During the last couple of years, many aspects of the recruitment process have changed significantly. Technology has become an essential tool when companies look to hire new employees. However, over-relying on technology has led to an automated but dehumanized practice. In order to fight this, many companies have started focusing on different ways to improve the candidate experience, which has brought positive results.    

There are many steps we can take if we want to improve the candidate experience during our hiring process. To begin with, we must find ways to simplify the application process. Focusing on clear and continuous communication with our candidates is an important step, too. Personalizing our interview process will also help us provide a memorable experience. When dealing with rejecting candidates, humanizing that part of the experience is another important step. Lastly, keeping track of candidates for future openings should be a priority for our hiring managers.   

One of the easiest ways to improve the candidate experience is by simplifying our application process. More often than not, companies try too hard to digitize and automate this process. Nevertheless, the ones that go for a simpler and shorter process are the ones candidates prefer. If you don’t have one, create a careers page and make it easy to find. Also, make sure you give applicants clear instructions on how to complete or answer any questionnaire. Furthermore, keeping your site mobile-friendly will attract more candidates, and their experience will be better.    

Focusing on having clear and constant communication with your applicants is an absolute must. Companies who lack communication during the hiring process are candidates’ least favorite ones. Effective emails throughout the process provide confidence and peace of mind, and they will definitely improve the candidate experience. Follow up with your applicants and value their time and interest during each and every step of the hiring process. Otherwise, they will lose interest, and what´s worst, they will discourage others from applying for your job openings.    

Once you get to meet your candidates during the interview process, make sure you personalize the interaction. Properly preparing for a job interview goes beyond writing (or only reading aloud) a given set of questions. Again, you must show how much you value your candidates’ time and interest in working with you. Go over their resume, portfolio, or CV before the interview and write questions that directly relate to what they included. As a result, they will be both surprised and appreciated, giving them a memorable experience.    

In order to significantly improve the candidate experience, we must thoroughly revise the way we inform them of their rejection. Nothing shows a lack of interest and gratitude towards their application as a corporate, generic rejection email. And by this, we mean more than the email content, as the address might say a lot, too. Thus, we should avoid having careers@company.com or anything that resembles it. Have a member of your recruitment team personally inform candidates of their rejection in a timely and considerate manner. Provide them with specific and useful feedback about their performance and ask for feedback, too.    

Often, companies tend to keep the applications of rejected candidates as they might be eligible for a future job opening. If such was the case, remember to inform them of their current status. This will both improve the candidate experience and expand your candidate database altogether. Also, using Applicant Tracking Systems will allow you to keep track of high-quality candidates and contact them when a given position becomes available.