Employers: Improve the candidate experience to find better employees!

Posted on October 27, 2023

Featuring insights by Jesse Zulak

How easy is your application and interview process? If you’re making it more difficult than it needs to be, you may be missing out on qualified candidates for your next hire. Your hiring process reflects your organization’s values and brand, and this first impression will help lay the foundation for employee loyalty (if you do it right).

Here are our best tips to optimize your hiring process and secure the best employees, while ensuring that all candidates leave their interviews with a positive impression of your brand.

Optimize your job listings

There’s a lot of competition in the job market. Candidates often apply for several roles at once, so the easier you make the process, the more candidates you attract.

Your optimization process starts by auditing the whole application process from a candidate's point of view, starting on your jobs or careers page:

  • Ensure your careers page is easy to find. Don’t be creative in its name on your navigation menu. “Jobs” or “careers” is usually best.

  • Layout the page with jobs at the top. People want to see there’s a job they’re interested in before they read your preambles about the perks of working with you (though having them on your website is important too).

  • Write descriptive job descriptions. Vagueness won’t attract suitable candidates, and it will take longer to weed out unqualified candidates.

Transparency in salary and job descriptions

In your job descriptions, list the expected salary or salary range to manage candidate expectations. In some jurisdictions, listing the salary is now (or soon will be) a legal requirement (such as in BC as of Nov 1). In our experience, including the salary range helps you attract candidates who are more serious about the job (and not candidates who will drop out later in the process when they discover that the salary doesn’t meet their expectations).

Also, be honest and specific in job descriptions. Vague job descriptions may help you attract more candidates, but specific descriptions will attract more qualified candidates.

Optimize the application process

Ensure that your job application process is easy and not unnecessarily complicated. Ask only for the information you require and avoid asking for any information that could lead to unconscious bias in hiring (such as asking applicants to upload a photo headshot or video, or asking personal questions that have no bearing on their ability to perform in the role - what IS your favourite podcast by the way? We’ve been wondering!). Also note that whatever information you acquire is bound by PIPEDA, so collect only what you need and store it securely. .

Have applicants upload a current resume and enter their essential contact information. Though often a great thought process, it is best to avoid having applicants do an assignment (when possible), as that turns off many otherwise qualified candidates.

Be open and transparent

Candidates expect to be updated on the application process, especially if they’re considering roles at multiple companies. You can start being transparent during the application process. Send the candidate an automated (or manually sent) confirmation message to confirm receipt of their application. Then, be timely in communications so they know the status of their application (and when they’re no longer in the running for the position, so they can move on to the next job).

Book interviews promptly

Even if you’re not in a hurry to fill the position, it’s still essential to book interviews promptly. When you book interviews with candidates, don’t book them for several weeks in the future; book them for the same week or week after, if needed. This shows candidates you are serious about hiring and doesn’t leave them hanging and wondering for weeks.

Book with enough notice for candidates to prepare, but not too long that they could get an offer from another company.

Standardize the hiring process

To ensure a transparent and fair hiring process, do your best to standardize the full hiring process so you can compare all candidates equally. This also means you can let the candidates know the process in advance to help them manage expectations and timelines.

Are you looking to hire soon?

If you have a role you need to hire for soon, engage MacDonald Search Group. We can help you find the best candidates for your next position. PS. Our favourite podcast is “Business Wars”.