CanX: How to Create an Effective Candidate Experience

In one of my articles on Multiple Generations at the workplace, I remember mentioning the Scarcity phase with the Baby Boomer generation, where loyalty played a phenomenal role in staying in one organization for decades. Times have changed so much since then that today, employees do not believe in loyalty because of the Abundance phase where there are jobs and more jobs and even more jobs available for the same skills. Loyalty has no value today. What does it finally boil down to? Maybe a quick money growth… but other than that, I also feel the one thing that may matter is the experience I go through at my workplace, not only during my tenure there but right from the time the organization connected with me for this opportunity. Something that I call CanX or Candidate Experience. Let’s look at the points I believe matter.

UX:

When you open an app today and start searching for an item, you must feel comfortable with the search until the point of purchase to know that the Usability is friendly. If the app irritates you, you will never use it again. A candidate’s search for the job needs to be simple. So the experience for the Candidate for the job that you are posting or hiring for starts from there… the job post.

Not only should it be easy to apply by avoiding long drawn forms to fill and attach tons of documents, but it better look good, classy, colorful, and relevant to their generation, and they should connect with the organization’s culture immediately just through a Pictorial post. This is what I call the Candidate UX or the Candidate User Experience.

The 1st Impression Touchpoint:

There will have to be a touchpoint, the very first one where the Recruitment team reaches out to the Candidate. I know of many organizations where the first call comes from the Functional head. Can you believe the impact it creates in the Candidate’s mind?

I know some cases where the Founder of the CEO makes the first call. Well, all of this is possible in smaller organizations or with Leaders. But if companies could think about this, imagine the excitement and value it creates for the Candidate. It’s an immediate impact on the engagement levels of the Candidate for their excitement to get to this organization. It may not be possible to do this as it’s not a perfect world, but if the Candidate is shortlisted, it makes sense to make a script that keeps the Candidate on a high. It never hurts to boost their egos by saying, “we have been following your career and your success, and it would be great to have you here as we feel this is tailor-made to make you even more successful.” It doesn’t cost money to say, “We believe you will be a great match,” Right? I mean, Tinder does that too. When you are a great match… they will tell you that you are a great match for someone. Does that not feel good? Well, it feels good every darn time.

Minimalistic Process:

Who likes waiting in long lines? Do you? When was the last time you waited in line to buy a movie ticket or a flight ticket? It feels like never, right? Why? Because you can do that online sitting in the comfort of your room through a phone without waiting behind 20 other people in front of you. You can make the booking in minutes. Ask your grandparents if they ever booked a ticket in 1 minute. Why would you want candidates to go through a series of interviews? Are we not confident of 1 interviewer? Is the one interviewer not capable? If not, why is that interviewer on the panel in the first place? Is it because the same interviewer doesn’t have multiple skills to ask questions from different domains?

Can we avoid even Humans interviewing people? Because as soon as Humans come into the picture, biases come into the picture. Gender, Generation, Religion, Looks, and Where the person is from all of this start to dictate decisions. This is one of those places where I believe automation truly helps. It removes the biases. Have a little 10-minute automated quiz. Check skills and the values the person carries to have a culture match, and voila, there you have your Candidate. No human interface is truly necessary. After all, we want people who can give you the desired output. Then design the test to provide you with that output in the form of an ideal candidate.

The Waiting Period:

The most important period is the Notice Serving Period of the candidates you have offered before joining you. It could be 15 days to 3 months. Can you imagine this duration’s power to get them super excited to join you? It helps avoid counter offers they may go for even if the money is more, and most importantly, it enables you to get a highly engaged being into your office from the very first day. Some of the things we have tried every week in the past are:

  1. Sharing monthly company newsletters with them (Week 1)
  2. Inviting them to parties and celebrations (Week 2)
  3. The CEO talks to them once about how the Candidate is so critical for the vision scope of the organization (Week 3)
  4. The Reporting Manager invited them for lunch (Week 4)
  5. Sending them Movie / Food Vouchers as a Hello! (Week 5)
  6. Sharing pictures with them of the Joining Goodie Bag we are planning to organize for them (Week 6)
  7. Talking to them about possibilities of referring friends to rother vacancies (Week 7)
  8. Discuss with them all the things they want on their first day regarding the Laptop Configuration, Biz Cards, etc.

I would like to say ‘Own your candidate’ and ‘Don’t let them get away. Make them feel wanted as if they are you. Will a better money counter offer beat this? Even if they get better money counter offers, this is the best chance you have to make still them love you and join you.

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~ HR Expert