Every candidate matters. With companies struggling to get the best candidates in their talent pool, it becomes essential to provide the best possible candidate care.
If you need more reasons why candidate care is essential for hiring, just look at any of the numerous Linkedin posts where candidates complain about companies’ poor hiring processes, not receiving any feedback from the hiring team, having their interviews rescheduled, or taking forever to receive the final offer from the company.
The solution to this is proper candidate care.
What is candidate care?
Candidate care simply refers to how you treat your candidates before, during, and after the hiring process.
Candidate care starts from the moment you start thinking about writing the job description and continues during the selection, skills assessments and the interview process, and even during onboarding. And this is always important, whether or not the candidate gets the job or not.
With the war for talent going on, you will need to make an impeccable first impression on your candidates to provide them with the best possible candidate experience.
If you provide an experience that wasn’t really good, prospective employees will share that with their networks and your employer brand will take a hit. And that’s something you can’t risk in today’s marketplace where most companies are struggling to attract and retain the best workers out there. According to Inc., it takes about 40 positive customer experiences to undo the damage of a single bad review. For hiring, things look similar.
Candidate care isn’t about sending a “thank you” note or giving your candidates a welcome gift when they’re hired. It’s about managing the entire candidate experience, from start to finish. It’s about ensuring fast and consistent communication, treating your applicants with respect no matter what positions they’re applying for, ensuring that they don’t wait for hours in the lobby for their interviews, and not having them answer the same questions over and over again in multiple rounds of interviews.
In essence, candidate care is about putting your candidates first. Because if you put them first, they’ll put your company first, and you’ll be able to attract the best talent out there. This leads us to the importance of candidate care.
Why is candidate care important?
Let’s look at the following scenario. According to SHRM, the average annual retention is somewhere around 80% even though this number varies drastically over industries—for example, the trucking industry has around a 9% retention rate. Let’s assume that you’re in an industry where you have a really good retention rate: more than 80%.
That still means that you will have to replace nearly 20% of your entire workforce every year if you’re to maintain the same level of operations, even without factoring in growth.
For a company of 100 people, that means hiring 20 new employees just to replace the ones who have left your company. Multiply that number by 10 years and you’ll realize how important candidate care is.
Because of this, you need to provide the best possible experience to all candidates who come and go through your hiring process. In case you provide a bad candidate experience, applicants will share this with their networks and might even write about it online, which could harm your employer brand and drive the best talent away from your company. And that’s something no company can afford in today’s marketplace where great talent is scarce.
What are the benefits of candidate care?
Candidate care isn’t just about preventing bad experiences. It’s also about providing the best possible experience to all candidates. This is highly beneficial for both companies and candidates. Let’s look at the reasons why.
1. It builds a trusting relationship from step one
When you build a trusting relationship with a candidate from day one, then you’ve already begun the onboarding process for your potential future employee. You’re showing them what it’s like to work in your company, what your company culture looks like, what you value as a team, and how you communicate with each other and the world outside.
Even if a candidate doesn’t get the job, they will still leave with a positive impression and the feeling that they have gotten to know a great workplace. And if they do get the job, they will already feel like a part of the company right from the start.
2. It increases the chance of hiring the best talent
Highly skilled applicants have many options and companies need to provide the best possible experience to get candidates to pick them. Great candidate care shows the applicant what it would be like to work in the company so their decision isn’t a “leap in the dark,” but a conscious choice based on everything they’ve seen so far.
How you treat your candidates is how you treat your employees so ensure that you’re projecting the right image (which also needs to be authentic, of course).
3. It helps you build a solid referral program
If you’re working in a really great environment, you’ll probably tell others how great your job is, how awesome your coworkers are, and how supportive the company is.
When you provide great candidate care, then you’ll make your employees want to refer their qualified friends to apply at your company. Research shows that referral hiring was responsible for delivering more than 30% of hires overall in 2016.
4. It provides developmental feedback
The best possible candidate out there still needs to figure out how to integrate into your company. So a great candidate experience also helps you groom the candidate in a way that best suits your goals. Also, you can use developmental feedback for candidates that didn’t get the job this time. Not only does this make them better, but they also share with their networks the positive experiences they had with your brand. Which leads us to brand ambassadorship.
5. It creates brand ambassadors
Some companies like Zappos are famous for their great candidate care, which is why they have so many brand ambassadors. It’s not just people who got hired; their ambassadors are also the people who went through the process and didn’t get the job—but had a great experience and wanted to share it with everyone.
A starting point for great candidate care would be to improve the hiring process and make it more efficient. Pre-employment tests save time (and money) for both the company and the candidates and are one of the best ways you can improve candidate care.
Who is responsible for candidate care?
Even though candidate care falls under the HR team’s responsibilities, the entire company and all teams are responsible for it. If you have a collaborative hiring process and have people from other teams participate, then they also need to ensure that they’re providing the best possible candidate care.
The same applies to the onboarding process where the new hire meets their team. All team members need to make sure that they provide the best possible experience to the new employee so that they can easily integrate into the working environment.
But candidate care isn’t a one-time task that a company can just cross off their list. Candidate care is an ongoing process where the company needs to continually keep providing the best experience to all applicants, i.e.:
- Disqualified candidates who are not the right fit for your company
- Applicants who might be a good fit for future openings
- The ones who just got hired
How should you treat former employees?
Most companies struggle to figure out where to start when it comes to candidate care. In fact, one of the best places to get started is with those who are just leaving the company.
Former employees or those who are in the process of leaving can be valuable brand ambassadors of your company. There are a plethora of reasons for a person to leave a company, from personal matters that require their time to starting their own entrepreneurial journey.
Have an exit interview with your departing employees to find out what are the things that aren’t working well at your organization and identify ways to fix them. Departing employees can provide you with valuable feedback since they’ll likely be sincere about the things that were problematic.
After you get their feedback and hear their complaints, it’s important to make your exit interview findings count and try to fix what isn’t working well. Former employees will recognize your efforts and recommend you. They will realize that they have been heard on their exit interview and that the company implemented their advice. For HR professionals, an exit interview is a goldmine for getting ideas on what needs to be worked on.
Attract and retain the best talent with exceptional candidate care
In today’s marketplace, great talent is hard to find, so companies need to implement the best possible candidate care if they want to attract highly skilled and qualified candidates.
To attract talent, companies should invest in providing a great candidate experience by improving the way they source, interview, test, and onboard candidates and new hires. The best applicants out there want the best working experience and the companies who provide that will be the ones who will flourish in this highly competitive business environment.
One of the first steps in improving your candidate experience would be to implement pre-employment tests to streamline your hiring process and show candidates you value their skills and expertise above all else. Skills assessments help you save time and resources, hire a diverse workforce, build a stellar candidate experience, and improve candidate care.
Add TestGorilla’s pre-employment tests to your recruitment tools and make better hiring decisions, faster and bias-free. Try for free today.