7 Ways to Improve the Candidate Experience During Interviews
By Kerry Weber, Talent Acquisition Manager at ITP
Today’s labor market is tight – did you know 99% of candidates are already gainfully employed? It takes recruiters like me a lot of work to court these candidates, sell them on your job opening and your organization, and spark their interest in exploring a new opportunity.
Once I find the right person, I can get them to your door. But after that, it’s your job to convince the candidate to leave their current role and come join your company. Candidates these days often have multiple interview offers, so it’s absolutely essential to give the candidate the best possible experience when they interview with you.
So how can you do that? Here are my 7 recommendations for creating a great candidate experience.
Treat Candidates Like Customers
Whether it’s a phone screening or an in-person interview, a candidate’s first impression of your company is critical. Show them that you’re as excited about getting to know them as they are about being considered for the role. Really sell yourself, your company, and the open position.
Respect the Candidate’s Time
Be on time. The candidate is taking time away from their current job (using their lunch break or vacation time) to meet with you. Don’t let their first impression of you be that you’re late. Being punctual sets a precedent for how you want to engage with the candidate. If you do happen to be running late, let the candidate know as far in advance as possible.
I’ve noticed that sometimes this gets overlooked. There’s nothing better than walking into a business for the first time and being greeted warmly. When a candidate arrives for an in-person interview, ask if they’d like something to drink and show them where to find the restrooms. Make them feel as welcome and comfortable as possible.
Court the Candidate
Interviewing and hiring is a bit like dating. Before a candidate enters into an employment relationship with you, you’ll need to convince them that your organization is the one they want to choose.
Why should the candidate leave their current employer to join your company? Be sure to highlight your organization’s:
- Reputation and industry standing
- Stability and growth
- Opportunities for advancement
- Comprehensive benefits and perks
- Community involvement
- Flex scheduling/remote work
- Team building activities
Make Yourself Available
Give candidates your contact information so they’re able to reach out with questions and concerns throughout the process.
Communicate with all candidates in a timely manner – whether it be about next steps in the process or about whether or not they are still in the running for the position. Don’t ghost your candidates!
Finally, Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse
No, not like the Godfather. I mean that if you’ve found the candidate you need and want, make them your very best offer. Now is not the time to lowball.
About the Author
Kerry Weber is ITP’s Talent Acquisition Manager. She has 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry with expertise in sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring candidates for IT, leadership, and operations roles. She can be reached at and on Twitter (@ihirenerds)