6 Touchpoints to Refine for a Positive Candidate Experience: A New Recruit’s Perspective
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Starting a new job can be nerve-racking for anyone, whether that be an entry-level graduate or a seasoned industry professional. Clammy hands and an unsettled stomach lingers from the first ever encounter with the hiring manager, right up until the candidate walks through the office doors for the first time.
This concoction of anxiety and excitement is all too familiar to me, as I began my first day at MyRecruitment+ this Monday. Thankfully, my nerves were completely unwarranted. The small, tight knit team literally welcomed me with open arms (yes, they’re huggers) and provided me with a seamless transition into my new role as Junior Content Marketing Specialist.
As MyRecruitment+ is a small company with around 25 employees, one could argue that it’s ‘easier’ to provide a new candidate with a holistic and bespoke recruitment and onboarding experience. SME’s typically promote a nurturing company culture, allowing relationships to flourish quickly between new recruits and their colleagues. But what happens when there are fifty, hundreds or even thousands of employees to keep track of? It just isn’t feasible to wrap the new candidate in a fuzzy blanket and put their transition on the top of everyone’s priority list.
What is the answer to creating a highly personalised candidate experience no matter the company size? Customisable recruitment and onboarding software. This blog post will outline the funnel of processes that MyRecruitment+ followed that lead to my positive candidate experience, and how software can replicate the ‘small company recruitment and onboarding charm’ that every candidate hopes for.
#1 Meeting the Manager
The first meeting with my manager was anything but conventional. I was working at my part-time job in hospitality when a customer approached me to introduce himself. He told me that my diligence and positive attitude was apparent (his words, not mine!) and asked about my university studies and career aspirations. It just so happened that he was the CEO of a software company and was looking for a junior marketer – it seemed too good to be true! His warm personality immediately gave me an understanding of the MyRecruitment+ culture and values. This, in turn, urged me to pursue the opportunity.
Now, I highly doubt that any software could facilitate the ‘right place at the right time’ situation that occurred on that day. However, a great first impression of a company can be achieved from the initial interaction – with the help of recruiting software. How? When the CEO of a company can’t just walk up to you and promote an available role, an employer branded job advertisement is the next best thing.
As a candidate, it’s hard to resist a high quality job advertisement that exudes professionalism in design and quality. Recruiting software can offer beautifully designed and branded themes for job advertisements. They are completely customisable to accurately represent the essence of the company, impressing potential candidates from first glance.
#2 The Interview
The interview is without a doubt the most daunting process of the recruitment and onboarding funnel. After my initial encounter with the company representative, an interview was scheduled for the following week. Details regarding the exact time and location were confirmed with me in advance, which allowed me to feel (somewhat) calm and adequately prepared for the big day. When I arrived to the interview, I instantly felt at ease. It was casual, personable and an overall pleasant experience. We discussed my work history, career goals and what the role at MyRecruitment+ would entail. After a great chat, a coffee and a handshake, I walked away feeling content.
In order to orchestrate a positive interview experience like the one I encountered, recruitment software can be of assistance. The integration of Gmail calendar and Office 365 allows in-person and online interviews to be scheduled quickly via the platform, at a time and place that suits both parties. The meeting will appear in the hiring manager and the candidates calendar, minimising the risk that someone will be stood up (because no one likes that).
#3 Post Interview Feedback
Although it’s great to receive positive feedback when an interview has been successful, it is especially valuable when a potential applicant has been deemed unfit for the role. If you ask me, rejection is always better than ambiguity. Candidates may have moved mountains just to make it to an interview, or spent hours preparing in the hopes of impressing the hiring manager. If the company doesn’t inform the candidate of their application status (colloquially known as ghosting), it can leave them feeling unappreciated and resentful towards the company as a whole.
Remember, current and potential employees are customers too. The consumer brand and employer brand are not mutually exclusive; a negative candidate experience can absolutely damage brand image. The unsuccessful applicant and their friends and family could boycott the company out of solidarity, or publicly voice their negative experience on social media.
This is where recruiting software plays a useful role. Once an interview is completed, the hiring manager is able to update the application status and inform the candidate of the outcome, just with the click of a button! A standardised template or ad hoc message can be sent to the unsuccessful candidate, kindly letting them know that they unfortunately weren’t the best fit. Candidates will always appreciate honesty and transparency, rather than being ghosted.
#4 The Offer and Onboarding Pack
Minutes after verbally accepting the job over the phone, a professional and branded email arrived into my inbox containing a very welcoming message and a link to ‘START ONBOARDING’. Clicking on the button took me to the employee self-onboarding page, which contained the contract and forms that I needed to complete.
As a first-time user of an all-encompassing onboarding pack, I was blown away by how easy it was to navigate the software. Traditional processes leave candidates irritated with having to print out documents, scan signatures and sift through dozens of poorly formatted pages. I hate to admit it, but I once left a paper contract on the bus and it was never to be seen again (whoops).
With the use of onboarding software, PDF documents, induction videos and other required documents can be accessed by the new employee in a single online location (so they can’t get lost!). With digital signatures and easy-to-follow steps, I managed to complete the entire onboarding pack within 15 minutes. To minimise errors or discrepancies when completing paperwork, onboarding software has the capability to block users from progressing to the next section until all the information was filled out. It also allows users to complete compliance forms with automatic distribution to respective government departments. This means that the first task the candidate completes at their new company runs seamlessly (leaving a great impression) and allows them to start their role as soon as possible!
#5 Touching Base
During the two weeks between completing the onboarding pack and starting at my new job, doubts began to creep in. Have I made the right decision? Was the hiring manager just acting nice in the interview? Do they remember it’s my first day next week? What have I gotten myself into?!
“How are you going Lucy? I hope you’re having a great week. We are really looking forward to having you on board! There are so many exciting projects in the marketing department for you to work on.”
Queue the sigh of relief. Receiving a genuine message from my new manager instantly subsided my anxieties, reinstating the excitement and momentum that was established during the earlier phases of the recruitment process. Touching base with your new recruit may just seem like another task that can be pushed to the bottom of the to-do list, but it shouldn’t be. Talking from experience, a simple message works wonders in reassuring candidates during the purgatory that is the period between accepting the offer and starting the job.
Modern onboarding software can send automated triggers relative to the candidates start date, reminding relevant parties to touch base. To further simplify this process, software can contact the recruit via a custom or pre-set email or SMS template, sent directly from the platform to keep track of communication history. How easy is that!
#6 The First Day on the Job
The typically jarring 6.30am alarm was strangely melodic on my first day at MyRecruitment+. I sprung out of bed, put on my outfit (that I hate to admit, had been planned out the week before) and drove to the office. My confident demeanour was challenged as I attempted to stomach my morning coffee, but nevertheless, I had high hopes for the day ahead. Thankfully, my expectations were met (and then exceeded). My new team greeted me with smiling faces, I was provided with the necessary technology, set up with logins, a company email and I began training straight away. I was adding value to the company from day one. After such a wonderful introduction, I couldn’t help but think that for many people, the first day of a new job is one. big. fat. anticlimax.
Imagine this. You turn up to your first day and your manager forgot you were coming in. There is no official introduction, everyone is too preoccupied to start training you and you’re borrowing Helen from finance’s computer because they haven’t set one up for you. You’ve spent the day twiddling your thumbs, aimlessly browsing the company’s website in an attempt to look busy. Would you feel discouraged? Let down? Disappointed? I would. A lack of preparation and communication on behalf of the HR team has resulted in you feeling like an annoyance, rather than an asset.
As they say, first impressions are everything. Leaving a new candidate with a negative outlook on their first day is less than ideal. An onboarding software tool can help companies avoid such disasters, allowing for a smooth flow of communication and optimal organisation when the new recruit arrives. Automated notifications can be directed to all members of the new employee’s support team. HR representatives, department managers, provisioning staff, or workplace ‘buddies’ can be sent incremental reminders prior to the new recruit’s start date, letting them know what needs to be prepared. Say goodbye to ‘there was miscommunication’ or ‘it completely slipped my mind’, and hello to greater synergy between departments to improve the onboarding experience for new recruits.
Now that’s my first blog post done and dusted! If you’re interested in improving the recruiting and onboarding experience for your candidates, click here to learn how!