- Posted by admin
- On May 13, 2020
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Remote work has become the norm while social distancing measures are in place, and it may continue even after those measures are scaled back. Whether your business is working remotely to get through the crisis or considering remote work as a long-term solution, you’ll have to adapt your processes so that they work virtually.
Despite the negative effect COVID-19 has had on the economy, many businesses are still hiring throughout this crisis. In any hiring process, creating a positive candidate experience is important to attract and retain top talent. A LinkedIn report found that 87% of candidates said a positive interview experience could change their mind about a company they had doubts about. On the other hand, 83% said a negative experience could change their minds about a company they once liked.
While your candidate experience has likely changed due to social distancing, it can still be productive and positive for candidates and employers. Learn how to create a positive, virtual candidate experience so that you can attract and hire the best talent.
What is a Candidate Experience?
The candidate experience is every interaction a candidate has with your company throughout the hiring process, from reading a job description or visiting your Careers page to interviews, hiring, and onboarding. Any communication between your business and candidates during the hiring process is a part of their candidate experience. The goal is for candidates to have a positive experience when engaging with your company’s hiring process.
Why is Candidate Experience Important?
It’s important to be conscious of how candidates perceive your business through your hiring process. An unpleasant candidate experience can lead to lost talent or even a bad reputation for your brand. Providing a good candidate experience will help convince your top candidates to take the job, improve your brand, and maintain positive relationships with candidates even if you don’t hire them.
Creating a Virtual Candidate Experience
Hiring virtually is a different experience that many employers and candidates are not accustomed to. It’s still possible to create a positive experience for candidates, however, even if you never meet them in person. Consider each step in the candidate journey from start to finish and optimize your processes so they work remotely and in-person.
Most people searched for jobs online even before the era of remote work and social distancing. It’s important that the right candidates can easily find your listings. If you’re hiring, your business’ website should have a “Careers” page that is easy to find and read – consider adding this page to the top of your homepage navigation so that anyone who visits your website can find it.
If you use job posting sites like Indeed or Monster, you can create a page for your company so that interested candidates can check for job listings. It’s also important to remove these listings on both your website and others if the position is no longer open so that candidates don’t waste their time applying and waiting for a response.
When writing a job description, make sure the role is clearly defined. Be as detailed as possible about responsibilities, expectations, and what you’re looking for in an applicant. Listing an ideal start date is also important, especially in light of COVID-19. If you’re looking to hire but you don’t want the new position to start until businesses are open on-site again, make that abundantly clear. If the position is to begin work immediately, make that clear and detail how onboarding and training will work and what technology they’ll need to work remotely.
Application Process and Tracking
Try to make the application process as simple as possible for interested candidates. Your Careers page should make it easy to apply online, either via an online form or by asking applicants to submit an application to a specific email address. Check those platforms or inboxes frequently so that candidates are not left waiting.
On your own website, try to set up a confirmation page or email so that applicants know their application has been received. If possible, give an average time frame for when they will hear back. Send updates if this timeline changes.
Up to this point, the hiring process has not been changed much by remote work and a virtual experience. Most applicants searched for jobs and applied online long before social distancing began, so this is not unusual. From this point forward, however, the candidate journey is a bit different. Try to communicate to applicants how the process will move forward from here. Either on your Careers page or on the confirmation page or email, let them know how the virtual candidate experience will continue – whether it’s phone interviews, video interviews, and so on.
Remote interviews have become the new norm, and there are plenty of articles out there with tips on how to ace a virtual interview. To make a smooth virtual candidate experience let them know how their remote interview will work.
Let candidates know what technology you’ll use for interviews, and give them ample time to learn how to use it beforehand. Providing a link to frequently asked questions for whatever remote technology you use can be helpful as well. You can also let them know how to dress – in a normal interview, professional dress is standard, but there may be more leniency when virtually meeting. You may also consider letting them know, generally, what you plan to discuss so that they can prepare.
Make sure the interviewer or panel of interviewers is also adequately prepared for a virtual interview. It’s important that the hiring team is also comfortable with the technology being used and prepared to host a pleasant interview.
Provide feedback to candidates as promptly as possible. Most rejection letters come via email, so this is a fair way to let candidates know if they didn’t get the job. Try to offer constructive feedback if possible so that they can learn from the experience. If you think the candidate could be a good fit for a different position or future positions, ask them to join your talent network to learn about future opportunities.
When you offer the job to your candidate of choice, provide them with all of the information they’ll need for remote onboarding. Welcome your new hire to the team by sharing more about your company’s culture and by introducing them to coworkers so that they feel immediately included, since they won’t be able to meet everyone in an office.
Remote onboarding may be one of the most difficult steps to do virtually. You want your new hire to stick around, so it’s important that onboarding goes smoothly. Try to have all training documents ready so that you can walk them through their role and responsibilities. Prioritize communication during this time, as your new hire will likely have a lot of questions. Whoever is training this person should make themselves as available as possible to answer those questions.
Aside from the job itself, make sure that your new hire feels included in the community of your company. Ask for a photo of them on their first day to share on social media, much like you would on their first day at the office. Encourage other employees to reach out to get to know them, or set up calls with small groups so that coworkers can get to know each other. Working remotely can be isolating, and if you’re new to a company it can be especially hard to feel connected. You could also consider assigning them a “buddy” who can answer questions and let them know the ins and outs of your business.
Get creative to implement a positive virtual candidate experience. Virtual hiring processes can be effective, but the personality and culture of your office can often be lost when hiring remotely. Try to find ways to share your business’ culture so that candidates can get a better sense of how they’ll fit in. Share videos, refer them to social media, or create group messages with coworkers so that your company’s personality shines through.
Compare your typical candidate experience to your virtual candidate experience to look for holes or areas where you’ll need to adapt the most. The most important priority in a remote candidate journey is communication – put communication first to keep candidates informed and so that they feel their time and efforts are respected.