Candidate Experience: work with resume, 1st interview and helpful sources

Olha Onofriichuk
Olha Onofriichuk March 19, 2021

recruiter, interview

To find a perfect candidate is a dream of every recruiter. And recently Mariia Dvornikova, the speaker of the course "Recruiting: communications with candidates" at EvoTalents.School, has shared with us her knowledge, experience and a lot of interesting information about Candidate Experience.

This article is useful for those who are taking their first steps in recruiting, or those who want to be sure they have successful feedback collection practice.

Why is a candidate's experience so important?

Candidate Experience is an experience a candidate gains while interacting with a company: from the moment he or she sees the vacancy [or any information about the company] until the end of the probationary period.

According to a CareerBuilder survey:

  • 78% of candidates share their negative experience of interviewing with friends and colleagues;

  • candidates are 4 times more likely to consider the company's offers in the future if they receive feedbacks;

  • 17% of candidates write about any experience on social networks;

  • 68% of candidates say that their impressions of the interview and hiring process influence their decision to join the company [or not].

This survey showed that the candidate's experience affects not only his/her impressions of the company, but it also affects a brand: how others will think about the company. Especially in the era of social networks and the Internet, when almost everyone shares their emotions and tips on their profiles. So it is necessary to care about positive candidate experience.

What does the candidate's path look like at the recruitment stage?

To become a part of any company each candidate has to go through a certain way. In fact, in each company it can be different: from one interview to ~ 7 stages including interviews with different people and a test task. But the most common way is: an interview with a recruiter -> a test task -> a technical interview on the results of the test assignment -> a final interview with a Hiring Manager -> getting results.

If the recruiter understands that this is the right person, then it's time to prepare for the interview. So Mariia told how beginners and junior recruiters have to prepare for interviews with candidates, how to read resumes and technical skills, explained the structure of the first interview and answered a fairly common question: "Are feedbacks necessary?".

Which sources can be helpful?

  • If we have already received a job description (for example, from the lead), where can we look for some help? Who can recruiters ask for help, support and explanations? There are many options:

  • Google (yes, Google knows almost everything :)

  • Colleagues;

  • Hiring managers, lead recruiters;

  • You can talk to someone from the development team or team leads;

  • Friends who work in the IT field can be great advisors too;

  • IT communities (for example, Ukrainian Sourcing Community, PeopleFirst Club);

  • Client.

           Advice from Mariia: we should come to the client not just with questions, but with possible solutions and recommendations.

How to read resumes and technical skills?

Before inviting a candidate for an interview, we need to read his/her resume and find out whether his/her technical skills meet the requirements of the client.

Mariia told us how to read resumes and technical skills to understand whether this candidate is suitable for us or it’s better to look for another one:

  • We search for matches;

  • We look for gaps;

  • We determine if he/she has key skills.

After that we can make a decision: to invite this candidate for an interview, consult with the team or politely refuse immediately.

Here are some screenshots of how recruiters compare positions and resume:

If you want to know more about technical terminology, you can read Glossary for Tech Recruiters and Glossary for Tech Recruiters. Part 2.

The structure of the first interview with the candidate:

We know how important it is to conduct an interview as the candidate should be satisfied and the recruiter has to get all the necessary information. Also, this event must not be stressful for both parts. Therefore, when we are ready to invite the candidate for the interview, it should be conducted this way:

  • Introduction;

  • Communication with the candidate about his/her experience and interests;

  • Value proposition for the candidate;

  • Questions about financial expectations;

  • Answering the candidate's questions;

  • Explanations about the next steps;

  • Then recruiters have to ask: “How was our meeting? What did you like, what should I improve/add? ” Here the candidate has an opportunity to influence the hiring process from the very beginning and the recruiter can collect feedback and respond to market needs.

By the way, recently we have written about the secrets of the successful interview.

One more extremely important thing is feedback. Indeed, it is really essential to give feedbacks in time (and, of course, never forget about it, as it can ruin the impression and reputation of the company in the eyes of the candidate!). You should even call the candidate after the technical interview, ask how everything went, how he/she feels about it and let him/her know when he/she will receive feedback from the team. This step will help to establish contact and trust between the recruiter and the candidate. After the feedback, you can also ask the candidate to leave a comment on his/her interview via a phone or video call. The candidate's feedback will give the recruiter an opportunity to understand what should be changed or added to the interview to improve it.

As we can see, communication with candidates is a key to the company’s success. So do not be afraid to communicate with candidates, ask about their impressions and emotions, it will only show that the company cares about those who work there or may become a part of it in the future.