I am sure that most people have had a fairly horrendous experience as a candidate at some stage in their career. The recruitment industry is famous for being one that views candidates purely as commodities. As someone that has worked with people both as clients and candidates I am well aware that this is a very shortsighted view to take. Give people a great experience as a candidate and they often come back to you when they are hiring.
A recruiter’s time is of course finite. You can’t spend all day on the phone to candidates as you would never have any jobs to put across to them.
Agencies can often receive upwards of 60-70 applications to a role. For in-house recruiters it is perhaps easier to use online application forms to help whittle the number of applications down but agencies are less able to use this approach. Candidates are less willing to answer application questions until they know who the client is. Internal recruiters are already dealing with candidates that are bought in to the name above the door.
Despite the fact that it is not practical to call 60-70 candidates to give them individual feedback, technology can help with a lot of the legwork. An email sent via your applicant tracking system (ATS) providing general reasons why people were not successful for a specific role is a good start. At Fetch we send these emails out but also offer feedback windows when candidates who want personal feedback can call in and speak to one of our recruiters. We actually don’t get huge volumes of calls but we make sure everyone gets the level of feedback that they want. Hopefully it is rare for for candidates to feel like their CV has gone into a black hole.
Providing a good candidate experience does not have to be an overly complicated process. Candidates want to have their application acknowledged - this can be done with a system generated email confirming their details have been received. They want to know as quickly as possible if they have been successful - again your ATS can help you manage this effectively. And, for the candidates that want more information on a role or more detailed feedback, they need to know the best time to contact your recruiters.
There is undoubtedly a lot more that can be done to improve the experience. I know that some businesses are already putting AI and specifically chat-bots to good use. We are not there yet but we are always willing to embrace ways that could help improve candidate experience. If anyone has any views on our approach and can suggest how we might do better, we would love to hear from you. You should always strive for improvement!