Recruiting in a candidate-driven market requires recruiters to take a different approach to talent acquisition. When you’re discussing opportunities with a candidate in today’s job market, chances are a few of your competitors are also vying for their services. Not only that, you have to get the candidate to leave their current position and not just maintain the status quo.

To win the fiercely-competitive pursuit of talent, recruiters and companies need to shape their approach to best appeal to candidates. One way that they can do that is to deliver optimized and engaging candidate experience.

What is the Candidate Experience?

The candidate experience refers to how a candidate perceives the process of being recruited throughout the entire process—from the moment they first become aware of the position to their final decision to either take or decline the job. The experience extends to how they perceived working with their main recruiting contact, as well as the company or firm that recruiter represents.

It’s important to note that in some instances the candidate will enter into the experience having an existing perception of the company. Whether it’s the company’s brand, knowing a former or current employee at the company, or having interviewed with the company in the past. A previous perception of an employer can be both positive and negative.

As a recruiter, you’re in control of the candidate experience. Even if the candidate is entering into the experience with a negative perception of the employer, you have the ability to correct their perception. Your communication, transparency, timing, availability—everything involved in the recruitment process is being evaluated by the candidate and will ultimately shape their experience.

How to Improve the Candidate Experience

To increase the likelihood of securing the best talent you want to deliver your candidates with the best possible experience.  Below are some tips crafting an effective and attractive candidate experience.

Be Personal

Your candidates have been through plenty of hiring processes and will grow tired of a repetitive and informal process. Try to get to know the candidature beyond their resume. Discover their habits, interests, and passions. The more you know about the candidate, the easier it will be to forge a positive relationship with them. Additionally, learning about the candidate’s personality will allow you to gauge if they are a culture fit for the company.

Transparency Throughout the Process

With unemployment sitting at mere 4%, candidates have plenty of options in today’s market. Which means they won’t have the patience for long gaps in communication or a murky understanding of next steps. You want to make sure that you’re being transparent with the candidate through each step of the experience.

Don’t stall on giving them updates, even if the update is a negative one. If they are no longer being considered, they will still want to be informed as soon as possible so they can pursue other opportunities. Just because they’re not right for the job today, doesn’t mean they won’t be down the line. Candidates will remember the experience they have with you, and that will weigh on their mind for future opportunities.

Nuanced Interviews

Stay Up-to-Speed with Multi-Channel Communication

If you’re only communicating with candidates via email and phone calls, you are creating the opportunity that they’ll take another offer as they wait to hear from you. With multi-channel engagement, you can speed up your communication and make the experience more convenient for your candidates. Text messaging is perhaps the most convenient way to say in contact with a candidate, and you can now have your text messages integrate with your system.

By creating an optimized and appealing candidate experience, recruiters are not only increasing the chances that secure talent, they also are improving their overall recruitment brand. Candidates will talk to one another, and if each one reports that interacting with your team was a great experience, that positive word will get around and pay off down the road.