Pub. 2 2020 | Issue 5


Five Tips To Improve The Candidate Experience During COVID-19

We’re approaching the fall months, and it’s no surprise that many of our routines have changed immensely. These changes have meant adjusting to a new normal, whether that be working from our homes, having meetings on our phone, or conducting virtual interviews. In today’s unique environment, it’s more important than ever before for companies to re-strategize and put their best foot forward. To do so, companies need to provide a great candidate experience from the beginning of the hiring process.

The candidate experience is defined as “the perception of a job seeker about an employer, based on the interactions during the recruitment process,” which includes the job search, application process, interview process, and onboarding. While it might not be at the forefront when trying to a fill a position, the candidate experience is something that can make or break the decision for potential talent to join your firm.

So how do you ensure that you’re offering the best experience for candidates during these difficult times? Here are five things you can start doing today to facilitate a positive candidate experience that will strategically position you to obtain top talent.

  1. Research Your Employer Brand.

    Have you looked at the online reviews for your company recently? Prior to applying for a position or going in for an interview, prospective candidates most likely have looked up your company to see what past and present employees have said. You want to make sure you analyze your reviews on Glassdoor, Google, and Facebook to check that they align with your brand. Checking your reviews is also a helpful and easy way to see where your organization can close gaps that you might not know about.

  2. Practice Timely and Transparent Communication.

    A clear line of communication is always key, but in these uncertain times, it can make all the difference in whether a candidate wants to work at your organization. Try to respond to potential candidates as quickly as possible, especially if they appear to be a good match for the role they would be filling. No one wants to be left wondering if they did or didn’t get the job, so communicate often about timelines and next steps and ensure you are accessible if there are any questions. This will let the candidate know you value their time and help them better prepare to navigate the interview and hiring process.

  3. Be Flexible.

    We are all navigating these new waters together, and many candidates might be balancing other challenges alongside applying for jobs. Being flexible shows candidates that your company puts people first and is truly finding the best addition to the organization. So be patient when conflicts in schedules arise or a candidate is not responding back as quickly as you hoped. They will remember the understanding and compassion you had when making a decision come the time you make a job offer to them.

  4. Create a Positive Interview Experience.

    Right now, safety should be No. 1 with your recruitment process, so that means adjusting toward virtual interviews. While this might not feel as personal compared to being face to face, you should still make the candidate feel as though you are invested in them. Be sure to ask thoughtful and meaningful questions that apply to the position, company, and culture, and allow time for them to ask questions. Even though you won’t be able to give an in-person tour of your organization, you still want to paint a clear picture of your culture and the people who work there.

  5. Help New Hires Feel Like Part of the Team.

    Starting a new job can overwhelm anyone, but when you’re starting one in the middle of a pandemic and remotely, it can add an extra level of nervousness. While you might not be in the office to make that in-person connection, it’s important to create an experience for the candidate that’s as comfortable and personal as possible. A phone call to see how their day is going, a company-wide email or social media post welcoming them, or even a team video chat social hour can all go a long way to making someone feel as though they chose the perfect organization.

The Bottom Line

Your talent is what will help your organization accomplish its goals and make it stand out from the others, so it’s important to invest in creating a positive experience for candidates. It takes time to identify the gaps, but when you do, you can make the changes necessary to win the best talent.


For more information, contact Chris Walker at (402) 891-6900 or Walker is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) who brings 18-plus years of staffing and recruiting experience to the Aureus Group. Aureus Group is a leading provider of staffing and recruitment solutions, specializing in finance and accounting, information technology and systems, executive search, and healthcare leadership.

This story appears in 2020 Issue 5 of the Nebraska CPA Magazine.

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