How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience

Diane Smedley

It’s a very tricky time in the drinks market. Not because things have slowed down in terms of manufacturing. If anything, we’ve all been consuming more during lockdown. But, in terms of recruiting high calibre candidates, things are increasingly difficult.

The simple reason is this: candidates are scared to move jobs. Nobody wants to be “last in, first out” in a new company. Many have seen friends and family face redundancy and don’t want to make the leap when their current role is so secure.

Many candidates have also discovered a new-found appreciation for an industry or a job that has managed to weather the storm of the pandemic.

So, what can businesses and distilleries do to continue to attract top quality talent? Put plainly, you must create an interview process that is so engaging and positive, candidates will have no option but to say yes.

How can you do that? Read on …

Get the basics right

If your recruitment process feels clunky or chaotic, you can kiss top quality candidates goodbye. Candidates want to feel valued at every stage of the process. They also don’t want to have to fill in a fourteen page document full of information you could have gleaned from their CV. So, picture yourself as the candidate. Is your website easy to navigate? Are your job applications straightforward? Are your job adverts engaging?

Create a compelling process

What does your recruitment process actually look like? Is it still fit for purpose? How many stages are there? Are there assessments to complete? All of these questions are really important as you can lose a candidate to a process that seems like a minefield. So, do your research and find out what other, similar businesses are doing in order to engage candidates at every step of the hiring process.

Be efficient

There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve performed well in an interview and then hearing nothing for days on end. If you want to secure your candidate, you have to move quickly. Even in these times of uncertainty, good candidates will always be in demand. So, you have to communicate regularly and clearly throughout your hiring process. If you interview someone on a Monday, aim to pass on some feedback within 48 hours at the very latest.

Ask questions – be prepared!

Throughout the entire process – from interview to offer – ask the candidate questions about their current situation. Are they employed and looking for a move? If so, why? Or are they on the market? All of this will help you form a bigger picture of the candidate and get to the heart of the reason as to why they are looking for work. Counter offers – and substantial ones at that – are really common just now as employers don’t want to lose their best candidates. Stay on top of that from the outset – showcase everything they stand to gain by joining your business.

Be empathetic

Don’t forget those who didn’t quite make it over the line! Be timely and courteous with your rejections, too. These candidates could be future employees or competitors and you want them to still reflect on their experience positively. Otherwise, you risk potential damage to your employer brand.

If you would like to speak to me about hiring with the drinks industry, I’d be keen to understand your plans for growth and help you achieve those. Click here to get in touch with me directly.

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