How to enhance the candidate experience and secure talent

Secure talent


How to enhance the candidate experience and secure talent


Struggling to fill roles right now? You’re not alone.


According to recent data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 31 per cent of Australian businesses surveyed in June are finding it difficult to find staff. But we don’t need statistics to tell us that. We hear it in conversations every day.


Thanks to COVID, the job market has undergone transformative change over the last few years. The so-called ‘Great Resignation’ has hit our shores, and we’re currently seeing a tight talent pool and a decline in job applications coming through as people re-evaluate their life and work priorities.


Secure talent


The great re-evaluation


Having faced lockdowns, safety threats, and a situation where work from home was seen to work, employees are no longer willing to stay in jobs where they’re not valued, endure long commutes or have no flexibility.


People want to work for companies that treat them as human beings with lives, needs and families beyond work, not just as cogs in the machine. If they’re getting that, they stay. If they’re not, they look for it elsewhere.


Because of this, the key to attracting talent and filling roles today is being an awesome employer delivering an enhanced candidate experience.


An enhanced experience starts early


An enhanced experience starts early


But what can you do to achieve an enhanced candidate experience?


Our advice? Move to a recruitment and selection process that focuses on those early customer touchpoints. In other words, put your efforts into proactively and thoughtfully engaging with candidates early in the process.


This allows your organisation to build connections and nurture relationships – things that ultimately strengthen your brand and place you as the ‘front of mind’ employer when people are presented with multiple job offers.


As the old saying goes, ‘The early bird catches the worm!’ or as we prefer to say, ‘The proactive business pulls in the talent!’.


Tactics to make candidates choose you   


Tactics to make candidates choose you


There are a number of things you can do to enhance the candidate experience in the early recruitment and selection stage. They really can make a difference!


Create a brilliant careers page


Your website careers page isn’t just a place to pop your latest vacancies. Think of it as a personal pitch to potential candidates. The more appealing and engaging you can make it, the more likely you are to win candidates over.


  • Tell them about your company’s mission, vision and values
  • Describe what it’s like to work there. Even better, include video testimonials where members of your team talk about why they enjoy their job
  • Give a run-through of your employee benefits – from flexible working arrangements to bring your dog to work day!
  • Talk about any charity and community work you do as a team


Make the application process easy


Candidates today don’t have the time or patience to spend hours completing job application forms. Writing essay-style answers to meet the criteria? No thanks!


Because of this, ensure you make the application process as quick, simple and accessible as possible. This includes keeping it short (not multiple pages) and avoiding asking them to repeat information already included in their resume.


To make forms accessible, ensure instructions are clear, avoid CAPTCHA and provide them in both Word and PDF format.


Contact candidates as soon as they apply


Rather than waiting for the application process to close before contacting candidates, reach out straight away.


In this fast-moving market, if you delay it, you might miss out on exceptional candidates who have already moved forward with another company.


Conduct phone screening


Instead of relying on forms and resumes alone, take the time to give candidates a call and have a conversation with them to suss out whether they’re suitable.


Phone screening can help you get to know candidates more personally. It also offers ‘real’ human contact from the get-go, making you more memorable.


Even if they don’t match the criteria for the role they applied for, you might be surprised to find that they possess some great transferrable skills that would be beneficial and complementary to the team.


Personalise interaction and communication


Candidates today want a personalised experience with brands – including businesses they’re looking to work for.


This means treating candidates as individuals, not just as another number. Here are some practical ways you can do this:


  • Personally respond to their application submission rather than sending an automated response. If this seems overwhelming, invest in HR software to do this for you (with tailored responses)
  • Let candidates know they can reach out to you through the process to ask questions or to see how the process is progressing
  • Inform them of the outcome of their application as soon as you know, don’t leave them hanging. This leaves a bad impression. Even if you don’t hire them, they might share this negative experience around


Get networking – on and offline


As in business generally, networking is a big yes.


Being out there and building connections with candidates and potential candidates helps build engagement and relationships – and can help you win them over to work for you.


Get involved in your local area and attend local events. Social media is also an amazing way to expand your reach, connect with people and warm them up for roles. By being friendly, helpful and engaging, you’ll be a more appealing option.


Memorable candidate experiences = secure talent today


Memorable candidate experiences = secure talent today


Despite busy being the new normal, it’s important to start consciously investing time into reviewing your recruitment and selection process.


By following these recommendations and shifting your mindset from it being a chore to creating memorable candidate experiences, the changes will be easier and exceptional talent will (fingers crossed) choose you as their new employer!


If you want to create a more enticing culture in your workplace to help attract new talent and retain your existing employees, let’s chat.

Contact the Seed People Consulting team to discuss how we can support developing your diverse culture today!

Meet the author: Julia Fiore

A born and bred Novocastrian, Jules started her career in retail and customer-facing roles. This built her love for people and customer service. After moving to the UK at 21 and ‘falling’ into HR, she climbed the early ranks to HR Advisor before returning home to Aus.

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