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How to guarantee a positive candidate experience when recruiting remotely?

The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly changing the way we work and recruiting is changing along with it. In-person interviews are shifting to digital interviews, and remote onboarding is becoming the new normal. However, despite the changes we are experiencing as a result of social distancing, providing candidates with a positive experience should remain a top priority. How companies treat their employees during a pandemic has a huge impact on employer branding.

What is candidate experience and how can it be used well?

Candidate experience encompasses every single candidate interaction with a company throughout the entire recruitment process – from reading the job description, through job interview and being hired to, ultimately, onboarding. The information they find along the application process also influences the perception of the employer.

Antal specialists share good practices on how to prepare a candidate for a job interview: 

1. The first tip on how to guarantee a positive candidate experience during the recruitment process, even more so in these challenging times, is first and foremost clear communication. This is a good way to keep candidates engaged during initial interviews. Prompt assistance and responsiveness when there are concerns due to a rapidly changing market can serve as a bridge between employer branding and stakeholder experience, and position the brand as helpful and friendly from day one. Transparency and understanding will ensure a positive candidate experience from a distance, which job seekers will appreciate.

2. Another important issue is to prepare the job applicant properly for the interview. Before the e-meeting, the candidate should be informed which technology the recruiter will use. More and more instant messaging apps and virtual interview tools are now appearing on the market, so such information will help the candidate to get acquainted with the technology in advance. It may also be helpful to provide a manual or FAQ link for any remote technology one intends to use.

3. An interesting way to keep a candidate engaged and guarantee a positive candidate experience can be to get part of the team involved in the recruitment process. Remote working has taken away access to catch-ups over coffee or team-building meetings. The opportunity to meet future colleagues already during the recruitment interview will certainly have a positive impact on the potential employee experience.

Is remote work the new normal?

A remote candidate experience should not be too different from how candidates are treated during the traditional recruitment process. Feedback is invariably important and should be given as soon as possible. When offering a job to a successful applicant, one should give them all the information they need for the remote onboarding and introduce them to their colleagues so they feel immediately integrated into the culture of the future company.

The biggest challenge of remote recruitment is virtual employee onboarding. When starting this process, it is important to have all the training documents in place to easily guide the candidate through their roles and responsibilities. In addition to the work itself, it is worth ensuring that the employee feels part of the company community. An interesting solution is to share the newly hired person's profile and photo on social media and organise additional virtual meetings with the team. 

Both employers and candidates need to adapt to current circumstances. Given the need for remote recruitment, employers need to create a structured candidate sourcing process and respond to a candidate’s needs whenever possible. Using these tactics will ensure employers are well positioned to represent their brand in the new normal.

Martyna Grunt-Mejer, Consultant & ReX Leader, Antal

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