How to deliver the best candidate experience



Read time
4 mins

In a recent webinar, Ciphr expert James Whatmore shared why integrated HR and recruitment systems are essential for creating the best possible candidate experience

In today’s candidate–driven market, designing a streamlined and engaging recruitment process is critical to hiring the right talent. Integrated HR and recruitment systems are central to improving your processes and engaging candidates, said Ciphr account development manager James Whatmore in a recent webinar hosted by recruitment experts EasyWeb. Here, we recap the steps employers need to take to deliver a great candidate experience.  

Develop an engaging careers page

First impressions are never quite as important as during the hiring process. But it’s not just candidates who need to make a good impression on you, the employer: organisations also need to portray themselves in the best-possible light if they are to attract high-quality candidates. 

Your website’s careers pages are often candidates’ first port of call when finding out more about your organisation or a specific role. But how well do they represent your brand? To determine if your careers pages stand out, why not try applying for one of your own vacancies? What information is missing, and what obstacles do you encounter during the application process? Do you get a true sense of the organisational culture, and what it’s like to work there?

If your answers to any of these questions is ‘no’, then it’s time for a rethink. Invest in an applicant tracking system (ATS) or upgrade your existing one so candidates can easily submit applications via mobile devices. Capture and share video content that communicates what it’s like to work at your organisation, and create a ‘meet the team’ section on your careers page. Sharing with candidates more about the workplace, and what makes it a fun and interesting place to work – and doing so in an authentic, more informal tone of voice – will make a big difference. 

You might also want to tweak how you craft job descriptions and application forms. Research has found that job descriptions of between 700 and 1,200 characters long get 30% more applications, while including over 45 questions in an application form can reduce the number of applicants by 90%.  

Communicate with the candidate 

The difference between hiring the right candidate and losing them to a competitor could be as little as your ability and commitment to communicating with them consistently and regularly. According to a 2018 report, only 26% of employers let candidates know what stage of the recruitment process they are at, while over 60% of candidates will tell their friends and family about a negative candidate experience. Consider not only explaining the various stages of your hiring process on your careers website, but also using your ATS to send out automated messages to unsuccessful candidates. 

Once a candidate accepts an offer, the real communication work should start in earnest – you’ll want to maintain contact, and share relevant and useful information, with them before their first day, which could be weeks or even months away. You could opt to email or post a welcome pack, arrange a phone call with the HR or line manager, or set up a time for them to come into the office and meeting their new team in person. Consistent communication will put new starters at ease and make them feel like part of the team before they begin working with you.  

Invest in technology

Digital recruitment software is essential for helping busy HR teams stay on top of applications, and ensure that candidates’ data is securely processed in accordance with the requirements of the GDPR. You can also use an ATS to create talent pools – of candidates who didn’t make the grade this time around, but might be suitable for a future vacancy – and to undertake so-called ‘blind’ recruitment, where irrelevant information is hidden from application forms to reduce hiring bias. 

You can also use a digital employee onboarding portal to share welcome information with new starters, securely collect crucial information such as bank details, and to invite people to carry out mandatory training before their first day.