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5 Steps To Create A Remote-First Candidate Experience In Recruitment

Steps to create candidate experience

This article has been updated on April 7th, 2023.


The pandemic-led era opened an entirely different world to us: tech companies transitioned to working on-site to working remotely.

With this came the shift in hiring processes too. While it’s been exciting for candidates to get hired virtually, it’s an ongoing battle for tech companies to create an engaging, remote-first candidate experience.

Companies like Docusign and Twilio have created an interactive virtual candidate experience for their candidates and so can you.

Wondering how? Well, this article will breakdown the 5 steps you need to take to create an interactive virtual candidate experience.

Keep reading.

What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience refers to how candidates feel about your company once they’ve been through the wringer, in terms of your hiring process. And these candidate ‘feelings’, whether good, bad or ugly, influence candidates in their decision to apply to your company or accept your job offer.

A good candidate experience will encourage candidates to think about working for your company after they see how you treat them. A better candidate experience might make them want to spread goodwill about your company, helping build up your brand.

A twitter user talking about how valuable a candidate is

Source

On the other hand, a bad candidate experience will make candidates lose respect for you, both as an employer and as a brand.

Why is a positive candidate experience important?

Probably, there shouldn’t be the ‘why’ for developing a positive candidate experience. Like your company wants to serve your customers better for them to turn into repeat buyers, you need to develop a positive candidate experience for the following reasons:

Attract and recruit better talent

A lengthy and complicated recruitment process results in higher attrition, with candidates dropping off midway due to poor experience. A strong candidate experience strategy identifies such gaps and helps you tweak the process to ensure more talented candidates stick it out till the end. Now you have a bigger and better talent pool to choose from.


Recommended Read: Ultimate Playbook for Better Tech Hiring


Improves your company’s bottom line

A stronger candidate experience is a direct reflection of how streamlined your hiring is. Investing in creating a positive candidate experience adds a lot more to the bottom line than all the other resources that you invest in your hiring process.

Enhances your employer brand

Your employer branding, especially in 2021, is directly related to candidate experience. Bad reviews on social media and Glassdoor will adversely affect hiring new talent, with newer candidates becoming discouraged from applying for a position at your company. If you want to hire the best candidates in the market, you have to take special care of them at every step in the hiring process.

The impact of bad candidate experience

63% of job seekers will likely reject a job offer because of a bad candidate experience, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. Be it through social media, word of mouth, or employer review sites, any negative connotations associated with your organization will spread like wildfire and it can be hard to discourage or control.

You check multiple reviews of a restaurant before ordering food from that place. How many reviews would a candidate go through before deciding not to work with your company?

One review of a negative experience is enough to create a far-reaching ripple effect; top talent will be deterred from applying for your company, candidates will drop off midway through the application process, or getting candidates to say yes to your offer letter becomes harder than it should be. This directly leads to a decline in profitability.


Recommended read: 5 Reasons For Bad Candidate Experience In Tech Interviews


5 steps to improve candidate interview experience

Good candidate experience is a package. It starts right from the time a candidate applies to your organization up until the candidate accepts your offer letter. How to improve candidate experience in recruitment?

Here are 5 steps you can take to get your candidate experience from good to great in recruitment.

How to create a remote-friendly candidate experience

Step #1—Understand the candidate journey better

A candidate’s journey starts right from the point they start looking for a job. But how are they going to land to your advertised role, apply for it, and most of all—how are you going to keep them engaged through the entire cycle?

You see? Candidate journey is a multi-step process which includes:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Interest
  • Application
  • Selection
  • Hire
  • Onboarding

If we break down these steps into a basic cycle, here’s what it looks like:

Alex, a Front-end Developer is looking for a new role. He gets to know about HackerEarth hiring for the Front-end Developer role from one of his colleagues; scrolls through the company’s website, their social media, and their Glassdoor reviews.

He is interested in working with the company. So, he fills out the job application.

This is the pre-selection phase. Now, the role of the organization comes into play to make the candidate’s experience positive and nurturing.

The company sends the email to Alex about his selection and what the next selection steps would look like. He has to complete an assessment—the first qualification step in his selection criteria.

Once Alex submits his assessment, the recruiter emails him about the next steps that will take place in both the scenarios—whether he gets selected or not.

Case 1: Alex gets selected

Alex will receive an email invite to join the Facecode’s call where the HRs will ask him their questions, and give live feedback on the code he submitted in his assessment.

Case 2: Alex does not get selected

If Alex fails to pass the assessment, he will receive the email from recruiter about his application not moving forward.

In both the cases, Alex knows he’ll not be left hanging in the middle of the process—and that’s a relief!

Step #2—Master the basic remote interview etiquette

#1 Use online skill assessment tools as the first step of your remote interview process to screen candidates from a high volume of applicants. This cuts down the actual number who progress to the video interview stage, allowing you to spend more time on creating a better candidate experience.

#2 Be accessible to your candidate. With everything operating remotely they will be bound to have plenty of questions, and they need to feel connected to you. Keep them engaged with personalized communication like sending them emails with pointers on what equipment they will need for the interview, and how to create a distraction-free environment.

#3 Send candidates useful resources to help prepare for their interview. Give them references of questions they might be asked, and other similar tips.


Recommended read: Essential Questions To Ask When Recruiting Developers


Step #3—Showcase company culture

A successful recruitment process builds excitement about working for your company. It highlights company culture, values, mission and gives a glimpse into a candidate’s future work environment. 

While it’s often easier to show them your company’s culture in person, it’s limited in the remote setup. Here’s what you can do instead:

  • Show them the fun team building activities your company does to keep the entire team bonded.
  • Show them instances of how the managers interact and take care of their team members.
  • Set up informal video calls with the rest of the team for the candidate to get a sense of who they’ll be working with.

Step #4—Don’t leave candidates hanging

In a remote setting, regular communication is key. Set expectations on:

  • How and when you will communicate?
  • What the interview process will be?
  • How long it will take?

Describe each stage of the remote interview along with what tools you will be using. Proactively communicating changes to your hiring process and any hiring delays will help avoid confusion and improve the candidate experience.

How to follow up with candidates after interviewing them

Source

Lack of feedback post interview is a major peeve of candidates as stated by 40% of the respondents of HackerEarth’s Developer Survey 2021. Send out timely feedback after each phase of the process.

And if the candidate was not selected for the role, that needs to be communicated too. Ghosting candidates as a form of rejection is an absolute NO. Tell them what they did well and give actionable tips on how to do better the next time. Candidates will appreciate that you took the time out to inform them personally.


Recommended read: How You Can Leverage Candidate Experience To Attract Top Talent


Step #5—Use remote interviewing tools

When you integrate intelligent remote interviewing tools into your hiring process, it’s easy for hiring managers in all departments and locations to replicate the same experience for each candidate, ensuring consistency.

For example, use collaborative coding tools for your developer candidates like FaceCode to see the candidate’s code in-action, give them live updates, send automated summaries and recordings.

Reinvent your remote candidate experience

Candidates and recruiters alike are dealing with unprecedented circumstances and anxieties that were unimaginable just over a year ago. A rethink in your remote hiring process to provide candidates a favorable experience is necessary at this point. Doing so, you showcase them the value of empathy.

There’s no time like the present to fight the good fight! Invest in candidate-first practices to create a positive candidate experience that is rivaled by none and most importantly, stay empathetic.

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