Have you ever gone to a nice restaurant and wondered how you could align your candidate experience with their top notch customer experience? We have. So we asked Chris Mulhall, former VP Talent & Organizational Effectiveness at PointClickCare what he did to achieve this. “I realized when out to a much needed dinner with my wife that she always asked the servers what they would recommend,” says Mulhall. “The server nailed what she was looking for every time, so I asked myself — is there a way to apply this approach to our candidate experience?”
The answer is yes. Here’s how Mulhall turned the interview process at PointClickCare into one that feels like that of fine dining — and how you can, too.
1. Create a pre-interview correspondence template
A pre-interview email can go a long way to ensuring the interview is productive on both sides. After all, interviewing is a two-way street. Setting up candidates for success before they arrive doesn’t just make their life easier, it also saves your team time.
“First, you’ll want to cover a lot of logistical and tactical things in the beginning,” says Mulhall. “All that pre-interview anxiety that a lot of candidates go through — try to get ahead of it and let them know that you’re on their side throughout the process.”
Important details to include in your pre-interview email might be:
- Where to park or login details for a Zoom
- Who they’ll be meeting with, for how long and any details about their role at the company
- What the team culture is like
- The stages of the interview or basic comp details (if applicable)
- Questions to think about in advance to meeting and any material they’ll need to prepare
2. Make a candidate experience “What to Expect” video
This second thing to include in your pre-interview correspondence email is a video. Creating a video helps give candidate a visual of what it’s actually like to go through the first day, which is even more important if the company is working remotely. You’ll also want to point them to both good and bad reviews on Glassdoor to help ensure they come prepared with any questions about your company culture as well.
“The main goal here in the what to expect video and resources is to ensure they will be happy working at the company day in and day out. The more information you can give them to make that decision the better,” says Mulhall.
Tip: LeverTRM makes it easy to preload all these different correspondence templates and choose the one that’s right for you. You can store communication templates and automate them to send in bulk. This is especially helpful when you have multiple candidates applying for the same role.
3. Prepare your candidates AND your interviewers
On one hand, you’re encouraging candidates to go on Glassdoor and read some reviews, while on the other hand, you need to ensure that interviewers are ready to handle any questions that the candidate might have when they come in.
“You might want to create a ‘how to handle Glassdoor review questions’ guide,” says Mulhall. This ensures that if candidates ask about the work/life balance or performance management or culture, that interviewees are prepared with their response. Just like the waiter was prepared to handle questions about the menu, you’ll want to ensure your employees can give their firsthand experience and shine a good light on your company.
4. Share regular updates where candidates stand in the process
If your dinner is delayed, or multiple people are deliberating on perfect execution in the kitchen — you would want to know. Your candidates are no different.
“At PointClickCare, that’s a really important step because if I look at the high volume roles, 20% to 25% of our hires come from candidates that have reapplied to the opportunity.” This low percentage shows that those that did not come back weren’t happy with their experience. It was clear that candidates wanted to know where they stand even if there wasn’t much of an update to share.
5. Implement “Followup Fridays” to reach out to silver-medal candidates
PointClickCare created the initiative called Followup Fridays, so that any candidate that was still in play in the recruitment process heading into the weekend would receive a touchpoint from the recruiter.
“What’s nice about it is if you have multiple candidates at the same status for the same req, you could send them all out in bulk to all the candidates at that same status,” says Mulhall.
6. Give actionable feedback to candidates in decline emails
So what are candidates looking for if and when they don’t get the position? “A candidate survey benchmark result, which surveyed nearly 200,000 candidates, noted that when candidates received job specific feedback, when they get declined, either at the interview or the prescreen stage, their rating of it being a great experience increases by 20%,” says Mulhall. And that can go a really long way if you think about the impact to your Glassdoor scores and your employer brand as a whole.
At PointClickCare, they saw it as an opportunity for the company to do better (and better than their talent competitors) and figure out a way to give really meaningful and heartfelt feedback to candidates when they decline them.
“The first paragraph is pretty straightforward with the, hey, thanks for applying to PointClickCare,” says Mulhall. “But it’s what comes next that matters most. The next paragraph we talk about the fact that unfortunately, they’re not the successful candidate for the job. And the key is to give some specific feedback: What they did really well, some of their strengths that they can continue to develop and exploit, and of course some of the areas where they fell short.”
“One of the great things about Lever is all the correspondences are housed in the system so if they do reapply, and it’s a different recruiter the next time around they can say, oh, I noticed that when we gave you feedback last year we talked about developing your skills in X, Y and Z,” says Mulhall. “You can ask questions specific to what have you been doing over the last year to continue to develop in those areas. It also shows candidates that you’ve taken that feedback to heart.”
7. Measure metrics to track your progress
Implementing specific metrics has helped PointClickCare see a reduction in new hire turnover rates year over year over year. Also, giving a realistic preview has helped candidates decide if they want to opt in or self select out before taking the job.
Some good metrics to track when it comes to candidate experience include:
- New hire turnover rates
- The recruiting budget / role
- Employee referrals
- Recruiter efficiency
“We run a really lean recruitment marketing budget, so we rely on our employees to really act as brand ambassadors for the company,” says Mulhall. PointClickCare relies a lot on driving referrals within their network. And it’s so much easier to drive top of the funnel lead generation if people know others within that have had a really great candidate experience.
Interestingly, PointClickCare’s candidate experience initiatives have actually improved recruiter efficiency. Friday Followups have given more consistency to the process. On the phone screen with a candidate, recruiters now mention that they’ll touch base on Friday. There’s less clutter coming into the recruiter’s inbox from candidates looking for a status update on Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday because they know they’re going to receive an update on Friday as far as where things stand. It also ensures recruiters focus on other tasks and block time Friday to dedicate to this.
Final Thoughts: A candidate experience that feels like the fine dining
“The first thing to do is figure out what your 80/20 will be,” says Mulhall. “You can’t do everything and need to determine what key things will help you stand out in comparison to your talent competitors. Second, figure out how to scale those candidate experience initiatives. So this is where you can look at how do you leverage technology to make a meaningful difference. For us, it’s been really easy with LeverTRM to automate a lot of our correspondence and templates. And third, speaking of recruiters, none of this is feasible without the support and buy in of your recruiters. So when you’re interviewing recruiters, spend a lot of time interviewing them and asking about their perspectives on candidate experience and the initiatives they would put in place.”
To see Chris Mulhall’s session at RallyFwd where he presented all these learnings, access the full 25-minute session here!
PointClickCare is a software platform in the senior care industry. They create electronic health records, software for nursing homes, retirement homes, and home care agencies. They are headquartered just outside of Toronto, and have about 1,500 employees. PointClickCare hires around 500 employees per year, mostly in software development, customer operations, and sales roles.