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4 Mistakes that Hurt the Candidate Experience

In a world where you can order anything you want online in just a few clicks, get personalized recommendations from your streaming services, and see ads in your social feeds tailored to your interests, a disjointed candidate experience is a surefire way to make a bad impression.

Technology, big data, and automation have transformed the way people interact with brands. And now, they expect those seamless experiences from the business world, too. The good news is, how you treat candidates from application to first day is a big opportunity to differentiate your company as an employer — and show top talent that you’re serious about hiring the best.

So what’s the secret to building better candidate experiences? We teamed up with BambooHR to list out the top mistakes recruiters make that hurt the candidate experience. Some of them are quick repairs, some require a bit more planning to put into action, but all of them are key.

Here are four of those big blunders that hurt the candidate experience — and how to fix them:

Mistake #1: Moving too slow

Today’s candidate pool is talented, tech savvy, and well-informed. They do their homework on the companies they’re interested in, tapping their networks to see what they think and reading peer accounts on reviews sites. They also have high expectations for the candidate experience.

Top talent hates to wait — but being kept in the dark about their status is even worse. So how can you strike the right balance between taking enough time to screen your candidates while managing expectations, without taking so long as to lose out on the best applicants?

The fix: More efficient processes

No matter how long your current process has been in place, it’s never too late to identify bottlenecks and address them. Recruiters who put efficient processes in place are able to make offers efficiently, while ensuring they’re making good hires.

Three ways to locate inefficiencies in your hiring process:

  1. Look at interview feedback from surveys and reviews sites to discover pain points
  2. Pull reports on how long it takes to move candidates through your process
  3. Make it easier for hiring managers to send offers with the right recruiting software

#2: Rushing job descriptions

Accurate job descriptions save time. That’s because clear and concise descriptions attract better quality candidates — which means fewer hours screening resumes once applications start coming in. It’s tempting to just get something up, especially if the req is urgent, but don’t.

Here’s why: Rushing the job description, or using a generic one from previous postings, might feel efficient up front in your process, but doing so will have you paying a price later down the road. So what process tweak do you need to make to avoid this big mistake?

The fix: Collaborate with your hiring managers

The truth is, hiring managers are often too busy to slow down and think about what kind of candidate they need. You can help them hone in on what the description should say by sitting down with them and getting into what the ideal candidate realistically looks like.

Five things to establish with your hiring managers when creating job descriptions:

  1. What the person who fills this role will do most of their time
  2. What tasks they will learn after being hired (vs. what they should already know)
  3. How their success will be measured
  4. How much experience they need

#3: Using the same list of interview questions

While it’s important to stay consistent throughout the interview experience, it can be exhausting for candidates to hear the same interview questions over and over from different hiring managers. It wastes their time and your team’s time, and makes you look disorganized.

Ensuring that a candidate is the right person for any role or team is the most important task for everyone involved in the hiring process. But once again, just like job descriptions, it largely falls on the HR and recruiting teams to make sure interviewers are prepared with what they need.

The fix: Create a playbook for each hire

It’s easier to provide a positive experience for candidates when you have formal documentation in place about your process for interviewers to reference. A playbook outlines the questions each hiring manager should ask, the timeline for feedback, and any other important details.

Three resources to check out when preparing interview questions by role:

  1. Phone Interview Questions to Ask
  2. Executive Interview Questions
  3. Competency Based Interview Questions

#4: Sending generic emails

Ever received a generic outreach message from a recruiter that was so impersonal and bland, it was almost insulting? These kinds of emails are boring to read — and make people feel like they’re just a number, not a human being with interests, skills, and experiences.

Personalization can take your email response rates from okay to stellar, especially when part of a nurture email series over time. In fact, talent teams who use Lever Nurture achieve a 41.6% response rate to their emails. That’s a far cry from the industry average click rate of 1.8%.

Three ways to use personalization to get the response:

  1. Research the candidate you’re emailing to tailor your emails
  2. Go beyond using their first name in the subject line or salutation
  3. Call out specific challenges they’ll get to work on in the role

How to nail the candidate experience

These are just some of the major ways recruiters can scare off talent from their organizations through a disjointed or clunky hiring process. Discover the remaining six in our new eBook with BambooHR, 10 Big Mistakes Recruiters Make that Hurt the Candidate Experience!