The ultimate success of the hiring process is an offer acceptance by the “perfect” candidate, but it’s never that simple is it? Especially for hard-to-fill positions, the process seems never ending, so keeping momentum and spirits high can be a difficult task.
The candidate experience conversations seem to accentuate the negative. So how can we make sure the candidates are *gasp* enjoying the process we have put before them? Below are the seven most important candidate experience conversions that are vital in making improvements to your hiring process.
Source of Hire Many ATS’s (applicant tracking systems) now make it easier than ever to track and report the source of hires. Applicants are tagged by a specific and unique link when entering the ATS—referrals, job boards, and social networks are common sources of hire. Tracking applicants is the best way to learn where investing your time, resources, and money will make the most return on investment.
Time-to-Fill According to industry standards, time-to-fill is the number of days from a job postings initiation until the offer has been accepted by the candidate. Monitoring the time it takes to fill a position will help gain insight into a realistic time-frame for specific positions which will help managers define work tasks while the position is open. While no one wants to wait a hundred days to fill a position, shortening the time-to-fill should never sacrifice the quality of the hire. It will negatively affect the team and the metrics of time-to-fill.
Pre-candidate Experience The first contact a candidate has with your company is no longer when they are applying for the job. They have typically already done research by reading reviews, learning about your senior leadership, or have questioned their referrer on several key concerns. Understanding their experience begins long before application submission. This metric is telling of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Application Drop-off Candidates know the hiring process is several steps with even more hoops to get through before receiving an offer. The one thing job seekers want when filling out an online application is simplicity.
When the application process takes just as long at the entire hiring process, they won’t waste their time. Re-entering information that can be found in a resume or cover letter is a waste of time to just be considered for a position. Ask only for the pertinent information needed to be considered for the position, review their resume, and ask further questions in the initial phone screen.
Candidate Readiness/Satisfaction Until recently, the application process has been fairly consistent across industry and position; but now that is not the case. Companies want more from the candidates and the candidates want a real feel for the life that could be. Properly preparing candidates for each stage of your unique hiring process will ensure candidates understand and are ready for what’s to come.
Once a candidate is prepared and has a full understanding of your hiring process they will perform better at each stage. Measuring candidate satisfaction after each of these stage is important in identifying where improvements can be made. Asking the candidate a few, simple, questions after each stage will always show them you are interested in making improvements.
Recruiter Response Time How quickly the recruiter responds, or doesn’t, to applicants is a key metric in cutting down time during the application process. This is one metric that is solely dependent on the company (recruiter) itself. If candidates don’t hear back within a week or two, even with a “we are still reviewing applications, you will hear back from us shortly.” response the candidate may become uninterested and begin to focus on other jobs.
If you’ve ever applied to a job, and most of us have, you know the recruiter is the one consistent point of contact between the company and the candidate. Create a positive relationship earlier on in your hiring process, or you could be losing out on good candidates because of your lack of time management.
Offer Acceptance Rate Possibly the most important part of the hiring process—do candidates still want to work for you after going through it? The offer acceptance rate is a direct result of understanding and meeting candidate needs during the hiring process. The more offers you make without proper interviews, conversations, and intel on a candidate the lower the acceptance rate will be.
New Hire Turnover Rate Obviously you hired this candidate because they were the best for the position, you definitely don’t want to lose them within the first 90 days (or whatever period of time you deem “new hire length”). Once they have jumped through your hoops to get the job, it’s your job to ensure they stay. Check in with them frequently, verify they have everything they need to do their job, address any concerns they may have, and just make sure they are enjoying their job.
The candidate experience is a process, just like the hiring process. Ensure you’re constantly improving every step a candidate must make it through to become an employee. Tracking and monitoring these metrics will aide in understanding your process from the candidate's perspective.