Candidate experience begins before application and it affects recruiting results. Prospects who like your brand prior to the first interview are 38% more likely to accept your job offer. And, if you don’t offer the job to them, it’s still 80% more likely that they will apply again.
But how can you create a favorable perception at the very beginning of the hiring process that can make people think, “Yes, I would gladly work there”?
With authentic interactions.
Here’s how you can leverage authenticity to establish strong candidate relationships:
1. Know who you are looking for
Being an authentic hiring company is not only about being your true self as an employer brand. You need to match your company and the role requirements with your ideal candidate persona.
Even if your brand image is well-developed and your job description is compelling, your dream employee won’t bother to read your ad if what you offer does not captivate her.
Therefore, before you write that job description, make sure you are talking to the right target candidates. Take a few minutes and build the ideal candidate profiles for your positions. Picture a semi-fictional character for each position and work out these questions below:
- What are their demographics?
- What skills and qualifications do they need to have?
- What motivates them?
- What are they looking for in their work environment?
- Where do they look for jobs?
- What would cause them to not want to work with you?
With the answers in mind, you will be able to create an effective recruitment strategy that will help you interact with your ideal candidates authentically.
2. Embrace authentic storytelling
What else could build a connection better than authentic stories? Beautiful design is inevitable to sell your company, but a successful, authentic storytelling is the foundation of evoking positive emotions about your organization.
People resonate with stories they like. And when you tell your candidates real-life stories, you allow them to identify themselves with your team — which will make them feel closer to you.
True, detailed stories about employees, infused with the messages of your mission, vision, and core values will help you stand out as an employer. Feature your stories on your website or include them in your social media advertising campaigns and increase your ideal candidate’s demand for your position.
3. Be transparent
Changing jobs is a big move, so people want to make informed decisions that they will not regret later. As 90% of applicants say transparency plays a crucial role in saying yes to a job offer, genuineness is key to building a valuable connection.
Provide your applicants with all the information possible whether it is a job description or the Meet Our Team page of your website. Talk honestly about their duties, salary and benefits packages, and reflect your company culture enhanced by your authentic brand voice.
We all trust the opinions of others. 8 job seekers out of 10 research company ratings to get to know the employer better before they apply for a job, so your reply to employee reviews pulls a lot of weight. Take this opportunity and react to comments in a way that accurately reflects your true attitude to your team. Your prospects will appreciate it.
4. Show candidates that you value them
One of the main reasons candidates withdraw their application is because they get ghosted during long interview cycles or receive no feedback, so prospects may be skeptical of success before submitting their application. But if you connect with them immediately via open, responsive, and authentic communication, they’ll know that you appreciate them and value their time.
Listen to them.
Provide them feedback.
Follow up with them.
Inform them about changes.
Make sure you prioritize candidate experience, so your prospects will be certain that you’re truly interested in them.
Building meaningful relationships with candidates before the first interview takes time, but if you focus on authenticity from start to finish, it will be worth the effort. Reach your prospects in a realistic way that allows them to picture a day at your company. Let them envision themselves working on your team or having 1:1 meetings with their line managers. If they like what they see, you will earn their trust and they will feel comfortable working for you.