Your finance candidate experience could be letting you down; let me explain. More than 90% of companies face major skill shortages in the financial landscape. This means upgrading your hiring process has never been more important. Competitive salaries, great benefits, and a robust employee value proposition might help you to attract candidates. Still, you won’t get the talent you need if your candidate experience doesn’t meet expectations.
The experience of applying for a role can be a frustrating and eye-opening process for finance professionals. From the application to the interview and the job offer, numerous factors can influence how your candidates feel about your company and your available roles.
Failure to deliver an excellent candidate experience means you could miss out on crucial talent for your team, struggle to attract new hires, and even suffer from a damaged employer brand.
Here’s what you need to know to master the candidate experience.
The Current State of the Hiring Process
While candidate experience has always played a role in defining employers’ relationships with potential employees, the concept has grown increasingly important in recent years.
Today’s financial experts are demanding more from their employers: more flexibility, empathy, and respect. Capturing the attention and interest of the right employees starts with the candidate’s experience. Unfortunately, 48% of job seekers say they’ve had a negative hiring experience in the last year, and 49% of candidates have rejected a job offer due to their poor experience.
Optimising the candidate experience is how employers can overcome many challenges in the hiring landscape today, from changing employee expectations to growing skill gaps. It’s also how companies can ensure they’re preserving their reputation in the market.
Around 77% of candidates with a positive experience during the hiring journey share it with their networks, boosting your ability to attract new talent.
However, 72% of candidates will share negative experiences with friends and family, and 25% say they’ll actively discourage others from applying for a role with a business offering a poor candidate experience.
How Negative Candidate Experiences Impact Companies
Poor candidate experiences aren’t just frustrating for job seekers but also disastrous for business leaders. If you can’t promise a candidate a good experience during the hiring process, they’re less likely to consider working with your brand, leading to a longer, more expensive recruitment strategy. Negative candidate experience:
- Harms your employer branding and reputation: In today’s digital world, candidates actively seek insights from other job seekers and employees about a company’s reputation and culture before applying for a role. More than half of all job seekers say they’ll abandon their pursuit of a company after reading negative reviews on an employment site.
- Makes it harder to attract top talent: Today’s most talented finance professionals have more options for where to work than ever before. If your employer brand isn’t effective at showcasing important values, like respect and empathy for employees, then professionals will actively avoid your company, making it harder to attract new staff.
- Increases hiring costs: A poor candidate experience means your company needs to work harder to convince candidates to consider working with you. Alternatively, a positive candidate experience makes candidates 38% more likely to accept a job offer. Negative experiences increase time-to-hire, withdrawal rates, and recruitment costs.
Even if a candidate chooses to accept your job offer after a poor candidate experience, they’re less likely to be engaged by and committed to your company. You might find your staff members abandon your business just a few months after joining, leading to lost productivity and motivation in the workplace and increased hiring costs.
The Core Problems Affecting Candidate Experience
Various factors can turn a positive candidate experience into a negative one. However, the most common reasons candidates withdraw from the recruitment process are:
- Lack of timely communication and feedback
- Lengthy and complicated application processes
- Unprofessional behaviour during interviews
Learning how to eliminate these issues from your financial recruitment strategy can help you to attract more talent, retain your employees, and improve your employer brand.
1. Lack of Communication and Feedback
Few things are more frustrating for a talented financial candidate than waiting for hiring managers and companies to get in touch about an interview or the next stage in the hiring process. Today, most financial candidates will be applying for multiple roles at once. Failing to communicate with each applicant means consistently and transparently; you could lose a crucial employee to a different company.
Fortunately, solving this problem is simple:
- Commit to prompt, frequent communication: Respond to all candidates immediately after they apply for a role, letting them know when you’ll be back in touch. Communicate your hiring process up-front, and keep each candidate updated on their stage in the recruitment journey and what happens next.
- Be transparent: Immediately give your candidates all the information they need about your company, compensation packages, and job information. Make sure you answer any questions your candidates might have openly and honestly.
- Provide personalised rejection and feedback messages: Don’t just send automated rejection letters to every candidate. Let your applicants know why you chose to go in a different direction and provide insights they can use to improve their chances of getting the role they want in the future.
2. Lengthy and Complicated Application Processes
Around 60% of candidates will stop an application mid-way through because they consider the process too complicated or lengthy. While a good application process can be a good way to filter through candidates and make quick decisions about whom to move to the next stage in the hiring process, it still needs to be intuitive and user-friendly.
The best way to determine whether an application process is too complex is to go through it yourself. Monitor how much time it takes and how many issues you encounter. After experimenting with your application, ask yourself:
- Are you focusing on the right criteria? Use simple questions in your application process to access instant insights into your candidate’s ability to thrive in a role. Avoid asking too many long and in-depth questions which can otherwise be covered in the interview.
- Are all the steps necessary? Do you need your applicants to write a 1000-word essay about their experience in the financial sector or share official statistics about their results in previous roles? How can you make the application process simpler?
- Is the platform user-friendly? Is it easy for applicants to submit resumes and cover letters to your system, or must they reformat everything to adhere to your applicant tracking systems? Can your candidates access the application on any device, including mobile?
3. Unprofessional Behaviour During Interviews
It’s easy to forget, but interviews aren’t just a way for companies to assess candidates; they’re also an opportunity for each candidate to evaluate their potential employer. If interviewers aren’t prepared with the right questions or act rudely or dismissively towards candidates, this will instantly harm your employer’s brand.
Training your hiring manager on interview techniques, such as creating standardised questions to assess candidates, building rapport, and using body language to put candidates at ease, can make the interview process more positive. Focus on:
- Preparation: Provide interviewers with structured interview questions and guidance to assess each candidate according to the same criteria. Invite them to read through cover letters and resumes before the interview, so they can personalise questions based on what they know about the candidate.
- Respect: Treat every candidate with the same level of respect. Use body language signals like eye contact and smiling to create a friendly atmosphere, and avoid using any discriminatory or derogatory language.
- Communication: Communicate clearly and effectively during interviews. Invite candidates to ask questions and respond to them as honestly as possible. Be precise about wording your questions to help candidates formulate the right response.
Candidate Experience is Crucial
As financial companies face increasing challenges with attracting and retaining talent, candidate experience is crucial to any hiring strategy.
Creating a positive experience for candidates not only improves your chances of candidates accepting a job offer but also makes it easier to attract top talent and improves your employer’s brand and reputation.
If you’re struggling to optimise your candidate experience or attract talented professionals to your team, a professional financial recruitment team can be a valuable resource. The right recruitment agency can help you to connect with passive and active candidates, develop a stronger hiring strategy, and upgrade your recruitment process with a candidate-first mindset.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, ranging from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly.
To learn more, contact one of our team today, or call us on 01282 930930.