Anyone who has worked in HR or recruiting for any length of time can tell you any number of horror stories about candidates they’ve interviewed. However, there is another side to that coin. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey shows that 49% of job seekers in the U.S. have turned down a job due to a poor interview experience. Even more staggeringly, more than half said they’d discourage people in their network from applying to firms where they’d had a bad experience. Interviewers have to understand that in an interview setting, it’s not just them interviewing a candidate – the candidate is interviewing them, too.

As a recruiter, one piece of advice I always give to my candidates is to take compensation out of the equation and see if they can picture themselves working there. With unemployment numbers being the lowest they’ve been in years, the job up for offer becomes less important when there are many similar opportunities out there. So, what can be done to improve candidate experience and attract more top talent?

Showcase the culture of your organization, and let them know why you’re working there. To put this in perspective, 72% of candidates need to understand the work culture before accepting an offer according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. Be open with your culture from the beginning of the process; if you’re using an agency, make sure they have as much information as possible. The candidate experience starts as soon as they hear about the company. A study by Software Advice proved that most job seekers in the U.S, who amounted to 50 percent, read workplace reviews from Glassdoor to know the working conditions and environment before applying for a job. So, the best thing a company can do is get out in front of it and learn where to improve. This improvement might even have to start in places that companies view as a benefit.

Technology has streamlined many aspects of the hiring process, but too much of anything can be a bad thing. Video hiring-tool companies, like HireVue and Montage, are services companies have used to improve their process. However the impersonality has turned many candidates away from even interviewing. I’m of the opinion if there’s one qualified candidate that is turned away by a method you’re using to hire someone, then the method needs to be reevaluated.

Given how we’re in such a candidate-driven market right now, where many companies are hiring for the same skillsets, there is a lot of competition, and while compensation and benefits are definitely important to candidates, oftentimes they’re not enough. Candidates, like us, are more than likely going to spend more time at work than with their friends and family. Think about your organization and about everything that is important to you. Improving your hiring practices will get you better talent, and making sure their needs are met will ensure motivated employees who will stay loyal longer and prevent your business from becoming someone’s interview horror story this holiday season.

Written by

James Cecire

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