Your Candidate Experience Reflects Your Brand

By Sean Gordon

The Struggle Is Real…

Have you ever looked for the perfect candidate and come up with a list of shortcomings? It can be frustrating when you feel that your efforts are returning void and you just can’t find that candidate that is a perfect fit for your company.

With multiple outlets for job hunting, it has become more and more difficult to find that ‘right’ candidate. The upcoming generation of candidates are looking to break the paradigm of the candidate experience. A-players are demanding a better candidate experience from companies, and as a result, companies are slowly shifting the way they present the candidate experience to gain a competitive advantage in the industry.

What does this look like specifically for companies? It begins with asking if the candidate experience accurately reflects the brand of the organization. Candidates genuinely care about the culture of your company, and they want an authentic candidate experience so that they can see who you are and what you are about.    

What if companies treated their candidate experience in the same respect as they treat their customers. What perception would begin to form in what your brand looks like? Branding is a large component in how prospects, customers, and candidates alike view your company. For some, it may be the only representation of your company that they ever have. Companies like Chick-fil-A take pride in ensuring that their customers are satisfied throughout their entire dining experience. They are known for having exceptional customer service – it has become a characteristic of their brand.

Every day your company is telling a story. How your company is viewed will affect your ability to hire effectively and efficiently. Every organization desires to recruit the best talent, so a few questions to consider are: Does top talent want to work with your organization? What message does your brand send to those outside of your organization? What story are you telling your candidates, and what experience are you providing? Is it consistent with your company’s core identity?

Here are a few ways to impact your candidate experience and reflect your company’s brand throughout the hiring process:

Provide and define clear expectations throughout the entire process.

If your candidates feel like they are not valued, it can make or break the candidate experience, especially if they feel like they have been completely ghosted after displaying an initial interest in your company and the position they are applying for. The way that you communicate with your candidates can have a huge impact on their experience. Establish clear expectations throughout the entire process.

A few things you should let candidates know:

  • Approximately how long the application will take
  • The estimated time it takes to make a hiring decision
  • When you will no longer be accepting applications for the position
  • Who the candidate will be speaking with and when during the interview process

Listen to your candidates.

Providing your candidates with a voice during the process is extremely validating. Candidates want to feel heard. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, like responding to emails, providing a direct number to internal resources who can be contacted with questions, or providing follow-up emails after each step of the interview process.

Treat all potential candidates equally.

This is a big one! To provide an equal playing field, it is important that your hiring manager is consistent in the way that they ask questions to candidates. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:

  • Properly aligning job descriptions to the application and interviewing processes
  • Asking applicable questions during any assessments (if you ask irrelevant questions or ones that don’t align with the job description, it can be seen as unfair)
  • Ask relevant questions during the interviewing process with the hiring manager
  • Provide appropriate closure to ensure that you haven’t left them wondering

Don’t make excuses.

Let people know that you are appreciative of them applying to work for your organization. Follow up with a thank you for their application or with a simple response letting them know that they didn’t get the job. This isn’t only for them, but for you. Your brand and your company matter to you, so represent it well in how you engage candidates throughout the process. Be authentic and go the extra mile with candidates.

In short, tell a better story. Invite your candidates into a hiring journey where they feel valued and seen, even if they aren’t the right fit for your organization. Your brand speaks loudly, so the message that you send matters.

Want to take a deeper look into how brand storytelling impacts your candidate experience? We’ve got you covered!

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