June 23, 2020

4 Virtual Recruiting Hacks to Create a Seamless Candidate Experience

From crafting job descriptions, to regularly updating your prospects, a positive candidate experience requires effort at every touchpoint.

As the competition for talent increases, creating a memorable candidate experience can strengthen your brand identity, making it easy to capture your culture and showcase its strengths to prospects.

Given the power of peer reviews, it’s crucial to craft an experience that surpasses their expectations, setting a precedent for others to follow.

But how can you ensure each candidate views your firm in a favourable light? Are there any proven tactics for crafting a winning experience all-round?

While you can’t control market conditions, you can take care of the basics to catch the eye of recruits.

So, without further ado, here are 4 virtual hiring hacks to create a candidate experience to shout about – for all the right reasons…

Virtual Recruiting Hack No. 1: Craft Compelling Job Descriptions that Reflect the Company Culture

At first glance, writing and posting a job ad seems relatively straightforward. Yet without a plan to hand, it’s easy to veer off-track or overwhelm potential candidates with excessive buzzwords and details. To find the right fit from the get go (and reduce the risk of a mismatch!), conduct a skills gap analysis before you post to the job boards. By doing so, you can suss out potential skills gaps and source the right recruits to address urgent needs. In terms of the advert itself, a compelling job description should be as specific and simple as possible, with a clear, logical structure that is easy to scan on mobiles. Jargon or complex terms should be kept to an absolute minimum – candidates hate to feel misled, so it’s crucial to ensure that each advert is as frank and transparent as possible. After listing the requirements of the role, separate the “preferable” competencies from non-negotiable skill-sets. You’ll attract a diverse range of candidates and prevent strong contenders from feeling dissuaded by long lists of “must-haves.”

Virtual Recruiting Hack No. 2: Communicate and Build Rapport Through Every Step of the Process

Picture the scene: you polish up your CV, personalise your cover letter for the role, excitedly hit “submit”…and then nothing. Unfortunately, this scenario is far from a one-off event, with many promising candidates getting lost in the noise of submissions. Regardless of the status of their app, it’s crucial to touch base with candidates throughout the hiring process. Thankfully, the advent of ATS systems makes it easier to improve response times and provide regular updates on progress. Managing this task effectively demands clear lines of communication. Unexpected delays to decisions should be openly communicated to candidates. Even if feedback is far from forthcoming, the knowledge that you are chasing things up and actively on the case can put their mind at ease (and prevent them from leaping to conclusions!)

Virtual Recruiting Hack No. 3: Clarify Expectations From the Outset to Reduce the Risk of Crossed Wires

Regardless of job requirements, managing candidate expectations is more important than ever. Put simply, a standout candidate experience begins and ends with transparency, both in terms of how they’re progressing and the interview process itself. Delays to delivering these updates leaves candidates in the lurch (and tempted to call off the search or turn their attention elsewhere.) To reduce this risk, it’s crucial to ensure each advert lists the specific requirements of the role; a generic list of tasks is unlikely to inspire much confidence and can quickly lead to crossed wires. Additionally, the process for a multi-stage interview should be clearly communicated from the outset. That way, candidates know what to expect from each stage and can plan and prepare in advance to prevent a last minute “crisis of confidence!”

Virtual Recruiting Hack No. 4: Give Actionable Feedback to Prospects that Supports Their Long-Term Career Plans

So…you sent over their details, highlighted their experience…only to learn they’ve been rejected.  Although rejection stings at the best of times, leaving candidates hanging is not only unprofessional – it’s also incredibly demoralising. Whatever the outcome may be, it’s crucial to tell the truth and offer constructive feedback that they can use to perfect their approaches. Positive words of encouragement are generally well-received, while providing opportunities to reconnect if a better position becomes available. Aside from strengthening your pipeline, leaving the conversation open in this way inspires past candidates to circle back when they’re ready!