En masse, employees are choosing to opt out of work if employers cannot meet their demands, creating a significant challenge for recruitment managers.  

Dubbed “The Great Resignation”, this trend has led to a highly competitive job market worldwide. As a result, several markets face low unemployment rates, abundant job vacancies, and a pool of job seekers who are much more discerning about where they choose to work.  

For many companies, the solution is to transform their recruitment strategy, but with so much competition, attracting and retaining employees in this cut-throat environment is not easy. However, one critical element that many organizations overlook is candidate experience.  

At Webhelp, we’ve been prioritizing candidate experience to guide innovation in our recruitment process, resulting in some highly impactful outcomes. In this article, we detail some of our methods for improving the candidate experience and share the insights we gathered along the way. 

Enhancing candidate experience from the get-go 

The candidate experience begins when job seekers first become aware of your brand, so it’s highly beneficial to control the effectiveness of that initial impression on all channels. This first pre-application engagement is an opportunity to highlight the company’s culture, position it as an employer of choice, and encourage people to take the next step.  

Today’s candidates primarily seek the option to work remotely or from home, with the flexibility to choose their schedules and how they engage in professional development, as well as competitive salaries. They also want to work for companies that exhibit a sense of belonging, recognize and value their employees, and go the extra mile regarding employee well-being.  

A considerable part of the candidate experience is communicating these values from the beginning, so don’t hold back on shouting them from the rooftops and meeting candidates where they are to share this information. Employee testimonials, for example, can give job seekers insights into their colleagues or the role they’re applying for, and video testimonials successfully build engagement on social media channels.  

Alongside the traditional channels targeting active job seekers, such as online job boards, companies can also present a great first impression by targeting passive, social job seekers on platforms like Spotify or YouTube. Optimizing these ads from an SEO, diversity, equality, and inclusion perspective is crucial, further strengthening the brand and ensuring you attract the most suitable candidates.  

During the pandemic, we introduced Webhelp Anywhere, a global work-from-home model combining talent, engagement, and technology with security, performance, and resilience. In terms of first impressions, Webhelp Anywhere has enabled us to create positive candidate experiences because we immediately communicate our commitment to helping people navigate life’s challenges through flexibility. By adapting, reacting, and refocusing on what is essential to today’s job seekers, the result has been much more impactful first engagements with candidates.  

Reduce candidate drop-off with sustained engagement 

Today’s job seekers have multiple fingers in multiple pies, and many will accept job offers while continuing the application process at another company. This trend results in candidates dropping out before their first day on the job, meaning the onus is on companies to foster commitment and engagement immediately after a person receives an offer.  

People are looking for personalization and intimacy in the recruitment process and want to feel like part of the company as soon as possible, so businesses can benefit from designing their candidate experiences around this trend. For example, at Webhelp, we have a welcome team that supports the candidates throughout the process. If people have questions about the contract or fall ill on the first day of work, our welcome team is available to address their concerns and prevent candidate drop-off.  

When we hire for WebHelp Anywhere, we continuously focus on exceeding candidate expectations throughout the recruitment process, engaging with them regularly to ensure they complete their onboarding and start their first day without a hitch. Our welcome team keeps them updated on the delivery status of their equipment, along with providing a video tutorial for setting everything up. We also make it extremely easy to request a replacement if parts are missing or damaged.  

By showing that the company can offer this level of engagement and support during recruitment, there’s a much higher chance of reducing drop-off and retaining new employees after day one. 

Transformational recruitment tools 

Candidates want to communicate and engage with employers and attend interviews when best suits them, while businesses want to make the candidate experience low effort without compromising on high standards. Technology is an essential enabler of these improved candidate journeys.  

Technology can ensure that your company’s candidate-facing HR tools and processes are as accessible and fluid as the applications people use in their daily lives, making recruitment easier, quicker, and more effective for everyone involved.  

One of the most indispensable recruiting automation tools we implemented at WebHelp is Chat Interview by Sapia.ai, an innovative chat-based online interview platform. The tool allows candidates to highlight their unique skills and suitability for the role they’re applying for while giving them control over when they do their first interview and how long they spend on it.  

When the interview is complete, Chat Interview provides personalized feedback through a complimentary personality profile and coaching tips based on the candidate’s responses. It also helps us stay true to our Think Human culture by giving every applicant a meaningful and insightful follow-up, regardless of their success. Overall, this feedback has extraordinarily impacted candidates, improving their self-awareness and motivating them to improve their performance in future interviews.  

From an operational standpoint, recruitment teams don’t scale alongside job vacancies and applicants, so automation and other intelligent technologies are the only cost-effective solution for rapidly finding suitable profiles in a sea of potential candidates. Webhelp processes thousands of applications a month, so tools like this help us ensure we give every candidate an equal chance to be interviewed and assessed, radically enhancing the candidate experience.  

Final thoughts 

There’s no doubt that today’s job market is a candidate-led environment — it’s no longer about what the candidate can offer the business but what the business can offer the candidate. Therefore, modern recruitment is not only about meeting company objectives; it’s about giving something back to the people who engage with you.  

If companies can find ways to transform the candidate journey and provide something different, they will succeed more in standing out in today’s competitive job market.  

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