3 Tips for Maintaining a ‘Merry’ Candidate Experience During the Holiday Hiring Season

Providing a great candidate experience has been at the top of recruiters’ and hiring managers’ minds for much of 2018, and for good reason.


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CareerBuilder finds that nearly four in five (78%) candidates say the overall experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people. Furthermore, 41% of global candidates who say they’ve had a “negative” candidate experience will take their product purchases and business relationship somewhere else. Some candidates go so far as to dissuade family and friends from doing business with the company that offered a bad experience.
In fact, the candidate experience has become so important that a recent Montage report finds talent acquisition leaders are considering improving every stage of the hiring process in the hopes that it will improve the candidate experience. While many companies are working to improve the experience they offer, some companies are simply trying to maintain theirs throughout the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season.
If your company is trying to maintain a great experience, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. Amy Finn, director of candidate experience at talent acquisition firm WinterWyman, provided us with the following three tips:

1. Over-Communicate

“It’s important to be responsive and avoid the ‘black hole’ of job applications,” Finn say. “Professionals applying for a position at your company, especially during what could be their holiday break, should always receive timely responses.”
Additionally, a recent survey released by CareerBuilder and SilkRoad finds that candidates expect proactive, transparent, and frequent communications from employers, at all stages of the recruiting process. The survey also found that 31% of candidates expect customized messages from employers that reach out to them with job opportunities.
And  82% of candidates say they expect employers to provide a clear timeline for the hiring process and to keep them updated throughout the process when they apply for a job. By over-communicating with candidates, you’ll keep them informed and happy.

2. Set and Manage Expectations Early On

“When you’re interviewing candidates, let them know what your timeline looks like and how often you will be in touch,” says Finn. “Whatever the response, it is crucial to have the expectations clearly outlined.”
Unfortunately, no one likes to hear bad news and especially not during the holiday season. Finn advises “If the recruiter needs to communicate bad news during the holidays, it’s best to be honest and let the candidate know as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the holidays are over.”
Finn adds, “As professionals, candidates need to be prepared to handle good and bad news, even if it’s in between Christmas and New Year’s—because really, when is the timing great to hear you didn’t land a role you really wanted?”

3. Make It Clear You Value Their Time

Let’s face it, the holidays can be utter chaos for both the hiring party and the applicant. “During the holiday season, it’s extremely important to make the in-person experience as seamless as possible, says Finn. “Candidates often take time off work or use their personal time with family to come in for interviews, so it’s inconvenient if they’re left waiting for an unreasonable amount of time or are asked to reschedule at the last minute. It sends the message that they are not valued—even if that’s not your intention.”
Not to mention, by flaking on the candidate, you’re setting yourself up to look like the ultimate Scrooge! Keep your candidate experience jolly and bright with these three tips, and you’ll be guaranteed to have that vacant role filled by the New Year!

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