At webrecruit, we recognise that there is a war on talent, which is making it difficult for employers to find candidates with desired skill sets. With this in mind, when you’ve found the ideal person for the role, you don’t want to lose out because they decline the position, so it’s vital that applicants have a positive recruitment experience. To address this issue, we have recently carried out a survey of 291 jobseekers on how to improve the candidate experience, and some interesting results were revealed.

When it comes to applying for a job, candidates want to have access to all of the key information straightaway so that they can assess whether or not they fit the role. According to our survey, the top 7 elements to include in vacancy copy are: role responsibilities, location, salary, essential criteria, desirable criteria, benefits, and working hours. Also, when writing the job description, it’s important to make it as engaging as possible in order to attract interest.

Another finding from the survey was regarding the follow up after applying for a job. It isn’t uncommon for hiring mangers to wait until all CVs have come in before contacting candidates, however, this can actually be harmful. 77% of respondents said they expect to wait no longer than 3 days before they have their CV application acknowledged, and 83% said less than five days to hear whether it is being passed on to a hiring manager, shortlisted or rejected.

It’s recommended that you contact applicants as soon as you can so that you don’t miss out on talent. This is particularly important as 65% of job seekers said they started to look for their next opportunity as soon as they’ve applied for a role. Also, 14% said they would wait 2-3 days, whilst 1.39% said they’d wait a fortnight – typically the time it takes for hiring managers to wait and view all CVs for a role.

When the candidates have been shortlisted, the interview process is just as important to get right. It isn’t just the interviewee’s chance to shine, but you as a potential employer will be under much scrutiny. Candidates prefer interview processes that are structured, organised and clear, so it’s vital that your process is planned and well thought-out.

Whether you choose to appoint or reject a candidate at interview, our survey highlighted the importance of feedback, with 77% of respondents stating that it helps them to improve within the hiring process. This is one of the biggest challenges for time-pressed hiring managers, but it will benefit you if you can provide it. In order to help, you could invest in designing a feedback template – something that sets criteria that you must adhere to – that your team can use.

It is fundamental to make sure candidates have a positive recruitment experience, even those of which aren’t right for the role, because word of mouth is a powerful source of brand awareness. 74% of jobseekers would let others know if they had a negative experience with a company during the recruitment process, and if people are talking negatively about your company, it can cause irreparable damage to your brand. Therefore, if you take the time to perfect your recruitment process, it will benefit your company in the long term. 

To find out more about the survey, please request our free guide on improving the candidate experience.