Which channels deliver the best candidate experience?

Positive candidate experiences have several commonalities, including transparent communication, frequent interactions, and streamlined application processes.

Candidate experience is impacted by many factors, including response times, the complexity of application materials and the accuracy of job descriptions. The channels in which candidates interact with recruiters can also affect how they feel about the process in general.

Positive candidate experiences have several commonalities, including transparent communication, frequent interactions, and streamlined application processes. These channels can offer productive candidate experiences that benefit both job seekers and hiring managers:

Employee referrals

Candidates who are referred by current employees are often preferred by recruiters because these individuals tend to be qualified for the roles they apply to. Additionally, referred candidates come directly to the application process with little to no initial resource cost. But how does this channel appeal to the candidates themselves?

According to ERE Media, referrals represent the channel with the fastest time-to-fill rate. On average, referrals spend 29 days in the pipeline, compared with 39 days for candidates sourced from job boards. Additionally, HR Technologist reported that referrals tend to have higher retention rates than non-referrals.

"The goal as your organization grows is that your referral network will become deeper and more sophisticated," says Dr. Jim Kanichirayil, Division Manager of Beacon Hill's Technologies Division In Milwaukee. "While our team is still effectively a start-up, I've built from day one with this in mind. I want my candidate pipeline driven through referrals and database mining, because a strong referral network is the best source for qualified talent. It's also an indicator that we're doing this thing right – that the relationship we have built with our candidates is more than just transactional. When we first meet with candidates, we always ask them what their perfect scenario would be. We do this not only to find the right fit for now, but to also demonstrate that we are committed to helping them throughout their careers. After all, if a candidate doesn't trust me enough with their own career, why would they refer a friend or family member? Building trust is essential."

Community outreach

The internet has certainly made it easier for job hunters to find and apply to positions, but it has also removed some of the human interaction that contributes to positive experiences. Lack of human interaction can make the application process seem sterile and unappealing. If the process doesn't give candidates an accurate idea of what it would be like to work with the company, job seekers may become disengaged.

Taking the candidate search offline and into the local community can add a humanizing element that is easier to engage with. For example, setting up a table at a career fair can provide opportunities to speak with candidates face-to-face and answer any questions that arise at the beginning of the application process.

Face-to-face interactions add a humanizing element to the job search process.

Candidate rediscovery

Applicant tracking systems are often full of previous candidates who weren't the right fit for open positions in the past, but who may be qualified for new positions. The ability to dive back into an ATS and identify qualified candidates not only makes the job easier for recruiters but also benefits job seekers.

Keeping in contact with candidates even after a position has been filled can make them feel valued. Recruiters can reach out to candidates to learn about how their job search has gone. This may uncover new opportunities for hiring talented individuals who have already gone through the initial screening process.

Internal recruitment

Internal recruitment efforts have a high potential for producing a positive candidate experience for several reasons. Hiring managers are less concerned with knowledge gaps, because they have already seen the candidate in action, as well as have access to a wealth of feedback from other employees. Also, regardless of technical acumen, some candidates may fail to mesh with the culture of the organization – with internal candidates, this is less of a concern because they have already had experience within the organization. Finally, internal recruitment portends an extra level of engagement and increased retention, as both sides are investing in each other after already having worked together. Internal recruitment does, however, come with one potential downside recruiting externally does not – the office politics involved if an internal hire is moving from one department to another. However, this concern can be mitigated with proper planning, foresight, and keeping all sides involved in the process.

Professional staffing agency

By partnering with a staffing agency, companies not only gain access to a larger pool of qualified talent, but also to the expertise of the recruiters themselves. Consultants can help business leaders identify processes and policies that can improve retention rates and the candidate experience as a whole. With this advice, hiring managers can continually improve processes to reach their recruitment goals.

The talent you hire directly impacts every other aspect of your business. To learn more about optimizing candidate sourcing at your organization, speak with an expert consultant from Beacon Hill Staffing Group today.

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