5 Ways Hiring Managers Can Improve the Candidate Experience

candidatesIt’s no secret that job candidates have options these days. In 2008, there were 7 candidates for every vacant position. Today, that number has dropped to only 1.8 (source: ZoomInfo). Competition for candidates is getting tougher, and companies that don’t optimize their candidate experience run the risk of pushing away top candidates. We’re in the Age of Information, and if a candidate feels like they were disrespected in their interview, then everyone on Glassdoor will read about it.

So in order to protect your employer brand and attract top talent, here are the top five ways hiring managers can improve the candidate experience:

Know who you’re talking to:

It’s been said before and it will be said again – read an applicant’s resume before you conduct the interview. While asking a candidate to take you through their resume is a good question to begin the interview, it shouldn’t be used as stalling technique to give the interviewer time to read through the resume.

In addition to reading the resume, hiring managers should do as much preemptive research as possible. With tools like ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration Platform, hiring managers can confirm previous work history and education, but also gain access to objectionable, third-party web mentions which give a better-rounded picture of the candidate.

Talk to the stakeholders:

All too often, interviews are conducted by people that won’t actually be working alongside that position. This can lead to a disconnect between the interview and once the hire actually starts, as the hiring manager might not have accurately described the roles and responsibilities, or made promises they were in no power to keep.

In order to avert this dissonance, talk to everyone who is a stakeholder in the hiring decision. Once you have their feedback, you’ll be able to ask much more relevant questions in the interview and provide your team with higher quality candidates.

Collaborate:

We’ve all had interviews where different people ask you the same questions. It’s great for the candidate, because they get to practice the same answers over and over again. By the time the last manager interviews them, they’ll come off as a pro! But this isn’t great for the company. The purpose of having multiple people interview a candidate is to learn as much about the candidate as possible and making sure they’re well-rounded and prepared.

Before the candidate comes into the office, sit down with the other interviewers and map out your interview strategy. Determine who will ask what type of questions to make sure there isn’t any overlap. Once the interview is finished, everyone can come together to discuss their impressions of the candidate.

Have a plan of action for onsite interviews:

If your candidate experience involves having candidates wait for an inordinate amount of time to get started, followed by bouncing from room to room and waiting for the next interviewer to appear, you’re doing something wrong.

Having long lag times between interviewers and frequently moving locations gives a sense of disorganization and unprofessionalism. Respect the candidate’s time and make sure the entire interview is streamlined. To do this, create a clear schedule for the interview and make sure everyone knows where to be and at what time. You should also encourage everyone to block off 30 minutes before and after the interview to create a small buffer to make sure colleagues don’t schedule meetings that could run into the scheduled interview time.

Communicate after the interview:

Nothing is worse than feeling like you aced an interview, but then getting nothing but radio silence from the hiring manager. No decision, no feedback, not even a rejection. Regardless of whether the candidate performed well or not, staying in touch after the interview is crucial to creating a positive candidate experience. If you’re moving forward with their application, update them on the status of the application, what their next steps are, and the timeline of when you expect to be in touch. If you let even one week go by without any communication, you run the risk of losing the candidate to another company, as today’s competition for talent is so fierce.

Now that you have created a solid candidate experience, it’s time to fill your candidate pipeline with highly targeted passive candidates using ZoomInfo’s Growth Acceleration Platform. Contact ZoomInfo today to learn more.

Originally posted by ZoomInfo on April 18th, 2016.