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3 min read

7 Ways to Improve Candidate Experience, Including Background Checks

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The candidate experience starts with their first point of contact with your company. But why does candidate experience matter so much? According to a research report by Brandon Hall Group, companies that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70%. Every touchpoint that candidates have with your company matters. Let’s take a look at meaningful ways you can improve candidate experience:

Create simple, precise job descriptions.

First and foremost, be clear about your expectations for the candidate in this position. Before you start to think this isn’t a problem for you, take a look at this research from Allegis Group: 72% of hiring managers think they create clear job descriptions but only 36% of candidates agree. Work with managers to make sure you are honest and upfront in the description on job boards and your website.

Don’t lose candidates with a long application.

The most important parts of this step are to communicate status and keep it short and sweet. In fact, candidate experience statistics by Appcast revealed, applications under 5 minutes have a 12.47% completion rate, compared to the 3.61% rate that applications 15 minutes or more have. Even if candidates complete an application that is too long or complex, think about what it says about how you value their time, or efficiency in general.

Learn more about how to streamline the background screening application for candidates ››

Prepare candidates for the interview process.

Impressions made during the interview process are more important than you might think. According to LinkedIn talent trends, if a candidate liked your company before the interview, 83% of candidates say that a bad experience can change their minds while 87% say that a good experience can make them like a company they once questioned.

Start the process out right by sending candidates an email about what to expect in the interview. Things such as length of the interview, the name and title of the interviewer, if it's a multi-interview process, and any other details on how to prepare can make a positive impact on their experience.

Tie up loose ends with rejection notices.

If after all of this, you determine that the candidate is not right for the position, make sure to tell them that promptly. It is important because even if they are not right for that position, they may be right for a different one in the future. CareerArc has found that candidates are 3.5 times less likely to apply for a job in the future from a company that did not inform them of the status or decision of their application. When following up, remember to stick to the timeline that you conveyed in the interview.

BONUS – Stay organized through multiple stages of pre-adverse and adverse action regarding a candidate after a background check too. Candidate notification tools help manage legally required communications if what comes up on a background check leads to a pre-adverse or adverse hiring decision.

Put candidates at ease during the background check.

One of the most important pre-hire steps is to verify your candidate’s personal and work history. Don’t let this particular touchpoint create a bad candidate experience with a long, complex process. To avoid this, make sure that your screening process is user friendly and efficient. Using candidate self-service order processing is an easy way for your candidates to get background checks for employment done so you can move on to the next part of their journey on the right foot.

A positive screening experience can leave candidates feeling confident with their decision to join your company. Here are some examples of how candidate self-service order processing can do just that:

  • Match the candidate website with your brand. This is the place where the candidate’s online background check forms are completed. A visually consistent landing page assures candidates that they are in the right place and that it is safe to enter sensitive personal information.
  • Candidates enter their own information into the background check system which reduces errors and time it would take to correct them. This includes details you might not already have from an employment application, like maiden name or previous addresses.
  • When done right, no extra questions slow completion of the screening application. Candidates only provide information required for the background check in a few simple steps, with clear milestones to track progress.
  • Lastly, you keep the whole process online. Why send them from an online system to a manual signed form? Using their mouse, finger or stylus, they can provide all signatures for required forms on the spot.

Get more details on candidate self-service order processing ››

After that, the rest is up to your background check company to deliver background check reports in a few days. Faster hiring decisions reduce the risk of losing a candidate to another offer or making a bad impression.

Keep open communication lines after the job offer.

If the candidate is a good fit and has accepted your offer, remember that communication and a positive first impression are still extremely important. The onboarding process starts prior to their first day and sets the tone for their journey at your company so make sure the process is as streamlined as possible.

Prepare a pleasant transition from candidate to employee.

As your candidate moves on to become your employee, it is important to continue open communication. Let them know that you care about their success by emailing them details on what to expect their first day and setting them up with a mentor to talk to about personal and work-related issues.

As important as it is, candidate experience will always be something that requires a lot of thought and attention from you and your team. Stay up to date with the most recent trends and ask for feedback from your employees and candidates about their experience from start to finish. After all, creating a positive candidate experience is among the best ways to find (and keep) good employees.

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