5 tips for delivering an inclusive candidate experience

Building accessibility and inclusivity into your hiring process requires careful consideration of the candidate’s perspective.

To fully optimize the candidate experience at your organization, it must be inclusive and accessible. When everyone has a fair shot at the open positions within your organization, everyone wins. Hiring managers can find the person who is the best fit for the job and candidates get a less stressful experience.

Building accessibility and inclusivity into your hiring process requires careful consideration of the candidate's perspective. Hiring managers need to be able to empathize with candidates before they can make meaningful changes to their processes. Here are five tips to get started:

1. Ensure your application process is accessible

A negative candidate experience carries risk: Qualified individuals may get frustrated and never finish their application, and they may share their feelings with other potential candidates. The first step in ensuring a positive candidate experience is to make it accessible to all.

According to a survey conducted by the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology, 46 percent of job seekers say their last experience applying for a job online was difficult to impossible. HR leaders should audit their online application process to determine if it adequately meets accessibility standards.

2. Use storytelling to empathize with candidates

Accessibility and inclusivity challenges often arise because internal stakeholders don't have an accurate picture of the candidate perspective. To solve this issue, Airbnb enlisted an artist to visualize every step of the application process. Stakeholders then reviewed this storyboard and brainstormed ideas to create a more empathetic experience.

Any organization can use this method to better understand how candidates interact with the company at each stage of the hiring process. Stakeholders can examine every step individually and zoom out to see the holistic picture.

Gender-neutral language can attract a wider selection of talent.

3. Use inclusive language in job descriptions

Job descriptions are often the first thing candidates see when they begin their journey with your organization. If the language used throughout the job description is skewed toward one gender - even if the decision was an unconscious one - it can drive away individuals who don't identify with that language.

According to the LinkedIn Talent Blog, gender-coded words like "rockstar" and "dominate" can turn away female job seekers. Using gender-neutral language that simply describes the position is always better. For instance, "sales representative" is a better choice than "growth hacker."

4. Help interviewees feel less anxious

According to a LinkedIn Talent Trends report, 83% of job seekers say that a negative interview experience can change their mind about a company they once liked. Therefore, it's important to make candidates feel comfortable during interviews. Remember that the process is highly stressful for candidates and try to reduce some of that anxiety before the conversation.

"The interview process can make candidates feel like they're on an assembly line," says Huy Pham, Recruiting Manager for Beacon Hill's Technologies Division in Denver. "In order to break the monotony, as well as make candidates feel more comfortable, hiring managers can switch up the typical procedure by doing things like taking the candidate on a quick tour, introducing them to others in the office, and/or taking them to the kitchen and offering a beverage. This tactic may help ease the candidate's tension, as it gives them the opportunity to observe how people interact, as well as takes them away from the pressure cooker of the interview room."

Additionally, hiring managers can send out an interview itinerary and sample questions ahead of the interview. This will help candidates feel more relaxed and prepared to answer questions with confidence.

5. Build inclusivity into your hiring policies

Once internal stakeholders know what their ideal candidate experience looks like, it's time to put that plan into writing. By building inclusivity into workplace policies and standards, there will be a formal process for ensuring all candidates are treated equally. This will go a long way toward creating a workplace culture that extends respect to all employees.

Creating an inclusive and accessible candidate experience requires careful consideration and strategic use of HR resources. A helping hand from a professional recruiter can ensure your organization has the tools it needs to attract and retain top talent. To learn more, connect with an expert consultant from Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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