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Candidate Experience: Treat Job Applicants Like Customers

You already know you face tough competition for the best employees.

According to Jobvite’s Recruiting Benchmark Report, there were 45 applicants per retail job opening in 2017, the most recent year for which stats were available. On top of that, the Census Bureau says the median commute distance to work is 20 miles. That’s a lot of folks applying for and accepting jobs conveniently close to your store.

That’s also a lot of people who could be your customers, even if they don’t get the job. The next time they go shopping, don’t you want them coming to you instead of a competitor?

And for those outstanding candidates who barely missed the cut this go-round, wouldn’t you like to see some of them again the next time you have an opening?

If you haven’t already done so, start treating all job applicants like valued customers. No, you can’t hire them all. But you can treat them all with respect so they have positive things to say about you.

Here are a few best practices to get you started. 

Invest in Employer Branding

You spend lots of money convincing people to shop with you. Why not invest in convincing them to work for you?

  • Understand the candidate journey, from the first time they see your ad or website, right up until their first day on the job. 
  • Build a candidate-centered recruiting strategy. Engage with them on their terms, at the right time and using their preferred channels. 
  • Do you have a branded career website? If not, build one pronto. For example, by partnering with Hire Well Now you can accept applications directly through your own branded career page.
  • Stop turning your nose up at social media. Use it to spread the word when you have an opening. Encourage current employees to post job openings to their own social feeds. 
  • Use nurture campaigns through email and social media to turn passive candidates into active ones. 

Speed Matters…

The best candidates have ladders to climb and bills to pay. They don’t have time to wait around. The faster your hiring process, the better your chances of landing their talents.

  • Make your application process as quick and painless as possible. The fewer clicks, the more applicants you’ll get!
  • Streamline and track all candidate communications to keep everyone on the same page at all times. 
  • Follow up fast. If they don’t hear from you, they’re going somewhere else. Hire Well Now instantly sends a quick personality screen to everyone who applies for our clients’ openings. That gives you powerful, actionable insights and keeps the ball rolling for applicants.
  • Let the technology do its job, but invest in quality time between recruiters and candidates as well. After the personality screen, Hire Well Now Recruitment Specialists promptly set up a one-to-one phone screen interview with the strongest applicants.

…And So Does the Candidate Relationship

Stop treating applicants like numbers and start treating them like the living, breathing human beings they are. Show them you get this with a personalized recruitment process.

  • You expect candidates to show up on time for the job interview. They expect the same courtesy of you. The Golden Rule applies in business just like it does in every other situation.
  • Candidates know you can’t hire everyone. But if they aren’t selected, they deserve to know why. Stop sending that same tired old rejection letter en masse. Instead, let candidates know what you thought their strengths were, and what skills they need to brush up on.
  • Encourage candidates to do business with you. Use the application and interview process to highlight the benefits of your products and services. Consider promotional offers to applicants as a way to show appreciation for their interest.
  • You are showing appreciation, aren’t you? At the end of every interview, thank them for their time and interest. Make sure every interviewee receives a personalized thank-you message by email or text message. 

Remember, most people apply to more jobs than just yours, and the strongest candidates will receive more than one offer. The company that wins their services is the one that wins their hearts and minds with a superior candidate experience. 

Contact Hire Well Now to learn how our managed recruitment and onboarding solutions can give you the inside lane.

Picture of Jonathan Bergman

Jonathan Bergman

CEO of Hire Well Now, leads a team of dedicated, knowledgable and relentless recruiters and hiring experts that focus on Faster Hiring and Longer Retention for clients across the United States.

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