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How to make your candidate experience fit for the age of Glassdoor

James Bull

In these times of peak social media, no company can operate behind a closed door anymore. Social media and online forums like Glassdoor have given employees a powerful platform to share their experiences, with often serious consequences for a company’s employee brand.

Article by James Bull, UK Country Manager – Starred

As a result, the phrase ‘employee experience’ has been moving up corporate agendas, as businesses try to give their employees the best work life possible. But in the fight to stay out of Glassdoor for the wrong reasons, some have been missing a crucial element of their employee brand – the candidate experience.

Large organisations will interact with potentially tens of thousands of job seekers every year. Despite this, the level of investment that has gone into improving the candidate experience has traditionally been very low. Unsurprisingly, research has found that almost 60% of job seekers have had a bad candidate experience and 72% have shared their disappointment online or with another person directly.

By ignoring the candidate journey, not only are companies risking their poor recruitment practices ending up online, but they are potentially destroying the possibility of a candidate working for them in the future, referring another candidate or buying their product or service. Virgin famously did some research into this and found that a bad candidate experience was costing it over £4 million in sales every year.

So, what can companies do to avoid these pitfalls? Here are four tips on how to build the ultimate candidate journey and help make a business glassdoor-proof:

Define your recruitment values
Companies need to start understanding the candidate experience as a journey, much like the process a consumer goes through on the path to conversion. Throughout the journey the candidate is continuously scrutinising the company – from the moment they first see the vacancy to the point of hire or rejection. At any point, if the experience doesn’t match up with what was promised in the ad or on the website, the candidate will quickly lose interest and decide to look elsewhere. If employers are to attract the very best talent and keep them engaged, they need to get a very clear sense of the values and image they want to communicate throughout the candidate journey and stick to it religiously.

Create a feedback process
Candidates should feel continuously engaged throughout the recruitment process and be made to feel that their opinion counts whether they go on to get the job or not. An effective way to do this is to create a feedback process around the candidate experience. Reaching out for feedback and input, not constantly but strategically, gives candidates an outlet for their thoughts, both positive and negative. It’s always better that these thoughts land with the prospective employer, rather than online in an inflammatory Glassdoor review. A feedback process will also help to generate rich insights on how to continuously improve the candidate experience in order to get the best results.

Embrace artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence and chatbots offer rich opportunities for HR teams. Many companies use chatbots as a way to engage with visitors to the website. But this is now being expanded through machine learning and NLP (natural language processing) to optimise the candidate experience and keep candidates informed throughout, generating valuable insights on how to enhance it. It also can vastly improve talent detection and help avoid unconscious or conscious human bias in the process.

Mine your candidate data
Data analytics is another area that is becoming increasingly important for improving recruitment practices and enhancing the candidate experience. The technology is allowing recruiters to better understand candidates by analysing data drawn from multiple channels in order to gauge how appropriate they are for a role and how likely it is that they will succeed in it. Not only does recruitment analytics save time for HR teams, but it allows them to create much more relevant experiences for the job seekers they are targeting.

These are just a few examples of tools and processes that employers can start experimenting with. What’s most important is that companies right up to board level recognise that the candidate experience is a critical issue and give it the proper investment it deserves. The ubiquity of social media means power has shifted to the candidate. Companies have to work hard to offer engaging and meaningful candidate experiences or lose out to competitors that do.

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