Want to stand out to candidates? Keep your promises.


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Employment Brand Managers develop amazing campaigns to help their company recruit the best of the best.

Talent Acquisition Analytics pros mine data to uncover the magic source that produces the top candidates (if they can first figure out how to clean the data).

TA Operations teams search for, integrate and maintain the most efficient tech solutions to help target, communicate with and keep candidates interested.

And then there are Sourcers and Recruiters…ultimately all of a modern Recruiting function’s efforts are focused on differentiating themselves as an employer of choice. Ideally, all of these activities come together, ensuring a seamless workflow from initial contact to job openings that stand out… from well thought out and organized screening to assessment and selection… and even through onboarding.

It’s safe to say that most talent acquisition teams are increasingly concerned with how well they stand out to candidates. That sensitivity to candidate experience is slowly being integrated into the most competitive practices. Looking to audit your candidate experience practices? Follow this simple rule: keep your promises.

Keeping your promises is the best way to stand out to your candidates

Follow these five basic promises — and be transparent about them — and you’ll stand out to the candidates who matter most:

1. Set expectations. Not just about the job, but about every aspect of the candidate’s journey, from the likelihood they will be contacted after applying (1-100) to the types of responses the hiring manager is looking for (not the content, but the style) should they move on. Commit to responding to everyone who has interviewed every week until the position is filled.

2. Listen actively. Encourage directly-sourced prospects to ask questions prior to applying. Ask hires and silver medalists for detailed feedback on critical touchpoints in your process. Analyze, derive insights, and build solutions to their responses with the same intensity and sophistication as you would if they were your customers – after all, many are.

3. Demonstrate why you think your process is fair. Show candidates that everything they experience is also experienced by others. Make sure they leave satisfied that they have shared everything they believe makes them competitive for your position.

4. Give bad news early. And personalize it. Don’t keep anyone on the hook. It was wrong then, but it will hurt you now. Commit to ending black holes. Commit to yourself. Commit to the prospects who visit your website wondering whether now is the time to apply..then keep your promise

5. Hold yourself accountable. Know what you’ve done to help candidates make their best decision regardless of the outcome. Measure it in a way that best helps you improve.

[CXR Member Spotlight: Innovations in Interviewing]

Want more on candidate experience?

We’re going to be digging into candidate experience a lot in the next few months. If you’re going to be at these events – and if you touch candidate experience, you should be – stop by to say hello. Starting with our Candidate Experience Colloquium in Toronto and continuing with our Global Candidate Experience Colloquium in Amsterdam – where you can stay for the UNLEASH World Conference to hear a panel discussion I’m leading on the same subject. I’m also moderating a Better Candidate Experience roundtable and giving a TED-style talk on Candidate Experience at ERE’s Recruiting Conference. And I’m thrilled to join TalentBoard at their annual Candidate Experience Awards Symposium and Gala.

That’s a lot of talking about Candidate Experience! In our opinion, there is never enough discussion…as long as it is evidence-based.


Picture of Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

A veteran of recruiting and HR, Hoyt is a sought-after speaker with presentations including national conferences with SHRM, LinkedIn, HR Technology, ERE and others in the USA as well as UNLEASH, iRecruit, Australasian Talent Conference and more abroad. Chris has been promoting and leading full scale and enterprise-wide integrations of social media and mobile marketing within workforce strategies for his entire career. His expertise and passion for interactive/social recruiting, candidate experience, and both national and international recruiting strategies are all areas that Hoyt now leverages as co-owner and President at CareerXroads, a Recruiting/Staffing consulting and think tank organization that works with corporate leaders from around the world to break out of traditional recruitment practices and push the envelope in an effort to win the ongoing war for top talent.

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