The Method of Building a Great Candidate Experience

Recruiting isn’t as simple as some people like to think it is or what occurs in the day to day life of a corporate recruiter.

Our panelist, Cara Schaeffer from BuzzFeed, discusses some of the misconceptions and misunderstandings about recruiting that they have come across in their careers.


“What’s the difference between a great candidate experience and a deep, cohesive employer brand? Nothing.” – Meghan Biro

Finding the perfect candidate for a specific rec you’re trying to fill can sometimes feel like a Game of Thrones winter: never-ending. How can you ensure that you are filling your pipeline with your ideal candidates every day? High quality candidates are the lifeblood of the recruiting industry, and providing a great candidate experience for them can help your company thrive in any business climate-especially today’s.

Join a senior recruiting panelist from BuzzFeed for an in depth look at how to create a great candidate experience using many of the tools and channels you’re already familiar with, as well as new tips and tricks that promise to enhance your daily routine and interactions with your best candidates.

Read on to learn how to cultivate loyal and happy candidates who will predictably enhance your pipeline and improve your team and company’s overall effectiveness, success and “street cred.”

Relationships are key
Candidates are human, and you never know when a “magical unicorn” candidate (or a herd!) might show up in your pipeline. Creating an elevated experience for these special candidates based on mutual trust and understanding helps you bond and engenders loyalty while strengthening your candidate relationships. Learn how providing a seamless experience for them will ensure you are the recruiter they want to work with, and not a competitor. Hint: open and frequent communication will enhance any important relationship.

Communicate often
As we all know, candidates hate the “waiting game,” and it can be an emotional roller coaster for them.  How often are you communicating with them? Weekly? Daily? Discover key ways to provide valuable support for them, both career oriented and emotional that not only creates a great candidate experience, but can ensure your rock star candidates will continue to work with you and your team, even if the rec wasn’t an ideal fit this time. Be as clear as possible throughout the process and prepare them for what opportunities potentially come next.

Be empathetic
These are difficult times, and it’s even more important to be available to answer candidates’ questions in a timely manner, as well as build commonality with them. Investing a few minutes of your time to learn you both went to the same university or enjoy similar music can create a strong bond and humanizes the process, while solidifying that relationship. And if you have to deliver bad news, discover how the impact of a well-placed phone call to a strong candidate can pad your pipeline. You never know what role they may be perfect for down the road and cementing that relationship is paramount.

Provide interview training and strong feedback
Seize the opportunity to provide crucial candidate coaching and preparation for interviews. Share best practices and any specialized knowledge about the role. This extra effort will help them-and ultimately your team-succeed.

Avoid an avalanche of follow-up emails from candidates. Save time by providing constructive feedback in the moment-don’t wait for them to reach back out to you. Be specific with a strong candidate; help to coach them on what they did well and what could be improved upon going forward. Consider sending candidate surveys to all candidates to distill what is working and what needs to be honed within your process. Taking your time to understand and mine the survey data captured will help provide a great candidate experience in the future.

Continue the good experience for (and learn from) your new hires
Check in with new hires as early as day one, and as often as you like. This will be your opportunity to find out more detail about how their hiring experience went, what expectations were set (and are or aren’t being met), and how their new employee and onboarding experience are going.

Tools of the trade
Your HR tools should always help you be communicative and personalize all stages of the candidate experience. Some systems you may already use, and there are often easy, inexpensive add-ons available to optimize daily tasks.

Learn the importance of keeping up to speed with software and technology. We live in the digital age and staying current with digital interviewing tools and other solutions (like Boomerang and Donut Slack) will help accelerate your process and cutting-edge platforms will resonate with younger candidates. Don’t forget the power of texting in today’s world!

The best digital reference check tool
Harver Reference can help you automate your outdated reference checking process and step into the digital age. You can start a reference check on a candidate in less than two minutes, and allow your candidate to self-manage the request queue. They can even utilize text messages to gather their reference feedback. Candidates love the easy-to-navigate digital experience, and you’ll get more reference feedback faster than ever before.

Together we can offer a great candidate experience for all of our rock stars and magical unicorns!

Harver Team

Harver Team

Posted on:
July 17, 2023

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