Building a strong candidate experience is nowadays as important as closing a position with a successful hire. Most of the companies have been focusing on the candidate experience lately. The reason being they have realised the importance of keeping both the new hires and company employees happy, and how not doing it can adversely affects the overall culture and work atmosphere within the company and sometimes the business too (Read how poor candidate experience costed Virgin Media a loss of $5 million dollars annually)

An effective onboarding process starts much before you begin the hiring process. The candidate experience is a clear indication of a company’s values and work culture. Providing a good candidate experience offers many benefits to company as well as to its employer brand. One of the key benefits include potential candidates acting as advocates for your brand. They become a part of the most important form of marketing : word-of-mouth and speak about the kind of experience they had at your company. These candidates become avid followers of your company.

We reached out to the experts over twitter to know what they think about the importance of candidate onboarding in hiring. Here is what Ruchi, Employer Branding Consultant, Speaker, and Founder at EmpBrandIndia says :

Providing great onboarding experience is a part of candidate journey in recruitment. It starts with candidate experience at the time of hiring and extends until onboarding, induction, training and assimilation into the organisation culture

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Understanding What Candidates expect from Onboarding

Prior to deciding an action plan on how to improve the candidate onboarding experience, it becomes extremely necessary to understand what do candidate expect from it.

What do Candidates expect from Onboarding

Ways To Improve Candidate Onboarding Experience – During the hiring process

Hiring and onboarding are treated differently in most cases. However, we fail to notice that most of the candidates make first impressions of a company during the hiring process itself, thus making both a crucial part of candidate experience. Taking care of following things will significantly improve both the onboarding and candidate experience during the hiring process:

1. Understand the job and write a clear job description: Work with the hiring manager to create a job description that gives your potential hires a concrete list of their roles and responsibilities. Explain the challenges of the role and get the candidate interested right from the first step!

2. Structure your interview process: Before you start interviewing candidates, create a candidate “persona” that reflects the ideal characteristics you are looking for, and the parameters to gauge how well a candidate adheres to that persona. Also define your interview process for each role clearly.

3. Communicate regularly: Follow up often and communicate with candidates after each stage of the hiring rounds. Even if a candidate is found to not be a fit for the role, communicating that to the candidate is very important to maintain a positive image of your hiring process.

4. Ensure a smooth interview: Give attention to the candidates during interviews and respond to the questions they may have. Make them feel comfortable and give them a taste of your company culture by showing them around your office and meeting potential future colleagues.

[Bonus Tip]

Shweta Pathak, HR professional at Sun Pharma says :

“Candidates are quickly becoming the voice of many organisation’s Employer Brand. We live in a digital age where, candidates are sharing their experiences online.For example : On platforms like Glassdoor, where your candidates share their feedback on the experience they’ve had on the interview or screening process. Give your candidates a great experience and let them see your culture even before they’ve joined. If they’ve had that positive experience, then they will become your ambassadors. And even if they aren’t hired, they will be positive about your organisation.”

Give your candidates a great experience and let them see your culture even before they’ve joined

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Ways To Improve Candidate Onboarding Experience – After the hiring process

5. Enforce teamwork:  Behind every successful company is a great team working tirelessly towards achieving specific goals. The best way to begin with improving candidate onboarding experience is to introduce every new hire to the entire team and telling them which team are they going to join and work with.

6. Focus on Improving the Employer Brand: The most possible reason for a new hire to onboard for a role offered in any company is its reputation in the market, what perks and facilities does it provide. Thus, making sure that the employee expectations are met in terms of perks and facilities is important to maintain the employer brand. It is often said ” A happy employee is the best advocate and promoter of a brand”.

7. Keep a Hawk-Eye on the Onboarding Process with regular checks: Assuming onboarding process a one-time effort is wrong. To make sure that all the employee expectations are met, you must keep a regular check at the onboarding process and whether it is being implemented without any flaws. Using candidate feedback surveys, one-on-one meeting with the hiring managers and taking care of the employee problems at workplace, and other regular team building exercises etc is the key to a bullet proof onboarding process.

8.  Guide New Hires with the Initial Setup: On the very first day of a new hire, help them with the tech requirements such as work laptop, phone, mouse, keyboard, monitor etc., email setup, creating employee id, gym memberships and other perks. All these helps to make sure that the employee expectations are met.

9. Encourage employees to use their personal brand: The best time for any company to encourage a new hire to use its personal brand to amplify the employer brand is when he is new to the role. Encouraging employees to engage on social media acts as a catalyst in improving the employer brand. (Although this is not applicable at all companies, we advise you to give it a thought before applying it)

10. Sending a warm welcome email: Make sure you send a warm and generous email to the team for welcoming the newly hired candidate. This ensures a feeling of inclusion within the employee which is very important while building a great team.

Conclusion

A strong onboarding process is one the most important assets for any organisation to be considered as a great place to work.  It’s something you need to think out if you haven’t done so yet!