The candidate experience: elevating your service | part 1 of 3
Candidate experience is crucial to your success as a recruiter, there are no two ways about it.
We’ve lightly touched on candidate experience in the past, from the importance of the follow-up through to basic candidate care.
But, how can you elevate your service to offer the ultimate candidate experience?
We’re going to cover this in a three-part series.
This edition will cover “community building” – AKA passive candidates whom you will be able to place in the future.
Is it a candidate if they aren’t in a physical process?
The short answer is YES.
Regardless of whether you have a job for them right now, or in the future, you should treat your whole network as though they could be a prospective candidate, and treat them the same way that you’d treat someone that you’re putting through a formal process.
If you adopt this mindset and way of thinking, you’ll build a community much quicker.
A lot of recruiters I speak with aspire to be ‘talent advisors’ to their industries and are driven to support people in their communities with their careers.
It’s a long-term way of thinking but if you’re patient, you can do a lot of good along the way.
How can you add value beyond a job opportunity?
When thinking about the candidate experience, it can often start in our heads the moment we pitch them a role – so, how can you add value beyond just speaking about jobs?
If you want to have a good productive exercise to do off the back of this edition, get your team together and ask yourself the following question.
‘How can we add value at every stage of the recruitment process? From the very beginning to the very end?’
Get thinking and get creative – the best recruiters are asking themselves this brilliant question…
We’ve put together some prompts below to help you.
Groups (WhatsApp, Slack, LinkedIn)
Whether it’s on WhatsApp, Slack, or another communal platform, creating a centralised place for you to share knowledge and connect your candidate network enables you to create a memorable candidate experience before they’ve even chosen to engage with you.
Remember, candidates have ZERO obligation to partner with you, and it’s very possible that they will take some time to trust you.
Speed up that process by creating community.
Now that we are coming out the other side of Covid-19, in-person meetups and events can also be a great way to create a great candidate experience.
Events, lunches, drinks, and other social activities can be organised on whatever scale feels comfortable for you. You could even do a virtual meetup if you work in a global market, or a roundtable.
Although I don’t work in recruitment anymore, let’s imagine that everybody reading this newsletter is a “candidate” of mine.
You get to know me every two weeks, talking on a different topic, giving you information and resources for free that would be impossible for me to do over the phone or by sending individual emails.
Even if you don’t sign up for Recruitment Mentors – the newsletter is an inclusive space for anyone to gain knowledge.
If you change your mindset towards this when sending newsletters to your candidates – they will still recommend you based on the value that you’re giving them, even if they don’t ever intend to engage with you for a new role.
Bonus tip – You can now even do this all directly on LinkedIn, turn on creator mode and start your newsletter.
Industry insights and data
Salary Guides, Progression Guides, and other valuable data from the industry should be utilised. You’re in the perfect position to educate your network on trends and so much more!
Be honest with what you can and can’t do (and also, what you care about)
Your heart has to be in the right place when looking at something as sensitive as the candidate experience.
If you don’t care that much about putting the “bells and whistles” into making candidates feel special, then you need to be honest with yourself about that.
It doesn’t make you a bad recruiter – it just means that your approach is different.
Additionally, you may be great at one element of the candidate experience and not the rest, and that’s fine too.
Be honest with what you can and can’t do, and use the other elements as building blocks so you’re constantly learning and improving.
Also, why are you choosing to do this?
If your motivations are money and winning jobs all the time, you run the risk of coming across as inauthentic.
The best recruiters out there go above and beyond for clients and candidates because they genuinely love what they do – not necessarily because there’s a hidden agenda.
Again, going back to why I started my podcast and newsletter – it was never for personal gain!
It was always to add value. You should have this same mindset when looking at the candidate experience.
In my professional life so far it all plays out, my mindset has always been to give more than I take, and this approach has never let me down.
Integrate it into your day-to-day activities
Whether it’s posting on LinkedIn more to build your personal brand, creating a newsletter or Slack channel, or simply messaging 5-10 candidates a day to start building that element of “community”.
Ensure that you’re integrating it into your day-to-day activities so it doesn’t feel like a mountain you need to climb.
The beauty of the candidate experience is that it isn’t rocket science to master, you simply have to think about the “finishing touches” you can do to go above and beyond for your community.
Even if you aren’t putting them through a process right now!