Why every great hire starts with a focus on the candidate experience
Much like how many buying decisions are based on consumers’ perception of a brand, how job seekers perceive a company’s brand throughout the hiring process represents the first step on an organisation’s journey to attracting the best talent.
What then, is required to create a successful candidate experience?
Speaking with HRM Magazine Asia, Eleanor Vajzovic, Head of Strategic Solutions, Paradox, said, “All candidates want speed, simplicity, and transparency in the hiring process. When someone feels like they’ve been given a fair chance for a job, and received clear communication in a timely manner, most candidates would say they had a great experience, even if they don’t get the job.”
Organisations may also need to design candidate experiences around contemporary lifestyles that focus on consumer experiences that are fast and frictionless, such as ordering food through apps like Uber Eats and Deliveroo.
“As more of us have been conditioned to get more and more things done on our phones, it’s become critical that candidate experiences feel equally simple and clear.” – Eleanor Vajzovic, Head of Strategic Solutions, Paradox.
Vajzovic added, “As more of us have been conditioned to get more and more things done on our phones, it’s become critical that candidate experiences feel equally simple and clear. There is also a massive opportunity to make sure that how an organisation presents itself in the hiring process to candidates matches the experience they’ll have as employees.”
Taking friction out of the recruitment process
In an ideal world, an organisation identifies its best recruiter, gives that person unlimited bandwidth to work 24/7, and supercharges the ability to speak any language and answer any question. The recruiter, in turn, can manage thousands of candidate interactions simultaneously.
The scenario Vajzovic described above is not a hypothetical one, with many organisations already deploying Conversation AI to improve the candidate experience.
She explained, “The goal of Conversational AI is to supercharge your recruiters with automated and conversational experiences that ensure candidates get immediate answers to their questions, or help throughout the process, regardless of the time of day.”
Paradox, for instance, offers Olivia, a conversational AI assistant that instantly responds to every single candidate, helps them find the perfect job, automatically schedules interviews, answers questions through the hiring process, and shares content that is personalised depending on the questions the candidate asks in the language that the candidate speaks.
Conversational AI solutions such as Olivia, said Vajzovic, accelerate the hiring process by automating away the waiting time between stages in the process, help screen candidates for job requirements and can instantly schedule interviews when a qualified candidate is identified.
This streamlining of the hiring process can also be transformational in turning talent acquisition into a revenue-generating function, as she highlighted, “For a restaurant, a hotel or a retail store, there’s a very clear connection between revenue and staffing. When those types of businesses are understaffed, they typically deliver worse experiences for their customers, or even worse, they sometimes have to reduce hours, close early, or shut down locations.”
“Conversely, when employers shorten the hiring process by several days or weeks, they can dramatically reduce understaffing. They fill and backfill roles faster and in many cases, they decrease short-term turnover because fully-staffed organisations are typically happier, healthier, and more productive.”
Automating the candidate experience while focusing on people
With uncertainty continuing to surround the economy, organisations can do without the extra uncertainty that comes with a constant cycle of onboarding and offboarding.
This, however, will depend on choosing the right candidates, a process that can be improved if the right questions are asked at the start of the hiring process. For instance, is your process driven around mobile-first, consumer quality experiences, Vajzovic asked.
“If someone is being forced to create a user name and password to apply to one of your jobs – and they have to fill out a long application on their laptop to do it – then you’re probably losing lots of candidates who otherwise may have been a great fit.”
Next, organisations should examine how recruitment teams spend their time and identify tasks that can be automated, including screening for basic or minimum qualifications, or scheduling and rescheduling interviews.
“We don’t recommend automating the things that only humans are great at, such as conducting the actual interview. However, there are a lot of tasks that could be automated that would not only make the candidate experience better; they would also make the manager and recruiter experience better. By giving these people hours back in their week, you are helping your organisations save time and money,” Vajzovic concluded.
Join Eleanor Vajzovic at HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 on May 10 at 11am (SGT), where she will be explaining how conversational experiences will change and improve the way we hire and work.