Like all job seekers in 2020, medical sales reps want to work for a company that offers equal pay, career advancement, and recognition. Your company checks all of those boxes, so you’re all set to attract top talent, right? Not quite.
The candidate experience is equally important as the employee experience in this equation for landing the best sales reps. If you genuinely hope to attract the best of the best to work at your company, you need to enhance your candidate experience. Here’s how:
1. Use your brand
What makes your company a special place to work? The collaborative environment? The impact you make? The flexibility and importance placed on life outside of work? All of these factors contribute to your employer brand, which should play a starring role in your candidate experience.
Design a brand that aligns with your company values. Develop messaging points that are important to continually remind candidates what you want them to know about your company and your employee experience.
Use this brand in your job advertisements, social media, career page, applicant tracking system, emails to candidates, offer letters, and even your onboarding experience. No matter what point a candidate is in the hiring process, they should be continuously reminded of your brand and what makes your company a place they should want to work.
2. Share employee testimonials
One way to enhance the candidate’s experience with your brand is to create a library of testimonials that share employees’ first-hand experiences. Use your brand messaging as a tent pole and ask your team to share personal stories about their jobs and why they love to work at your company. These can be written interviews, photo spotlights, or even videos.
Share the content throughout the recruitment process: in your social media, job descriptions, website, and even in emails to those who have already applied. Employee testimonials add some authenticity to the candidate experience and help job seekers picture themselves working for you.
3. Update your job descriptions
Job descriptions are incredibly important when creating a great candidate experience early on in the process. They’re the first place a job seeker will interact with your brand, so they need to accomplish a lot.
Not only do you need to convey the job requirements, but you also need to use the limited additional space you have to help the candidate picture themself in the role. You can do this by describing your company’s values and the working style of the team.
Additionally, check your description for biased language to avoid alienating a diverse range of job seekers. For example, words like “aggressively” and “drive” might dissuade female candidates, according to Ongig. Another example Ongig reveals is there are numerous words that might turn off people with disabilities, such as “speak” instead of “communicate” or “see” instead of “assess.” Spend time evaluating your job descriptions to be inclusive of all job seekers.
4. Communicate clearly and frequently
Once a person has applied to your company, the most effective way you can improve their candidate experience is through how you communicate. It’s a frustrating time to be job hunting, so companies that keep candidates in the loop during the recruitment process are sure to win over top talent.
Set up automated emails for each step in the process, so they don’t feel like they sent their resume into a black hole. If you know the process will drag out several weeks, check-in with the candidates who are still in consideration every week or two to let them know they still have a chance. This communication will encourage applicants to stay excited about the position, even if it takes a while before their first interview.
If things change, or something is holding up the process that’s out of your control, be transparent with candidates. Let them know you’re not sure when they’ll hear about the next steps, but you’ll keep them updated as soon as you get new information.
Transparency and frequency are the two words to remember in your candidate communication to improve the experience.
5. Be quick and honest if a candidate is not the right fit
Once your team has ruled out a candidate, let them know as soon as you can. Whether it’s after your applicant tracking system bypasses them, after a phone screen, or after the final round interview, don’t waste anyone’s time. Job seekers will be less likely to apply to your company in the future if you leave them hanging job after job.
When you send a job seeker confirmation that you’re no longer considering them, they can move on to the next application in what is likely a long job search. Establish frequent checkpoints throughout your hiring process to send communication to candidates who aren’t going to make it to the next round.
6. Provide actionable feedback
If a candidate makes it to the final round of your interview process but is not your chosen hire, another way you can improve their experience is by offering them real feedback when you call to let them down.
When you’ve already invested a lot of time into a job seeker, offering feedback is a great way to continue investing in that relationship. Provide specific observations, so the candidate knows on which weaknesses to focus. Otherwise, they might keep applying with the same gap in their experience.
Be transparent so candidates feel confident in their growth the next time they apply to your company.
7. Ask for their feedback
Lastly, it’s always essential to be improving, so a helpful way to accomplish this is to ask candidates what they thought about their experience. You can do this through a few methods. For candidates who made it far in the process, and with whom you’d like to maintain a relationship, you can call them directly. Alternatively, if you don’t have the capacity on your team to follow up one-on-one, you can send out a survey to candidates once you’ve filled the role.
No matter which method works for you, some questions you might ask are:
- How would you rate our hiring process from 1-5?
- Did our hiring process align with your expectations of our company?
- What would you change about our hiring process?
- How likely would you be to apply for another job at our company?
Dedicate time every six months to compile all of the feedback you’ve gathered. Then, make data-informed changes to your hiring process to continue enhancing the candidate experience.