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Daniel WellsApr 21, 2023 11:32:29 AM3 min read

Use interview plans to improve applicant experience

One of the largest impacts on a candidates' likelihood to accept your offer is their experience throughout the interview process. The best way to ensure a positive experience is to effectively plan your interview process prior to going to market. Failure to do this creates a chaotic experience for the applicant and often results in long, drawn out interview processes that will 1. waste the valuable time of anyone involved in the process 2. waste the time of the candidate and 3. negatively impact your employer brand. 

But don't worry, there's a solution. We've mapped out the process we often follow with our customers that results in a brilliant experience for the candidate and as a result, usually positively impacts time-to-hire as a result.


Pre-Go to Market 

You need to use your energy efficiently and focus on what you can control to make logical decisions. We encourage all our clients to liaise with our Talent Partners and go through a phase of planning on the role they wish to hire BEFORE going to market. This research phase is often skipped and means hiring managers rush straight to market without having a proper plan in place. This usually ends up costing a lot of time further down the line.

During this planning and research phase we’ll provide a report, using the latest market data, to provide a detailed comparison and recommendations on whether the skillset required & budget allocated are in line with current market conditions. If it isn’t we’ll advise on what can be done to bring requirements in line.


Interview Plan 

The next two stages are the most important when it comes to improving the candidate experience; the first is to create an interview plan. This means;:

  • Creating an outline of the process you expect candidates to go through
  • Having a framework in place to test the relevant competencies for your role
  • Detailing to your Talent Partner what relevant and unsuitable experience looks like
  • Frameworks in place to ensure you are judging all applicants against the same standards and come to a hiring decision quicker as a result

It's also important to provide feedback to candidates within 24 hours of interview where possible, whether you are going to progress them or not. Timely feedback provides successful candidates with a sense of value; this puts you in a stronger position against other companies they are interviewing with.

You also need to provide the unsuccessful candidates with constructive feedback; they might not be right for your business but they will leave with a positive experience they can take into the industry. 

Very rarely do people go on review sites to leave positive reviews but they won’t hesitate to leave a bad one or complain about something they aren’t happy with – the same concept applies in the talent acquisition space, just look at Glassdoor! 


Sourcing Strategy 

The second part is defining your Total Addressable Market (TAM). You do this by  identifying a pool of potential candidates to approach that could be suitable for the position - if you're working with us, we'd do this for you. What you're after is agreement across all hiring managers that the hire we are going to make is likely to be within that pool of candidates based on skills/experience etc. This is key to ensure you're not wasting time approaching irrelevant candidates (who are likely to also know they're not right for the role based on the job description. 


Now that all of this has been agreed prior to going to market, you can approach the most relevant candidates in the market (TAM) and position the role to gain their interest and begin a conversation. Once initial conversations have occurred and a shortlist of candidates has been presented to the hiring manager, the interview plan takes over and should in theory provide a streamlined candidate experience to allow a swift & suitable hire to be made. 

For more information on how we can help reduce your time to hire in the current market, or for a conversation about our other consultancy services, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!