Candidate Experience: Why it should be at the center of your recruitment strategy

When planning this process, you should place candidate experience at the core of everything. Here’s why.

Unlocking tech talent stories

November 29, 2018
The current talent shortage across the world, specifically for Tech talent, is making this time now an incredible moment of growth and innovation for HR. Nonetheless, these are challenging times and there’s not one company I know that hasn’t faced some problems when attracting the right people. Finding the perfect match, both in quantity and quality, has placed recruitment in the center of the companies’ strategies, stimulating the investment of resources in Recruitment Analytics, Candidate Experience, Candidate Engagement and Employer Branding.

And still I feel like we’re missing a key component about Recruitment: thinking that recruitment is finding the right person for a company is reductive and misses some important added values.

When building your recruitment process you want it to be great, right? You want it to help you find the right candidates, evaluate them properly, and often you aim to make it speedy, efficient and accurate. But what about the candidate experience? For any recruitment experience to be truly great, it needs to expand beyond just finding the right people. You want to find them, of course, but you should see your recruitment strategy as a continuous branding initiative. When planning this process, you should place candidate experience at the core of everything. Here’s why:

1. Happy candidates will turn into ambassadors of your employer brand

The funnel never ends, which is why at Nmbrs we aim to give the best experience to our candidates — especially the ones we end up rejecting. All the candidates that leave with a great impression of your company may consider you again as an employer in the future. Better yet, if they were positively impressed, you’ll be in the top of their minds as a good company to recommend to friends and colleagues.

Therefore, if the candidates had a good experience — good and timely feedback, a pleasant interaction with the members of the hiring team, and so on -, even if they were rejected, they’re very likely to become spokespeople for your brand.

2. The recruitment process shows the DNA of your company

As a company, you’re trying to go somewhere by following a given vision and a set of values. So why not take it a step further and try to incorporate your values and mission into your recruitment practices?

At Nmbrs, as a Payroll/HR company, we want our customers’ employees to have the best possible experience, therefore every HR procedure we have reflects that same goal. This also means our values and mission are very present throughout all of our processes. Collaboration and feedback are two of our main values. Therefore, in our hiring process, we translated them into having a hiring team that decides, together with the candidate, if we are going to hire them or not. The decision is made by the team, always. And the candidate is a part of it.

3. Your evaluation of cultural fit will become easier and more natural

As a recruitment professional, this is my favourite. We think that staying true to the regular behaviours and attitude of our company during the hiring process is really the best way to assess candidates’ cultural fit. A good hiring process will be different for every company: some are more formal than others; some have a more open structure of dialogue from the beginning while others may not; some prefer written communication and others a face-to-face one. All different, all authentic — that’s the beauty of it.

The closest you build your hiring strategy to your company’s way of being, the smaller the gap between the expectation created during the hiring process and the actual daily work experience will be. The management of expectations really is one of the key factors in recruitment and long-term retention.

At Nmbrs, we chose a Cultural Interview as the first hiring step after our CV review. This alone says how much we value working and having fun together. For us, it wouldn’t make any sense to assess anyone technically (even if they’re the best of the best), if they don’t match us culturally.

Whatever you value as a company, be sure to stay true to these beliefs during your recruitment process.

4. You’ll get valuable, honest feedback about your hiring process

And even if it’s essential to reflect your company’s identity, that doesn’t mean building the structures of your company’s recruitment should be a 100% internal job. You should look at it as a team effort that also involves those you’re building it for. Hearing what candidates have to say about their own experiences can actually be the best way of putting your efforts to test and see what you can do better. Another one of the perks of providing a better candidate experience is that they’ll become more available to give you the direct and constructive feedback you need.

In order to achieve that, it’s crucial to have established processes of asking for feedback. For instance, at Nmbrs we usually do it on Glassdoor, but building a candidate experience survey is something we also have on our backlog as a priority (#alwaysbeimproving).

In the end, it’s all about the people

When thinking about Recruitment, we need to really acknowledge it as a crucial strategic domain that needs to be seen and assessed as such. We must see recruitment not as transitory, but as a real investment that will have an impact on the future of the company, and in more areas than first expected.

Finally, I must leave you with a more obvious and perhaps the most essential of all these points: We’re always focused on the numbers and goals we want to achieve as a company, but, at the end of the day, the main reason why we need to have a well thought out and functional hiring process is because having a good hiring process means treating people like people. As Human Resources professionals, we are responsible for upholding and providing an example of how, in business, there’s no correlation between being nice and being unsuccessful.

What do you think? Do you believe recruitment impacts other areas? What is your opinion on this? Let me know in the comments.

Rita Mendes — Recruitment Lead at Nmbrs

“I believe that treating people like humans brings efficiency to all the HR processes. Combining my Psychologist heart with my People Operations mindset, I’m able to provide the best experience to our candidates.”

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