If you’re a recruiter or lead a talent acquisition team, you probably have an idea of the bottlenecks and pain points that exist for candidates who apply to your company. But a frank online conversation has some sage advice for any team on how to make simple improvements for a far stronger candidate experience.
A conversation on a closed Facebook group for companies and job seekers to connect over openings started simply enough, with a member posting this question to the group…
From there, a lively conversation developed, with a common thread: communication.
“Not hearing back when you’ve expressed interest in a role – the black hole.” – Cindy
“Poor communication. “We’ll get back to you by X date ” and then… nothing, crickets. Sometimes for weeks. Would be nice to get a quick email update, even if they haven’t made a decision yet.” – Sharon
“Lack of transparency when you’ve started an interview loop.” – Michelle
“This comment reminds me of how important it is to communicate what’s going on to applicants as the process proceeds. Otherwise it seems like poor management to uninformed parties.” – Rob
And when things don’t work out, one commenter emphasized the importance of giving feedback to candidates, even if it’s just a simple two line reply or a short call.
“Getting feedback from potential employers post-interview to help you improve your candidacy for future applications. What is helpful to know? Too junior, too senior, wrong skillset, culture fit, etc. All the systems out there are designed to provide employers with data so they can improve, but not the other way around.” – Byrne
Once a candidate makes it to an interview, the importance of a thought-out structure and thorough interview kits for all pays off. Just because a candidate is interviewing for your company doesn’t mean their time isn’t valuable.
“Being interviewed by someone who has little to no idea what your role/job actually involves and clearly asks all the wrong types of questions.” – John
“Being interviewed by someone you’ll never be working with.” – Shannon
“More than 1 hardcore day of 5 interviews is excessive, it wastes my time, and is extremely redundant. It also shows me you guys don’t talk to each other and so don’t share information…very frustrating!” – Ajay
“Changing hiring road maps. When you believe you’ve completed the process, or know which steps are ahead, but suddenly there’s “We’d like you to meet with Bob, but he’s on vacation for 3 weeks.” – Justin
Matt also suggests an empowering option for candidates in the interview process…
“It would be awesome if after some initial screening you could see the org chart and identify interviewers you’d like to add to the schedule.” – Matt
At a higher level, Anita calls for more realism at the intake stage, and when the role is being scoped and put together.
“Maybe because I am in Marketing, there is frequently the situation where they squeeze 3-4 jobs into a single role & then want to lowball you. We are constantly treated as second-class citizens in tech, when in fact, our jobs are increasingly tech-driven and require a great amount of skill.” – Anita
“Oh man… I get this. “we need content creation, graphic designer, social media manager, and digital asset manager…” – John
And remember, it’s not all about the resume.
“Trying to get people to look for potential and qualities instead of whether you’ve done the same role elsewhere.” – Kunal
At the end of the day, Furheen summed it up best, having had experience on both sides of the equation.
“Probably different for all companies but definitely true of start up environments I’ve been a part of – Tesla, LinkedIn, Sonos. Sometimes we are flying the plane while building it so while it isn’t always convenient, we don’t mean to throw a wrench in the process. For me, interviewing is the most important responsibility in any managers role and buy-in across the board is incredibly important – the company will grow and change and there is potential for this person to interact with various groups throughout their career.
Plus, I look at it as an advantage, I’m interviewing the company as much as they are interviewing me so I would welcome meeting with more people to ensure its the next best step for me personally and professionally. A top notch candidate experience whether short or long process, rests on excellent communication between hiring manager / management / candidate / recruiter on the front end.” – Furheen.