7 Ways to Show Your Candidates Some Love This Valentine's Day

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With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to think about those in your life who aren’t getting the love they deserve. You know, the individuals eagerly waiting by the phone for a call they’ll never receive, despite jumping through hoops to get your attention. Or those who you’ve rejected, but never told why they didn’t measure up. So, they’re often confused, left in the dark, and unsure of what they could have done to make things better.

Who are we talking about? Your job candidates, of course!

You know, the people who spend much time learning about your company, its product, its history, its leadership, etc. and go out of their way to show you that they’re interested in being a part of it all. After all, these candidates—even those not selected for an offer—can be incredibly valuable to your organization, giving you a wide talent pool of already engaged job seekers. As such, there is no better time than now to show your candidates that you appreciate them.

So, what’s the best way to do that?—By looking at your current recruiting practices and finding ways to improve the candidate experience. If you need a head start, consider the following 7 trends that candidate experience-focused companies use to show their candidates the love:

1. Get their details

A poor candidate experience often starts at the application stage. If candidates have to spend a great deal of time entering information into lengthy applications, they can become frustrated at best, or at worst, drop off altogether. Don’t let this happen! Avoid losing out on great talent by creating a shorter application process. One that has questions geared toward the specific job will create a more engaging experience, enabling candidates to better highlight how their background and expertise can make a difference. At the same time, offering a mobile-optimized application process will help candidates make use of those devices that are always in their hands, further contributing to a more streamlined application process. Remember—great talent has their pick of the litter. Make it easy to choose you.

2. Don’t set unreal expectations

Today’s candidates want to know as much as possible about the jobs and companies they’re applying to, both the good and the bad. Using realistic job previews, you can show candidates what they can expect on the job beyond what appears in the job description. You can also enable them to perform simulated everyday tasks, partake in challenging customer situations, or let them shadow a current employee to truly let them test-drive the job. Not only does this let them demonstrate their skills, but it also gives them the opportunity to determine for themselves if they will be a good fit for the job, and opt out if not. Having candidates weed themselves out of the process themselves doubles the effort for finding the best hire.

3. Show candidates the real you

Finding qualified candidates able to meet the task at hand is only one part of the hiring process; you also want candidates who will fit in with the company culture. According to research from Glassdoor, 78% of job seekers say that ratings and reviews from current employees are a big influence in deciding where to work. To deliver, consider enabling employee-generated content, in which your current team members share testimonials and other content, like videos and pictures, to highlight the real experience of working at your company. Again, this will enable the right candidates to gauge if they think they will fit in, and for those who won’t, to move on.

4. Let them show off for you

While it is important to show candidates what the company and job are all about beyond what’s in the job description, you should let candidates demonstrate their skills beyond what’s on their resume. After all, one of the biggest complaints among candidates is that they don’t have enough opportunity to truly convey their skills and personality. You can get around this by letting candidates submit video resumes, where they can make a strong first impression, highlight what sets them apart, and show you how they will make a difference in your company.

5. Prepare candidates for the first (interview) date

Your candidates will have enough going through their minds when they come in to interview with you; the last thing they should have to worry about is getting lost in your building when they arrive. Providing detailed instructions about where they should go will help, and just as important is ensuring they know in advance who they will meet during the interview. And since they are often taking time away from their busy days, even stepping away from their current jobs, it is a nice gesture to give them an idea of how long they can expect the interview to last and what the agenda will look like. All of these things will help put the candidate at ease, and ensure they focus the conversation on what they can bring to your company.

6. Let them down gently

Instead of giving candidates the old "it’s not you, it’s me" routine, you can make the rejection process more positive and rewarding by giving specific feedback on why they weren’t selected and what they can do to improve their interview or skill set. This way, you can keep strong candidates engaged with the company and create a more positive experience by giving them constructive feedback. They will be appreciative of these gestures and more likely to apply to future positions and encourage others in their networks to do so, too. Protecting your employer brand all starts with the image you’re giving off to every person who interacts with your company and staff.

7. Avoid becoming damaged goods

One of the best ways to improve the candidate experience is to get candidate feedback directly. By soliciting candidate weigh-in through post-interview surveys, you can learn what works and what doesn’t. Also, giving them the chance to share their thoughts shows that you value their opinions, and they’ll be less likely to reflect on your brand negatively, whether on social media or with other professionals in the industry. Most importantly, though, you’ll learn what’s important to candidates and be able to adapt your recruiting process accordingly and continually improve the candidate experience.


By adopting the above practices, you can show your candidates some love and that you value the time they spend in applying and interviewing with your company. But the impacts of these strategies aren’t just one-sided; by striving to deliver a more positive candidate experience at every stage, your candidates will show you the love back.

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Candidate Experience