Forget easily-broken promises of gym memberships and kale smoothies. In 2019, resolve to be one the few companies that differentiates candidate experience by making it a genuine priority instead of an afterthought.

In a business landscape where candidates are more focused than ever before on how they’re treated during the hiring process, there’s no worse way to shoot yourself in the foot than treating candidate experience with disdain, negligence or apathy. That’s why companies are waking up to the importance of candidate experience.

So how do you make your workplace more attractive if everyone’s playing the same game? The same way you always have: you’ve got to stand out. Here are our top 5 recruiting resolutions to differentiate your candidate experience and help your company stand out as a progressive, attractive workplace.

1. Take candidate experience seriously.

The verdict is in: job-seekers really do care about candidate experience. An overwhelming 78% of professionals believe that it’s a key indicator of the value companies place on their people. So if you want to hire the best of the bunch, you need to care as well.

The tricky thing about candidate experience is that it’s so easy to get wrong, even with the best of intentions guiding you. A sloppy, half-hearted or haphazard effort can render your company unattractive at best and open to lawsuits at worst. If you’re going to make differentiating candidate experience a priority in 2019, you’ve got to do it right.

2. Give yourself the time to do it justice.

There’s nothing quite as vital as time to the success of any human capital investment. If you’re serious about differentiating your candidate experience to make it one of the best around, you can’t afford to pass on streamlining your hiring process. In fact, it’s got to be your very first step.

A solution like My Ally is just what you need. We’ll automate basic recruiting coordination tasks like interview scheduling and rescheduling, conference room booking, and going back and forth with candidates to resolve queries. This gives you much more time to build relationships, conduct personal outreach, and do the other things that differentiate your stellar candidate experience.

In this infographic highlighting our user success in 2018, you’ll see just how effective our solution really is. At a time savings of 20 minutes per task, we helped our customers regain more than 7 years’ worth of cumulative working hours this year alone.

3. Make it personal.

Let’s face it: “recruiters have an image problem”. Ghosting, sending spam messages, and hostile behavior are a few of the ways your industry’s few bad apples have created an issue for the majority of well-intentioned practitioners. And there’s nothing quite like personalized outreach to counter this problem – and kick-start a fantastic candidate experience to boot.

Moreover, if you want to hire high-caliber talent, there’s no alternative; personalized outreach is the only way to get results. Indeed’s experiment with this process yielded the following results: 100% response rate, 73% proceeding to interview, and four offers extended.

Tips to differentiate your candidate experience via personalized outreach:

  • Research the candidate’s work experience and background.
  • Suggest roles relevant to their profile, history or interests.
  • Determine why you want that specific candidate.
  • Be prepared to answer questions openly and honestly.
  • Remember that you’re being evaluated, too.

4. Roll with the punches.

When you’ve made up your mind to change something for the better, nothing hurts more than running into that first obstacle. It can suck the energy out of your efforts, make you question your approach, or even cause you to consider giving up altogether.

Recruiting is already an unforgiving, unrelenting, high-pressure business. So it’s both tempting and easy to give up on a new plan and go back to the old ways when you run into your first impediment. Just remember that while every worthwhile plan takes time to bed in, the long-term results are worth it.

As a reminder of what’s at stake if you give up too soon on differentiating your candidate experience, consider the plight of Virgin Media whose poor candidate experience was bleeding them dry – in excess of $5 million a year! As a direct consequence, 6% of the 123,000 rejected candidates who said they would cancel their subscription went on to do so.

It’s not just time to hire and cost per hire that are affected by a poor candidate experience!

5. Remember why you love the job.

Recruiting isn’t a line of work people tend to choose for reasons of fame, fortune or convenience. The list of challenges is considerable: long hours, gruelling demands, outrageous KPIs, dealing with unprofessional candidates, and much more. So if the ask is so taxing, why are there so many recruiters?

Because they love the exciting, rewarding, high-impact nature of the job.

Most recruiters are people-oriented, affable and thrive on social interaction. They love interacting with people from all walks of life, take a genuine interest in the person behind the resume, and wear the ability to handle different personality types as a hard-fought badge of honor.

Delivering a high-quality candidate experience isn’t just something recruiters should aspire to. It’s a guaranteed way to put a smile on the faces of people who love what they do and why they do it.

No better time to start anew

As companies and recruiting teams realign their hiring strategies to suit the demands and realities of 2019, there’s never been a better time to make differentiating your candidate experience a key objective for your next four quarters. Not only will candidates be more eager to work for you, but you’ll rediscover the joy that made you a recruiter in the first place.

Season’s greetings from My Ally, and best wishes for success and happiness in 2019!