3 Talent Leaders Share Their Secrets To Delighting Candidates

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From offering challenging growth opportunities to lucrative benefits and perks, companies everywhere are leaving no stone unturned in becoming top destinations for top talent. In our last month’s post on modern hiring trends, we saw over 59% of companies stating they would be upping their investments on building their employer brand this year.This has brought about a renewed focus on candidate experience, a critical contributor to their employer brand. (After all, we saw that 83% of professionals state that a bad interview would be a deciding factor when they evaluate a company.) So how much mindshare does candidate experience really demand from talent leaders?

Turns out, a whole lot. We asked three talent leaders one question each on candidate experience to understand what is their secret behind delighting candidates. Here are their answers. 

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How do you make candidate experience a C-suite priority?

I believe the involvement of senior management in recruitment entirely depends on the culture of the company. The Senior Management at Dell is very active on social media and this encourages employees down the line to follow suit. 

The involvement of senior management in recruitment entirely depends on the culture of the company.

At Dell, recruiters focus on clear communication to kick-off a good candidate experience. Whether the candidate is a good fit or isn’t, it is communicated clearly to them with reasons. We also take utmost care to have streamlined processes so that the candidate’s time is never wasted. On that front, we also try to be as prompt as possible when it comes to responding to candidates.

During the recruitment process, especially during campus recruitment drives, the candidates will have many doubts about the company, role and expectations. We make it a point to address these concerns. It would be unfortunate if the candidate comes on board and realizes this isn't the place for him/her, especially at the start of their career! We also keep the communication lines open till the candidate joins us. Someone from the team is in touch with them, responding to queries as and when they come. We also send out Dell newsletters with company updates so they feel like they are a part of the organization even before they actually join.  

It is quite simple - you would never buy products from a store where the service and experience is bad. Candidates are no different; they want to work in places where they know they are heard.

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The war for talent is intense with companies competing on several levers. Does delivering a great candidate experience give Directi an edge?

Focusing on candidate experience gives any company an edge and Directi is no exception. First impressions are often lasting and for a candidate, the interview process is the first point of contact with your company. Everyone would like to belong to a work culture that treats them like a VIP even before they are a part of it!

Beyond that, focusing on candidate experience is beneficial for both, the company and the candidate. I’ve noticed that when we put in the effort to make the candidates feel welcome and comfortable, they aren’t nervous and perform better at interviews. In return, the company walks away with a reputation of caring about people.

For example, in Directi’s campus recruitment drives, we always have a table set up with cookies, juice boxes and other refreshments. After all, these drives last for days and the candidates usually attend multiple interviews a day, barely leaving time for a meal. If someone comes from another city to interview with us, especially for senior roles, we arrange cabs for them so they don’t have to figure their way around a new city. Once, a candidate was interviewing with us on his birthday. So we surprised him with a cake in between rounds.

The point is, it doesn’t take extensive planning and heavy investments to make people feel good - we just need to be thoughtful.

The point is, it doesn’t take extensive planning and heavy investments to make people feel good - we just need to be thoughtful. At the end of the day, when a candidate is evaluating offers, he/she will always remember if you took that extra step to show you care.

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Today’s talent pool is incredibly diverse - Gen X, Millenials, Gen Z just to begin with! Their aspirations, motivations and desires differ greatly. How do you cut across such diversity and deliver a great experience to everyone?

Regardless of which generation, I strongly believe that clear communication and transparency is what makes for a great candidate experience. Whether someone is interviewing for a senior position or junior, everyone appreciates when the expectations are set accurately and clearly without any ambiguity. Then it comes down to understanding people and what drives them, and help them understand and align their expectations with the learning opportunities and challenges that comes with a role, besides paycheck and other perks.

At Sprinklr, our objective has always been to engage and enhance every candidate’s experience during and after the interviews. Our post offer, keep-in-touch program, significantly helps in building a strong camaraderie with the candidates, where our recruiter sets up phased touchpoints with the candidates. We set up communication to address their queries or doubts, send some personalized goodies, a company t-shirt, a coffee mug etc to the candidates as a welcoming gesture. We also invite them over an informal lunch with the respective team and the manager so they get exposed to the company culture and their team in a relaxed setting.

These initiatives resonate very well with the candidates, making them feel well-adjusted by the time they join. And the first few weeks experience after the candidate joins, can make or break his/her journey further. Our buddy program is just put together to ensure a smooth integration into the team and the company, for great collaboration and success in the long run.

As Maya Angelou once said, “People don’t remember what you said. They don’t remember what you did. They remember how you made them feel.

As Maya Angelou once said, “People don’t remember what you said. They don’t remember what you did. They remember how you made them feel.

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