Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

5 Things Companies Can Do to Improve the Candidate Experience

By: Bernadette Palumbo, Director of Talent Acquisition, University Relations and Manufacturing Workforce Development at BASF

By: Bernadette Palumbo, Director of Talent Acquisition, University Relations and Manufacturing Workforce Development at BASF

Recruitment in all industries is highly competitive, and it is imperative for companies to set themselves apart to attract top-tier candidates. Offering a unique and personalized interview process is extremely important; however, it is just the beginning of building a lasting relationship with your future talent pool.

Recently, for the third consecutive year, BASF, the leading global chemical company, was named to the Talent Board’s Top 50 companies that create a world-class candidate experience. The below recommendations to improve the candidate experience have become invaluable for BASF’s internal processes, helping us command a 90 percent candidate acceptance rate and garner some of the world’s most diversely talented individuals.

Here are five ways businesses can improve their candidate experience:

  • Transparency – Make sure candidates know where they are in the process at all times, and set realistic expectations upfront. At BASF, our “hiring at a glance” description on our careers page allows candidates to understand what recruitment at BASF looks like.  Both internal and external candidates are provided with an explanation of how to check their job application status in our applicant tracking system. Being transparent is invaluable for both the company and the candidate, as it sets expectations and allows for open communication during all stages of the interview process.
  • Highlight total benefits – Companies today are increasingly offering unique company perks – ensure they are featured prominently in any recruitment marketing.  At BASF, we encourage employees to bring their “whole selves” to work every day by, for example, providing reserved parking for expectant mothers and encouraging teleworking and flexible hours so that people can balance their personal and professional lives.
  • Ensure a diverse interview team – Show your candidates that you value diversity of thought and experience in addition to the more traditional definitions of diversity by choosing interviewers who represent different perspectives and viewpoints. At BASF, we utilize a metrics-driven dashboard to ensure our leaders maximize their diversity and inclusion opportunities through intentional recruitment, transparent hiring decisions and talent development.
  • Keep your word – If you promise to get back to someone, follow through! It seems simple:  if you invite a candidate onsite to interview, ensure he or she receives robust feedback.  Even if you decide not to extend an offer, candidates will leave with a positive impression of your company that they likely will share with their personal and professional network.
  • Make sure you capture “silver medalists” – A candidate you interview for one opportunity may not be the best fit but could be a great addition to another team within the company.  BASF captures this information on our interview evaluation form and stays in communication with these candidates for future opportunities. Even an unsuccessful candidate can leave with a positive impression of the company.