In the quest to improve the candidate experience during the hiring process, we sought insights from top HR professionals and business leaders. From leveraging technology for realistic job previews to adding personality to interviews, here are strategies shared by these experts to enhance your hiring process.

Leveraging Technology for Realistic Job Previews

We all know that a realistic job preview by candidates can directly correlate to early-stage turnover. As we enter greater technology capabilities, how can we create job preview insights along the way? We can use Artificial Intelligence to chat with prospective candidates to ask questions about a “day in the life.”

Social media takeovers by employees can give personalized perspectives on your environment and team dynamics. Employees can submit their own images and feedback via your chat channel, including the waiver, to use these real-time images in social and other job posting venues.

As job seekers continue to normalize to less “produced” content, the more “real-life” content you can curate, the more honest your employment preview will be!

Stacie Baird
Chief People Officer, Community Medical Services

Building Relationships With Passive Candidates

To optimize the candidate experience during high-volume hiring, we proactively built relationships with passive candidates. For niche profiles with limited talent pools, we took a unique approach.

We mapped out the talent universe, identified top talent, and reached out to them on platforms like LinkedIn. We engaged in conversations, shared exciting developments in our company and invited them to consultation calls and in-person meetings. By actively networking and nurturing these relationships, we generated interest and converted curiosity into a desire to join our organization.

This strategy had a significant impact on our hiring outcomes and employer brand. By showcasing our value proposition and building personalized connections, we stood out as an employer of choice. It improved our hiring outcomes by securing high-quality candidates and enhanced our employer brand as a company that values exceptional talent.

Sanya Nagpal
Head of HR, Leena AI

Tailoring Interview Questions to Candidate’s Experience

One thing we do is tailor interview questions and scenarios specific to a candidate’s experience, which allows them to understand how their experience fits into a role and allows us to explore role-development opportunities even prior to a formal offer.

Tracey Beveridge
HR Director, Personnel Checks

Implementing Feedback Surveys for Candidate Experience

At a previous company, a thorough feedback survey was developed to enhance the candidate experience. The goal was to ensure every candidate had a positive and fair experience, regardless of the job they interviewed for. The survey was sent to every candidate who reached the phone-screen stage, including people who were hired.

After implementing the survey, a signal was received on how candidates of different levels, professional backgrounds, and identities felt about their time with the company. This helped more effectively pinpoint issues, which were usually team-specific. With more data on hand, the team made informed process adjustments so future candidates could have an even better experience.

Alex Lahmeyer
Founder and DEI Consultant, Boundless Arc

Using Virtual Reality for Workplace Previews

One innovative approach I’ve adopted to enhance the candidate experience during the hiring process is using Virtual Reality (VR) to amplify empathy.

By immersing candidates in a virtual workspace, they can “walk a mile” in the shoes of different employees, gaining insights into their experiences and challenges.

This has proven to be a powerful tool for fostering understanding and empathy among potential hires, giving them a realistic preview of our inclusive work environment. Candidates can interact with diverse virtual colleagues, experiencing firsthand how our organization values and respects all employees.

This VR experience engages candidates uniquely and clearly communicates our commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace. Thus, VR has helped to amplify the organization’s message and boost the overall candidate’s experience.

Vivian Acquah
Certified Diversity Executive, Amplify DEI

Enhancing Job Advertisements for Candidate Efficiency

The best thing you can do to enhance the candidate’s hiring experience is to take things back to basics with the job advertisement and consider how efficient it is for candidates to apply.

Ask yourself, “Is the job description true to the role, and is it likely to change?”

Wendy Makinson
HR Manager, Joloda Hydraroll

Prioritizing Clear Communication With Candidates

Communication with the candidate is key to enhancing the candidate’s experience during the hiring process. There are a lot of job seekers right now. We hire internally about twice a year and do a lot of recruiting work for our clients with our RPO services.

We focus on the candidate experience as part of our proven process. As we’ve spoken with candidates and clearly outlined when they could expect to hear from us, they are shocked that we are so transparent with our timeline.

Some candidates have even wanted assurance that we won’t ghost them, and we assure them that if they have conducted at least one interview with us, we will let them know either way in line with the timeline we just provided.

If something comes up that affects the timeline, we also make sure we contact them then to let them know there is a delay, the reason for the delay (if practical), and when they should expect a follow-up.

This level of communication makes all the difference.

Eric Mochnacz
Director of Operations, Red Clover

Focusing on Practical Tasks Over CVs

We immediately let our candidates know we do not care about their CVs, and we offer some questions and a practical task right away. This approach gives us the most information we need about our candidates.

We look at how quickly the application is filled out and how promptly the applicant responds to our messages. We’ve had outstanding success finding amazing team members who would’ve been overlooked if we had just played the CV-comparing game.

All the applicants we eventually hire always note this as one thing that impressed them the most about Ratepunk. Everyone we hire seems to love the hiring process and even changes their opinion on the HR position‌. We like crazy, motivated, and creative people. Sending a CV requires minimal creativity, so we’d rather just avoid that step of the process.

Justin Albertynas
CEO, Ratepunk

Providing Agenda Transparency in Interviews

Adhering to an agenda dictated by a timetable for all participants involved in the candidate experience may be obvious. Providing an additional layer of transparency grants the candidate clarity on whom they’re meeting, their title, and the aim of that specific conversation.

When multi-round and panel interviews take place, it helps the candidate prepare mentally and emotionally for what to expect at each milestone of the hiring process.

This saves time and energy if there are any gaps that need to be filled with unnecessary Q&A matters, which take up capacity since input may be needed by those not involved in this specific hiring process.

Candidates hosting a healthy degree of situational awareness can focus on the objective of getting hired rather than worrying about technical and operational issues that aren’t their concern. For example, confirm all participants, check that needed technologies are operating and a contingent plan is available if anyone is absent or late. This helps a lot.

Sasha Laghonh
Founder, Sasha Talks

Creating a Special Candidate Care Package

A fun way has been found to make the hiring process extra special for candidates. The “Candidate Care Package” has been created, a sweet treat for applicants. Inside, a personalized thank-you note, cool company swag and a heavenly assortment of chocolates can be found.

But there’s something even more exciting. Some lucky candidates will discover a “Golden Ticket” in their package. This magical ticket grants an exclusive tour of the office, where the team can be met in person.

It’s like winning a Willy Wonka-style adventure! Since this delicious initiative started, candidates can’t stop talking about it. They’re spreading the word like melted chocolate on toast. Spoiling candidates is important because finding the perfect match should be as delightful as savoring a scrumptious treat.

Himanshu Sharma
CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing

Streamlining Communication for Positive Candidate Experience

I’ve implemented a streamlined and transparent communication system. I have ensured prompt and personalized responses to candidate inquiries, providing clear timelines and updates throughout the process.

Also, I have used technology to automate certain stages of the process, such as sending automated confirmation emails and scheduling interviews through an online platform.

These measures have improved efficiency, reduced waiting times and offered a more positive and engaging experience for candidates, ultimately reflecting positively on the employer brand.

Brian Clark
Founder, United Medical Education

Update Candidates Throughout the Hiring Process

As a recruiter, the biggest frustration I hear from candidates is a lack of communication during the process and how long they take to hear back after each stage of the process. This has especially been a concern over the past couple of years, with time-to-hire stretching longer than normal in many companies.

It goes a long way toward making a candidate feel you value and respect them to keep them updated on what’s going on with your search.

This is especially crucial after the first interview. If it’s been more than a week since the last time you interacted with them, send a message to let them know why there’s a delay and when they should expect to hear from you regarding the position or the next steps.

If you’ve experienced an unexpected problem, that’s delaying your decision, send a quick message to all the candidates still in the process to let them know. Maintaining open communication is the easiest, most affordable way you can improve the candidate experience.

Archie Payne
CEO, CalTek Staffin

Personalizing Communication With Candidates

Enhancing the candidate’s experience during the hiring process can be achieved by personalizing the communication. This involves sending each candidate a welcome message and following up with them regularly throughout the process. It’s also important to answer questions they have as quickly as possible.

Specific examples of personalized communication with candidates include:

  • Using their names in every message sent.
  • Tailoring messages to their specific skills and experience.
  • Updating them on the progress of their application.
  • Expressing gratitude for their time and interest.

Personalized communication shows genuine interest in the candidates and their candidacy. It also helps to build rapport and trust, which can make the hiring process more enjoyable for both parties.

Brenton Thomas
CEO, Twibi

Adding Personality to Interviews

One way we’ve significantly enhanced the candidate’s experience during the hiring process is by adding some personality to interviews. We firmly believe that interviews shouldn’t be robotic and impersonal, but an opportunity for candidates to express themselves authentically.

So, we strive to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that goes beyond the standard “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and fosters genuine connections. After all, we’re not just looking for a set of skills, but also a cultural fit.

By incorporating engaging conversations and bringing out the best in candidates, we ensure they feel valued, engaged, and excited about the opportunity. This personal touch not only leaves a lasting impression but also enables us to assess the true potential of candidates, leading to better hiring decisions and successful partnerships.

Richa Singh
Marketing Manager, SilverPeople