Rethink your candidate experience: 9 questions

Candidate experienceJob applicants want to come to work for you, but you’re not making it easy.

With competition for employees hotter than it’s been in years, applicants aren’t as patient with employers with outdated or slow hiring processes.

Many employers don’t see the problem. More than three quarters of employers (78%) say they feel they do a good job communicating with job candidates, but less than half of candidates (47%) say employers actually do, says the new CareerBuilder Candidate Experience Study.

A positive candidate experience is a key advantage in this market. Drawing from lessons in the CareerBuilder report, here are nine questions to ask about your hiring process:

1. Do you have a quick apply process for every device? “Applications taking too long” (28%) and “uploading a résumé into a system but still having to manually fill out fields” (29%) are the most frustrating parts of the process.

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2. Do you prepare hiring managers? On average, only two of five hiring managers are prepped by employers to help manage the candidate’s experience.

3. How effective is your career site? A great majority of job seekers (89%) say an employer’s career site is important to getting company information, but about a quarter of employers (24%) admit their career sites don’t accurately portray what it’s like to work there.

4. Do you tailor communication methods to specific segments? While Millennials want email communications (57%) over phone calls (31%), Boomers significantly prefer phone calls (58%). Gen Xers can go either way.

5. How long do background checks take? Don’t stop talking to candidates while the background check is in process—because they’re still talking to your competitors. A full 60% of candidates continue communicating and interviewing with other companies while waiting on background results.

6. Do you have the right ATS (or any ATS at all)? Organizations currently utilizing an applicant tracking system are 25% more likely to have a standardized process to help deliver a consistent candidate experience.

7. Do you inform candidates where they stand? More than half of job seekers say employers don’t do a good job of explaining the hiring process upfront, and 81% say receiving status updates from employers would greatly improve the experience.

8. Do you stay connected once candidates accept the job? Less than half of employers (47%) have a formal process for communicating with candidates between job offer and start date, yet 40% of workers find this frustrating.

9. Do you pay attention to how your employer brand is portrayed on social media? A full 60% of employers admit they don’t monitor their employer presence or brand on social media. Of those who do, just 16% just react to negative information.

The bottom line: Candidates have options these days, and they realize that sloppy recruiting likely means an employer to be avoided.