Creating a Positive Candidate Experience

Author Josh Harrisking Date 23 Jun 2020

Now more than ever, our economy and the world are relying on hourly workers to provide essential services. As things start to open back up, how can we put this critical segment of our workforce first, to meet their needs, to stand out in a sea of choice, and to get our businesses back up to full steam?

To understand this better, we had a candid discussion with Carolyn Frey, the Chief People Officer at Philz Coffee, Keith Curran, the Director of Operations at Same Day Delivery, Marc Hinson, the Vice President of People at Bartaco, and Dan Sides, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Traitify, to learn how these industry leaders shape their recruiting and hiring process, and specifically, how they’ve been able to create a positive candidate experience. 

A positive candidate experience has rarely been a priority within the hourly space. In fact, according to Frey, “From the hourly worker perspective, sadly, the expectation is quite low, just given how many poor candidate experiences there are out there, and how inconsistent hiring practices are.” However, due to these low expectations, it is a great opportunity for employers to really stand out when they make this a priority.  

Something we always try to remind employers is that candidates who apply to their job are likely applying to 10+ more at the same time, so standing out from the others is crucial. One of the biggest ways to do so is by prioritizing consistent and strong communication. At Bartaco, Hinson states, “What’s really important is that we get back to people as quickly as possible, right? We want to be fast.” He goes on to explain that “As an employer, we want the potential employee who’s best for the job, and if they’re applying to work for us, they’re applying to work at 10 other places. So, responding really really quickly, communicating with them, and not ghosting them… They’re tired of that. They’re tired of employers just going dark on them. So I think immediate response, a high level of communication, and right out of the gate then you’ve started to share with them how you view your culture and how you view wanting to take care of the guests.” 

Sines makes an interesting suggestion, stating “For years, we’ve personalized online shopping experiences.. but we have not translated that to the hourly candidate for the applying process, and I think there’s a real opportunity to kind of change that hiring experience in a way that’s more consumer-like in its approach… In many cases, an hourly employee is also your customer.” This is an important distinction that both Frey and Hinson acknowledged, as well. Your application process should reflect your employer brand, as this is a great way to positively represent your company’s culture, which directly relates to a more positive candidate experience.

Lastly, consistency is key. It’s very important to ensure you have the same process implemented for all candidates that come through the system. Not only will this encourage fairness and limit biases throughout the process, but it will also allow for better speed and efficiency since the process won’t change from one person to the next, creating a better routine for those managing the process. Frey sums it up beautifully, stating that “Whatever you implement, make sure that it’s a consistent process across all candidates so that there’s just no implied bias in the interview… the world is biased, so just make sure the processes and systems that we create as leaders in the people space support as much as possible an unbiased process”

If you’re interested in checking out the webinar yourself, you can watch it here!


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About the Author

Director, Technical Program Management

Josh Harrisking

Josh Harrisking is the Director of Technical Program Management at Fountain.