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How to guarantee a positive candidate experience when working remotely

With many of us now working remotely, the hiring process as we know it has been changed quite dramatically. Whether temporarily or permanently so, an entirely online hiring process can be a mixed bag. While sourcing and initial contact with candidates is perfectly suited online, when a candidate makes it further down the funnel, the experience usually moves to in-person. When this is not possible, how can you ensure the candidate still has a good experience, still gets a feel for your company culture, and crucially, still wants to work with you?

If you need your candidate’s experience to be entirely remote but still entirely brilliant, we’ve got you covered with these eight easily actionable steps.

1. Master the basics

At the best of times, a poorly run interview can put off candidates. Lack of preparation and poor organisation is all the more obvious when you’re conducting video interviews. Your candidate, whether confident or nervous, will expect you to lead the interview and as such, you should be prepared to. Be sure of your role and confident in it.

Know how your video equipment works, choose a neutral environment, have your questions ready in advance. Equally, remember you are their main point of contact. Be friendly and polite – don’t forget that more than ever, you are the first person they associate with the company, so it’s crucial you create the correct impression.

positive candidate experience

2. Prep your candidate

A pretty important part of the hiring process at the best of times, but prepping your candidate is especially important when the hiring process is entirely remote. While the recruitment industry is swinging between freezes and high volume hiring, it’s important to let any candidates (who may have applied before your company moved to remote working or lockdowns were announced) exactly what they can expect.

Give your candidates everything they need to help make the best impression – let them know what tools you will be using, and share advice on how to have a good set up in terms of lighting and environment. Make sure they know what to expect in terms of who they will be speaking to, what the dress code is and what types of questions might be asked. We’ve done a video guide to go through this in more detail – check it out!

Taking the time to help candidates with this will not only help it go more smoothly for all involved, but it will show the candidate that you are invested in their success.

3. Prep your interview panel

If your candidates aren’t used to video interviews, don’t forget there’s a good chance your interviewing panel isn’t either. Make sure they adhere to the best practices you’ve spoken about with your candidates. Why not share this quick guides on video interview best practices for interviewers with them?

We’d also recommend conducting a quick meeting via video conferencing with them to run through your set up, and preemptively troubleshoot any issues they might have. It’s definitely worth running through some of the basics as well – smiles and facial cues are important, the backdrop should be neutral, and being dressed appropriately is essential.

4. Share your culture in new, creative ways

You can’t introduce your candidate to Susan playing table tennis in the rec room, Phil by the printer, or John making a cup of tea. And as for the office tour? It’s out the window.

While you could be forgiven for thinking these are all just niceties, little introductions and showing off the office all help paint the picture of your company culture for your candidate. A candidate will apply for a role, but get excited for the culture, so it’s important to demonstrate this in other ways.

If you’ve a team instagram account, share it. Have any of your employees been interviewed in articles you could send over? What press coverage is out there about your company? What about video content of the office and staff, or podcasts and webinars? If you don’t have anything pre-made, why not ask your employees to send you any pictures or videos they’ve taken of team events or activities. Anything which helps your candidate get a feel for the personality of your office beyond the role itself.

5. Make time for small talk!

It’s very easy when digital meetings are scheduled to the minute to forget about small talk. In reality, you’d be showing people around, chatting casually, and introducing people. This not only showcases your culture, but helps give you candidates a helping hand if and when they do join your company. Take the time to speak to them on a human as well as professional level.

make time for small talk - positive candidate experience

6. Give feedback to unsuccessful candidates

Every candidate deserves a great experience, regardless of if they were successful or not. If possible, consider giving constructive feedback to the candidates who you don’t hire.

LinkedIn research shows that 94% of candidates want to receive feedback after an interview. If you’re able to, give tips to help them improve, or suggest skills they could develop. This means the experience is still valuable to them, even if not in exactly the way they had initially wanted.

7. Make your onboarding experience as smooth as possible

A good candidate experience doesn’t stop once you offer them the job! For onboarding, consider what your new hire will need to do their job effectively, comfortably and successfully. Even if this is a temporary measure, it’s important to get it right. Make sure they have everything they need to work effectively from home, set up some introductory calls with key members of your team and most important of all, communicate. A LOT. (Pssst, let us help – we wrote a full guide on this).

SocialTalent can help you adapt, improve, and hone your hiring process. Find out more about how we help companies find, hire and develop the best talent.

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