The talent market ebbs and wanes with fluctuations in the economy, shifts across industries, and even impacts from climate change and political turnover. This means your hiring process should never become stagnant. The candidate interview experience can make or break your company’s growth and quite frankly, it’s the only thing you can control no matter what’s unfolding in the market.
Understanding the candidate interview experience from recruiting through the offer stage is critical to informing essential routine updates to your hiring process. Candidate expectations change over time due to factors such as the cost of living and generational shifts in the workforce.
Greenhouse, a leading provider of hiring software for people-first companies, surveyed over 1,500 global employees and job seekers to gain deeper insights about what talent expects from the candidate interview experience. The survey revealed how companies are measuring up, and the results prove there’s work to be done.
According to the Greenhouse 2022 Candidate Experience Report, 84% of survey respondents were looking for or were open to a new job in H2 of 2022. Unfortunately, on the heels of the Great Resignation, rising inflation has curbed consumer spending leading to massive layoffs as we approached the holiday season.
In the face of uncertain economic conditions, tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of candidates are flooding the market in search of new jobs moving into the new year. While unemployment is on the rise, talent expectations are likely to remain high due to crippling pressure on candidates from elevated costs of living and the greater demand for job security.
Unfortunately for recruiters, gone are the days when a crowded talent pool relieves some of the burdens of securing top talent for hard-to-fill positions. In today’s hiring climate, it’s a candidate market. Rising to meet high expectations for the candidate interview experience is the only way forward.
The good news is, there are 3 simple and effective changes you can make to your hiring strategy that will set your team up for continued growth and success. Check out these data-backed actionable tips to help you improve the candidate interview experience by boosting your speed to hire:
Show your company values people (and their time)
A whopping 43% of candidates have had their name mispronounced in a job interview, according to Greenhouse respondents. It’s an easy mistake to make but can leave a devastating first impression depending on how the next steps of the candidate interview experience go.
An easy way to keep recruiters and hiring managers informed of name pronunciation and general information about candidates you gain from personal introductions is to invite candidates to submit one-way video interviews before they meet in person.
This process gives candidates the opportunity to showcase their personality, expand on their skills and experience, and share helpful information like name pronunciation. It reduces the likelihood multiple interviewers will ask repeat questions as well.
Nearly half (47%) of respondents in Greenhouse’s candidate experience survey said it would improve their experience if interviewers came well prepared – questions were not vague, duplicated, or irrelevant.
It’s also convenient for everybody. Candidates appreciate flexible scheduling (34%) and expect their interviews will start on time (41%). By offering candidates the opportunity to control when, where, and how they submit their interview responses, you reduce the time they spend trying to connect with an interviewer, commuting, or sitting on phone screens.
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Even better, when you speed up your internal review process for early screening you can respond to candidates sooner. This is a game-changer considering 58% of candidates expect to hear back from companies in one week or less regarding their initial application.
Give candidates a clear picture of the company, culture, and role
Speeding up early screening means you can move into in-person interviews with candidates in record time. This is where you really dig in and make personal connections with candidates. It’s also where they can ask their questions and assess how they fit into the company and culture.
Daniel Chait, Greenhouse CEO and Co-founder shared his valuable perspective on the shift in hiring dynamics in recent years.
“How companies win in today’s economy is by innovation, technology, and people. Competitive advantage has moved away from physical capital to human capital, changing the relationship between employees and companies.”
The success of your candidate interview experience relies heavily on how well your hiring process conveys essential information about your company culture and accurate expectations associated with the role. In fact, 50% of candidates agree if questions and responses give a good sense of what the job would be like it would improve their experience in the hiring process.
The goal is to create a hiring experience that forges immediate connections between candidates and your team and quickly reveals how they can contribute to your company’s success.
Additionally, a third of candidates say they want interviewers to be more knowledgeable when asked questions. One way to get everyone on the same page when communicating with candidates is to improve collaboration between key stakeholders in the hiring process.
Sharing candidate interviews – both one-way and live video interviews – with HR and hiring managers ensures everyone is reviewing the same responses and feedback. Consistency throughout the hiring process reduces bias while speeding up response time. This guarantees candidates get a fair and timely assessment – and it’s one of the best ways to show off your people-first hiring process.
Welcome, engage, and provide feedback at every opportunity
It goes without saying, but putting genuine human interaction ahead of the hire improves your team’s long-term growth. In fact, 45% of candidates say meeting with interviewers who are engaged and welcoming is one of the top factors that would improve the hiring process and their candidate interview experience.
People want to feel a genuine connection at every stage of the hiring process. This includes how hiring managers and HR follow up after the application and interviews. There’s a lot of attention drawn to candidates ghosting recruiters and hiring managers, but 75% of Greenhouse’s survey respondents have been ghosted after their interview.
It can be difficult to keep up with every candidate that passes through your hiring process, especially with high-volume hiring. It’s even more challenging if you have a lean team. But 36% of Greenhouse respondents agree timely recruiter response and follow-up times are the most important ways to make a positive impact on their experience in your hiring process.
That confirms it’s not just that you follow up, but that you do it quickly enough to keep candidates engaged with your company and hiring process. Fortunately, video messaging is an easy way to keep communication with candidates personal without taking time away from other stages of the hiring process or even other important work duties.
You can provide information about the next steps or feedback after an interview quickly and easily through email, but in a fraction of the time it takes to draft a message. It takes just moments to record and send out with a single click through a dedicated video interview platform.
Using the right technology to keep communication flowing with candidates while providing a personalized experience shows talent your company is invested in its people.
Greenhouse CMO, Carin Van Vuuren, shed some light on the importance of bringing together the right hiring solutions to focus on team growth and success with this mindset.
“People-first companies view hiring as a core business building capability and a company-wide, strategic endeavor. They understand how critical it is to have the correct tech and teams in place so they can hire the right talent and achieve their goals.”
Each time your team enters the hiring process they are making an impression on dozens of candidates who could be ‘the next best hire.’ While not every applicant can make it through to the offer, the time you spend nurturing relationships with candidates can impact everything from your brand reputation to critical hiring metrics and consumer dedication.
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According to Greenhouse’s research, 70% of candidates want feedback after an interview and 61% would be more inclined to reapply to future roles at a company they had previously received feedback in the hiring process. That’s a remarkable number of people who are only going to grow in their skills, experience, and investment in your company over time.
Your speed to hire etiquette doesn’t account for just those top candidates who make it through to receiving an offer. How quickly you follow up with talent from the moment they submit their application to the time they learn of your decision impresses on candidates how fair, efficient, and effectively your company functions. Most importantly, a positive candidate experience shows potential employees how much a company values its people for the entirety of their employee lifetime.