How to Enhance The Candidate Experience During the COVID-19 Crisis

As companies globally are asking their employees to work from home, we’re all having to adjust. Leaders are having to get used to managing remotely, and we’re all having to come to terms with video meetings being the new normal.

When it comes to hiring new talent, many businesses already handle the recruitment process online. It’s cheaper, faster and easier to recruit digitally. But one potentially challenging part of an online hiring process is providing a seamless candidate experience.

We all know that candidate experience can make or break whether candidates choose to work with you. It’s no secret that long application forms, poorly designed landing pages and even poorly worded job descriptions can cost you the best talent. However, in uncertain times, when tensions are already high, the candidate experience has never been so vital. With economies plummeting and job losses everywhere, candidates need to have more confidence in a future employer than ever before.

In times such as these, some considerations should be made to enhance the candidate experience during COVID-19.

Keep in touch

It’s been repeated time after time, but the fact remains, we are living in uncertain times right now, so a bit of clarity and communication goes a long way for candidates.

Many businesses will have been in the middle of recruiting when the COVID-19 crisis struck; the worst thing you can do is leave these candidates hanging. We’re going through this pandemic together; candidates will understand that current circumstances are out of your control. However, there’s no harm in communicating with them and giving some reassurance. This will keep the talent pool warm and provide a better reflection on you as an employer. Disappearing from the face of the earth mid-application will not make anyone want to work for you.

Keep in contact via email, even if the update is a bit of a non-update, people will appreciate hearing from you at this time. Make sure your social media stays updated; this will give an impression of your employer brand but will also ensure people know your business is still active even in uncertain times. Have someone monitoring social media messages and respond to ensure everyone gets a response. Post regular content to your website answering questions you may frequently be facing, as this will keep everyone in the loop.

Safety first

If you are lucky enough to be recruiting, consider current safety precautions and ensure you’re sticking to them. Don’t put people at risk for the sake of recruitment. Instead adopt a virtual candidate experience, from phone and video interviews to virtual skills tests; in the age of digital, there’s plenty you can do. Everyone across the world is nervous about their health and that of their loved ones, so ensure you’re following the right procedures and make candidate safety a priority. It will reflect positively on your employer brand if you do, being conscientious goes a long way.

Add the human touch

Just because we can’t meet candidates face to face, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make their experience feel personal. With social media making it easy to interact with potential candidates, now could be a great time to create dedicated careers accounts. Also, with so many ways to automate and personalise communications like emails, you can make sure you’re interacting with candidates at all stages of the recruitment process.

Plus, while we’re all caught up in the virtual world and embracing video calls, we’re forgetting one straightforward way of adding the personal touch to your recruitment efforts. Pick up the phone! Make it clear that candidates can ask you any questions and be available for a call. Emotions and intent can get lost in emails and texts; nothing can replace hearing a real voice and having a chat about your concerns.

Empathy above all else 

As an employer in these turbulent times, understanding is one of the most vital qualities you can have, whether it’s with current employees or prospective. Understand that people have a lot going on right now and anxiety is high. Be respectful that candidates may not get back instantly or their circumstances can change quickly. Having empathy and being a bit more flexible will reflect well on you as an employer and will contribute to a positive candidate experience, plus it’s called being a good human being!

Make new hires feel special

Think back to your first day on the job and how nervous you were. Now imagine that in the middle of a pandemic and having to work remotely, it’s not going to be an ideal situation. On-boarding will be an even more crucial process during the COVID-19 crisis.

Try to make it as personal as possible without overwhelming the new starter with a company-wide video call to say hello. Spotify sends a personalised playlist with an offer to make new hires feel welcome, but a simple social media post welcoming them to the team should help them feel appreciated.

Plus, while it may seem obvious, make sure their line manager is contactable whenever the new hire needs and suggest regular video calls or conference calls with the team to help them feel involved and put a face to the name. Remote working is lonely enough, especially when you haven’t had a chance to meet people in the business.

Time to refine

Let’s face it; you’ll never have this much time on your hands again. If there’s one good thing about the world being on lockdown, it’s that we have a lot more time on our hands. This means there’s never been a better time to refine your candidate experience. Now could be a great time to create a careers page which can act as a hub for recruitment activity: advertising jobs, showcasing your company culture, publicising important updates and allowing candidates to find the answers to their questions in one place.

Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate and review your entire recruitment process. Does your current site take too long to load? Is your application form quite lengthy? We have to take on the perspectives of candidates to support them with what they need when they need it. This includes taking the time to make the recruitment process as user-friendly as possible and making the onboarding process equally as smooth.

At Talent Works, we’re experts in refining the candidate experience, whether it’s creating a careers page to act as a central hub or creating easy-to-apply recruitment marketing campaigns. Our experts can help you to audit and refine your candidate experience, making a much more positive recruitment process when you’re ready to hire. Get in touch today!