All Your Candidate EX Questions Answered

By Sara Pollock

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We’re currently facing a candidate-driven market, which has made the candidate experience more important than ever. Companies are taking note that a positive recruiting process attracts the A Players your company is searching for. We know that the candidate experience isn’t cut and dry. For that reason, we’ve listened to your frequently asked questions and have prepared answers gleaned from the expertise of our thousands of clients.

At what point does the candidate experience begin?

This question can be tricky to answer as experts in Human Resources tend to have a different opinion of the “official” starting point of the candidate experience. Some will tell you that this experience begins with their first interaction with the company, while others believe that the candidate experience starts when a candidate fills out an application. The hard fact is…there is technically no right or wrong answer to this pressing question.

Most experts, however, will agree that a company’s brand does play into a candidate’s choice to apply. Is your company’s brand quirky and off the wall? Your business will likely be noticing more applications from creative go-getters than a company who has a reputation of being sleek and by the books. And thus, the candidate experience is born at company awareness.

When does the candidate experience end?

Although experts draw a blurred line for the beginning of the candidate experience, there is a more defined ending point. A candidate turns into an employee on their first day in their new position. The onboarding process acts as a transition time from the candidate experience to the Employee Experience.

What do candidates really want from the candidate experience?

Although the candidate experience at Zappos will be very different from the candidate experience at Apple, candidates for both companies have basic expectations that all companies should address from the beginning of the recruitment process.

  • Communication: What platform(s) will communication be coming through? How quickly are responses needed?
  • Presumptions: What do applicants anticipate during the recruitment process? What would be expected of them if they were offered the job? What overarching expectations does the company have for all candidates? When do you anticipate to fill this role? On the other hand, what can they expect to gain from this recruitment process?
  • Transparency: What is it honestly like to work for your company? Where does their application stand?

Is structure important, or should each experience be customized to the individual?

A structured process is crucial to the candidate experience. Each applicant for a role should go through the same application process, receive communication in the same manner and be asked the same questions during the interview. This will not only help you choose between candidates on a fair playing field, but will also give you the opportunity to evaluate which aspects of your candidate experience are working wonders and which aspects could use a second look.

Is there really a difference between candidate experience and the Employee Experience?

Although similar, the major differentiator between candidate experience and Employee Experience is where they stand in the Talent Management process. You should aim to have a seamless and timely candidate experience that highlights why an individual should choose to work for your company. The Employee Experience, on the other hand, should focus on employee and success, team building and development. Each of these is important to keep your candidates and employees engaged and excited about the company.

Although aspects of the candidate experience remain up to interpretation, there is one undeniable fact that all HR thought leaders can agree upon — the candidate experience matters. Be sure to evaluate your experience to see what pain points your candidates may be having.

About Sara Pollock:    
As the head of the Marketing department, Sara makes sure that ClearCompany’s message, products and best practices reach and assist as many HR practitioners as possible.

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