve overall communication with those who did not get the job
  • A way to ensure your candidates feel respected and appreciated for the effort they put into applying for the role, directly impacting your company’s reputation

By dedicating time establishing an infrastructure for collecting candidate feedback, this vital information can be acquired. And it will ensure your business makes the right decisions to improve Candidate Experience.

…and Allows Them to Grow and Develop 

Candidate feedback can also improve your employee performance.

This is because positive or negative feedback can be a massive source of motivation. Knowing you are on the right track in working with candidates or identifying how you can improve can become a great resource for your recruiters’ professional development.

In the long-run, it will also help to contribute to the improvement of Candidate Experience in your businesses' recruitment process. The better your hiring team is performing with your candidates in mind, the better the experience they provide.

Give Your Company a World-Class Reputation Built on Excellent Candidate Experience

Every interaction you have is a valuable opportunity to show people what kind of a company you are.

The way you treat candidates and how you listen to their opinions or suggestions matters to your brand and recognition. 

Acting on the candidates' input and providing an open space for them to talk with you can not only improve the Candidate Experience you provide, but it can establish your company as an attractive employer.

This often means that, even if a candidate was unsuccessful in their application, they will leave the recruitment process with a powerful impression of you as a company. Paying attention to candidate feedback and its impact on Candidate Experience is crucial to businesses having the edge over their competitors. 

60% of candidates have had poor Candidate Experience, and 72% share their poor experience with friends and family. This should hammer home the point why Candidate Experience is so important.

Candidates talk, and this can influence future decisions about applying for positions at your company. This way, you are indirectly losing potential talent to your competitors.

But what's worse? In some instances, a negative experience makes 60% of candidates less likely to purchase that company's product or service. So you are not only detracting potential candidates, you might also be losing out on customers.

Start Collecting Candidate Feedback in 3 Steps

Over 70% of companies fail to provide a platform for candidates to give feedback. This is a big space of opportunity.

Listening, learning, and acting on candidate feedback will improve your Candidate Experience and improve your Employer Branding. A positive reputation as a company and employer is a powerful tool for attracting the best talent worldwide.

Optimize Your Recruitment and Create an Environment Where Candidate Feedback is Easy to Collect

Analyze your recruitment process inside out and back to front. Understand the journey candidates undertake, the different stages they pass through from beginning to end.

This alone will allow you to start noticing opportunities where communication between your company and the candidate would be beneficial in terms of asking for feedback.

Remember: you are in control of your hiring process. You decide when and where you should connect with candidates. 

Think about these points when seeking to create moments to acquire candidate feedback:

  • Look at your recruitment process infrastructure. How is it structured, how does it work?
  • Identify the crucial moments within your candidates’ journey. When is it appropriate to engage with them? 
  • Prepare questions and discussion points. Whatever you think is necessary to get the feedback you deem essential. 
  • Now it is time to integrate these touchpoints into your candidates' recruitment journey. During and after the hiring process is complete.

How Should You Communicate with Your Candidates?

Although it might seem difficult, especially when all the information you have on a candidate is their CV and cover letter. It's hardly the most personal of relationships.

But now is the time to make it personal. And working with first-hand candidate feedback will allow you to make your hiring process more intimate and human.  

Things to consider when writing your feedback emails:

  • Keep it simple. A friendly hello and personal touches will get you far.
  • Provide some information regarding the progress of the recruitment process, how it is going or if it is finished.
  • Ask the candidate questions. How have they found the process, what have they liked, or what changes would they make? Select the questions that will provide the best possible feedback.

Structuring your communication in a friendly manner will let your candidates know you are interested in their well-being and what they have to say.

Candidates want and deserve the personal touch that makes them feel connected with those around them. At the same time, your company will establish a candidate-centric reputation and will be rewarded with data that will guide you in improving your Candidate Experience.

Align with Your Hiring Team on the Importance of Candidate Experience

Ultimately, the success of using candidate feedback and improving Candidate Experience lies on your hiring team's shoulders. They will be in charge of acquiring, understanding and implementing the suggestions and data received.

They need to be fully aware of the importance of candidate feedback. Not only can it improve the recruitment process, it has now likely become part of your company’s broader strategy to enhance competitiveness and be the best employer you can be.

Why Should You Adapt Your Recruitment Strategy According to Candidate Feedback?

Changing how you hire requires substantial effort: from rethinking each stage of the application process to making room for engaging with candidates to collect their feedback.

In some instances, you might not receive the feedback you perhaps wanted to hear. Or candidates might ignore your attempts to engage with them.

This can be frustrating, especially considering the effort you have shown to improve their Candidate Experience. But in making these changes, integrating new attitudes towards the recruitment process and showing you value their input and ideas, you are treating the candidates with respect.

Building an open and friendly communication flow between your company and its candidates is vital to building a positive relationship, and demonstrating that you appreciate the effort your candidates put into their application and going through the process as a whole. 

By asking for and using candidate feedback at every stage of your recruitment process, you show that your company respects the candidates whether they are successful or not.

Ultimately, this builds a solid foundation for making great Candidate Experience one of the reasons why your candidates choose you as their future employer and an effective way to attract more qualified talent.

In Short

Candidate feedback is imperative to the improvement of your overall Candidate Experience. It provides:

  • Data and feedback that fuel ideas for how your company can improve
  • Help to revolutionize the recruitment process, make it friendlier and more personal, and enhance the hiring teams' performance
  • A direct way to establish your business’ reputation and appearance to the broader world (for good and for bad so don’t overlook it)

To get started with the acquisition of candidate feedback and bringing considerable benefits to your business, you should:

  • Analyze your recruitment process. Think about the critical moments in the journey and where there is potential for engagement with the candidates. 
  • Highlight these moments within your hiring process, devise your strategy, questions, and ways to compel your candidates to maximize the interaction that will, ultimately, deliver first-hand candidate feedback straight to your inbox. 
  • Educate your hiring teams. It is crucial for your employees to understand the importance of feedback, not just for their jobs but also for the reputation and gain of the business. Responsibility drives ownership which – in turn – invites better performance amongst employees.

By harnessing the power of candidate feedback, listening and asking questions, you can improve your business holistically and create a stellar reputation amongst your competitors and future employees.

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