Q&A: How to create a winning candidate experience

Following on from our previous smart recruitment Q&A with recruitment software company BidRecruit where we spoke on the latest recruitment trends and tips for HR & Hiring managers considering investing in HR software, we caught up once again with Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager of BidRecruit.

Today’s Q&A focuses on one of the biggest trends in recruitment, Candidate Experience, and it’s importance during the recruitment process and beyond.

Question 1: What is candidate experience?

Candidate experience is defined as how job seekers perceive and react to employers’ processes during the hiring journey, including initial exposure to your employer brand to the interview process regardless of the outcome. As we spoke about previously, it has become an increasingly important trend due to review platforms like Glassdoor becoming more widely used and regarded. In fact, a LinkedIn survey found 72% of candidates have shared their experience on online employer review sites, therefore companies have to ensure candidates have a positive experience irrespective of their hiring success. According to Career Builder, 78% say the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people. What’s worth remembering is, while people might talk about good candidate experiences, they will more likely talk about negative candidate experiences. So it’s worthwhile investing in processes and best practice to create a great candidate experience for all.

Question 2: Where is the best place to start when improving candidate experience?

We would first suggest reviewing your job descriptions and application process. According to Recruiting Brief, 60% of job seekers report they have quit an application due to its length or complexity. Take the time to speak with the department hiring manager to properly establish what is required and the skills, both hard and soft, they are looking to add to their team. Make sure to relay company culture and values in the job description to help attract the right culture fit, something that is key to employee engagement and retention. Next, review your application process and the number of steps needed to apply. Having to create an extensive profile and answer numerous questions that don’t relate to the position will inevitably result in drop-offs. This shouldn’t be seen as a lack of intent by candidates, in fact, candidates will see this as a lack of investment by the company to find the right candidates by creating a time-intensive process and a negative candidate experience. No two jobs are the same and the application process should reflect this, making it as straight forward as possible for candidates to apply.

Question 3: So you’ve improved your application process and you have a huge stack of CVs, what’s next?

The biggest issue surrounding candidate experience is a lack of communication during the process, with 65% of job seekers saying they never or rarely receive notice of their application status, according to Lever. As we stated previously, HR Managers state that recruitment is 25% of their job but takes up 95% of their time. When you are recruiting for numerous positions and receiving numerous CVs for each position, it’s understandable that you can’t get back to every individual with individual emails, you are only human! That’s why technology and automation is the best solution to overcome this and improve the candidate experience. Automation software allows you to communicate quickly and easily to groups of people with relevant feedback. Automation software also allows you to streamline and bring candidates through the process efficiently with constant communication, allowing you to focus on the human element of the candidate experience, the interviewing stages.

Question 4: What are your tops tips for the interview stages to improve candidate experience?

With 74% of employers saying they hired the wrong person for a position, according to a recent Career Builder survey, preparation is key. Read the candidate’s CV, research them online, prepare job description & company relevant questions along with questions directly relating to the candidate and their experience. With an increased focus on company culture and employee engagement, candidates now more than ever want an interview that is a two-way street. In an interview, both the interviewer and candidate are trying to sell each other. While the candidates are selling their skills, experience and personal fit, the interviewer needs to be actively selling the company. Finally, remember that the little things go a long away when interviewing; informing reception of incoming candidates for an interview so they receive a warm welcome, offering a drink upon arrival and establishing a relaxed atmosphere can differentiate you from the competition in terms of candidate experience.

Make sure to check out the BidRecruit blog for more tips and advice on ways to improve the candidate experience and all things smart recruitment. Join us next time where we will discuss why companies need to embrace social media when recruiting and tips on making the most of this to attract talent.

Interviewee:  

Susan Comyn, Marketing Manager @ BidRecruit

LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancomyn

About BidRecruit:

BidRecruit is A.I. driven recruitment software for HR & Hiring Managers to help you hire smarter.

More info:

www.bidrecruit.io

Connect:

LinkedIn

Facebook

Cultivating Purpose Through Recognition

Having a sense of purpose at work is a fundamental driver of motivation. Purpose (or lack thereof) has a direct and significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of employees. Furthermore, the millennial workforce is putting an increasing emphasis on their desire for meaningful work, with a recent Harvard Business Review article stating that 9 out of 10 employees would be willing to earn less money for more meaningful work. As the war for talent heightens, satisfying the personal objectives of talent by facilitating meaningful work will be key to business success across all industries. A challenge however, lies in the variance of perceived purpose associated with different jobs. For example, due to the nature of their work, a medical professional saving lives will likely have a greater internalised sense of purpose that an assembly line worker.  

For organisations, there is a need to develop comprehensive programmes which increase the meaningfulness of work for employees at every level. When the task itself does not inspire purpose, it is important to cultivate a sense of meaning through company practices and policies. One way to do this is through effectively utilising recognition programmes, coupling company values with peer and manager recognitions. Typically, employees who say they feel appreciated have greater job satisfaction and are less likely to leave their job than those who do not. Moreover, industry research has shown that companies which foster a culture of recognition outperform those that do not. Showing appreciation for individual contributions can help increase the perceived social worth among peers, enhancing the meaningfulness and value of work for employees.

There are certain criteria a recognition programme should satisfy in order to have the highest impact.  

  1. Leadership backing – this is a standard requirement for the success of any new programmes. Company leaders need to embody the behaviour they want to see, making a point of recognising contributions throughout the organisation. The culture needs to be right for a recognition programme to enhance the meaningfulness of work and this should be driven by senior management.
  2. Connect to company values – recognising behaviours which align to company values helps reinforce the overall business objective, reaffirming for employees how they should seek to contribute to the company.
  3. Make it personal and meaningful – relevance promotes interest and motivation. Provide guidelines for delivering meaningful recognitions. For example, Wrkit Recognition allows the recogniser to choose from a list of pre-set company values as determined by the organisation, choose the type of recognition i.e. well done or great job (these are also set by the organisation) and write a personal note to the person they are recognising.
  4. Publicise praise – sharing stories of success increases the affect on social worth, further allowing peers to verbally congratulate and recognise one another. Recognition software often includes a newsfeed style notice board which is great for global or remote teams.
  5. Socialise your celebrations –create social occasions to celebrate major business achievements. It is rare that business achievements are accomplished by one individual, make sure that all contributors or contributing departments are named and celebrated.

There are of course several internal and external factors which influence how meaningful an individual perceives their work to be. Beyond organisational level practices, managers play a key role in cultivating a sense of purpose within their team. By ensuring every employee knows precisely how their contributions impact the overall outcomes of the business (and/or positively impact society), by offering regular feedback, and by mentoring individuals to achieve their career goals managers can engender greater meaning for others.

Author: Sara Glynn – Marketing & Customer Success Manager @Wrkit

Wrkit specialise in the creation of better healthier working environments. The Wrkit platform connects global, remote and local teams through five modules; Surveys, Recognition, POWR, Learning and Savings.

Speak to an Engagement Specialist today – info@wrkit.com

References

https://hbr.org/2018/11/9-out-of-10-people-are-willing-to-earn-less-money-to-do-more-meaningful-work

https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2012/06/13/new-research-unlocks-the-secret-of-employee-recognition/#5946d4985276

Adam M. Grant. (2008). The Significance of Task Significance: Job Performance Effects, Relational, Mechanisms, and Boundary Conditions. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 93, 108-124

8 Tips To Create A Psychologically Safe Work Environment

Psychological safety describes people’s perceptions of the consequences of taking interpersonal risks in a particular context such as a workplace” Amy C. Edmondson

The phenomenon of psychological safety first appeared in organisational literature in the mid 60’s. A key researcher in the area, Edgar Schein believed that when individuals feel psychologically safe they are free to focus on collective goals and problem prevention rather than on self-protection. According to Amy Edmondson, a leading academic in the field, “organisational research has identified psychological safety as a critical factor in understanding phenomena such as voice, teamwork, team learning, and organisational learning.”

In 2015 Google published findings from their own research in the area. Following a four-year study looking at the dynamics which influence team performance (psychological safety, dependability, structure, meaning of work and impact) Google identified that Psychological Safety was by far the most influential dynamic affecting team performance. Furthermore, it was identified that those who were part of psychologically safe teams were less likely to leave Google.

The research tells us that psychologically safe environments yield better results, higher performance and greater revenue. With the bonus of reduced staff turnover, it is something which should be instilled in company culture at board level. Typically, in environments which are not felt to be psychologically safe team members will not be eager to share ideas, discuss problems or disagreements. When communication doesn’t flow freely there can often be a knock-on effect, employees can become disengaged, feel undervalued and will inevitably leave the organisation.

Improving the psychological safety of your team will have an immediate impact on employee experience and enable individuals to perform at their best. There are several ways a leader can improve the psychological safety of their team environment;

  1. Encourage Learning from Mistakes – it’s important for your team to know that they can make mistakes. Failures should be shared and learned from
  2. Admit Your Own Mistakes – it’s uncomfortable to say, “I messed up” but as a leader if you can admit to your own mistakes then your team will feel more comfortable doing the same
  3. Be Inclusive – in an increasingly diverse workforce including everyone is more important than ever. In team huddles and meetings ask people by name if they have any questions, feedback etc.
  4. Encourage Questions – no matter what stage a project is at encourage questions and appreciate those who are forthcoming with questions
  5. Ask Questions – the more questions you ask of your team the greater their involvement in find solutions.
  6. Be Open Minded – when you encourage people to share ideas and ask questions it is important to be open minded when you receive the feedback. Not everything has to be acted on but all ideas should be encouraged.
  7. Establish Accountability – People feel safe when they are confident about who is doing what
  8. Be Available – Always reiterate that you are there to help and support your team and your door is always open (if you have a door)

 

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing Manager @Wrkit