Did I follow-up with that interviewee? Did I send the new hires their onboarding docs? When was the last time I engaged with my talent community? Did I schedule that second interview? Did I introduce the interns to their managers? Did I e-intro that mentee to their mentor? Did I…?
As a recruiter, you have roughly 283 thoughts running through your head at any given moment. Depending upon the size of your company, you could be coordinating communications between dozens (or hundreds!) of candidates simultaneously.
Which frankly, can often feel downright impossible. And yet, in 2022, you can’t afford to drop a single line of communication. In a candidate-hot labor market, applicants expect employers to provide valuable information and prompt feedback through each stage of the hiring process — from joining your talent community through their first 1-3 years on the job.
…But exactly how can a single recruiter manage to do all that!?
To ensure your employer brand provides a candidate-first experience, we’re providing the framework to map out the entire applicant journey. Below, find a hiring process checklist to help you attract top early-career talent.
The 25-Step Hiring Process Checklist for a Candidate-First Experience
With unemployment rates at an all-time low and top talent facing multiple offers, you can’t afford to provide a negative candidate experience. To prevent any drops in communication, follow this handy checklist to guide applicants through your candidate journey.
1. Engage Your Talent Community
The candidate's journey doesn’t begin when an individual submits their application. Instead, it starts when a candidate first engages with your employer brand — which could occur as early as their freshman year of college or high school years. Unfortunately, when it comes to engaging their talent community, many employers fall short. According to Talent Board, a dismal 29% of candidates received a reminder about the next steps after applying to a company.
We recommend sticking to a monthly communication schedule to keep your talent community engaged. During this time, offer career tips, provide recommended reading lists, and provide tangible advice. For instance:
- Immediately following application: Welcome candidates to your talent community.
- 1 week: Provide a video from a current employee within the candidate’s potential department.
- 1 month: Offer a checklist or tip sheet on how to make a cover letter, resume, or application stand out.
- 2 months: Provide updates on current job openings.
- 3 months: Send an evite to register for an upcoming virtual recruiting event.
2. Follow-Up Throughout the Interview Process
Creating a smooth interview process requires consistent, timely communication. According to Job Seeker, nearly half of all candidates (47%) are looking for outstanding communication, feedback, and follow-ups throughout the interview process. In the same study, easy-to-schedule interviews were listed as the leading indicator of a positive candidate journey.
To ensure your interview process delivers on prompt communication, instate weekly check-ins that cover these steps:
- 1 week before interview: Send a pre-interview checklist telling the candidate what to expect.
- 1 day before: Send a reminder confirming the interview.
- Immediately after interview: Thank the candidate for their interview, and inform them of when they can expect to hear from you next.
- 1 week after: Schedule the next interview (if moving forward) or invite candidates to rejoin the talent community for additional career resources (if moving in a different direction).
- 2 weeks after: Send a survey asking the candidate what they thought of the interview process and how it could be improved.
To transform your interview process and increase the quality of new hires, download this free template.
3. Prevent Reneges With an Engaging Post-Offer Journey
Post-offer reneges are on the rise. According to a 2021 report by Indeed, 28% of candidates admitted to ghosting an employer. On the employer side, things are far bleaker, with 76% of recruiters they’ve been ghosted by a candidate.
As a recruiter, you (clearly) hope that when you extend an offer, the candidate will show up on day one. To prevent reneges before they happen, implement these steps:
- Immediately following acceptance: Send a survey asking candidates what they’re most excited about in their upcoming role.
- 1 week: Send a video from the candidate’s future manager providing insight into their day-to-day role.
- 3 weeks: Provide a link for the candidate to join and learn more about your Employee Resource Group (ERG)
- 6 weeks: Schedule a meet-and-greet with the candidate and their future mentor.
- 9 weeks: Send a video from the CEO welcoming candidates to their new roles.
For a step-by-step guide to decrease reneges for early-career talent, download this free, interactive workbook.
4. Make Candidates Feel Welcome Throughout the Onboarding Process
An effective onboarding process can help new hires feel more acclimated, reduce anxiety, and increase your overall retention rate. Unfortunately, the onboarding process is where many companies fall short. In fact, according to SaplingHR, a mere 12% of employees strongly agree that their employers deliver a positive onboarding experience.
To help new hires feel more secure in their roles, inform them of your workplace culture, introduce them to their department leads, and set clear expectations on performance management. To accomplish all of the above, check off these steps:
- 2 months before start date: Send a welcome kit with company swag to get candidates excited for their new role.
- 1 month: Send an onboarding checklist with a list of documents to have prepared for day one on the job.
- 2 weeks: Arrange a coffee chat between the new hire and their manager to answer questions surrounding the onboarding process.
- 1 week: Invite new hires to join a Slack or Facebook group with their incoming cohort.
- 1 week after start date: Send a survey asking about the effectiveness of the onboarding program.
For more content ideas on how to keep new hires excited about their new role, download this template — shown to reduce reneges by as much as 18%.
5. Reduce Turnover Throughout the First 1-3 Years on the Job
The candidate's journey doesn’t end with a new hire’s first day on the job. Instead, a positive candidate experience extends through an employee’s first 1-3 years after their start date.
Failure to carry your “candidate-first” mentality past day one can cause a spike in early-career turnover. According to research conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting, new hires reported gaps in communication during the ramp-up process. In fact, 71% said they weren’t sure who to build relationships with, 83% lacked insights into performance measurement, and 62% still didn’t have good insights into the organization’s culture. To ensure your new hires have a positive experience, implement the following steps:
- One week after the start date: Invite your new hire to a team a happy hour to meet their cohort or department.
- Two weeks: Launch your mentor-mentee program, setting clear expectations for the relationship.
- 1 month: Create a small group chat in your Slack channel to encourage new hires to meet cohort members from other departments.
- 3 months: Send a survey asking about the effectiveness of the mentorship program.
- 6 months: Provide a list of external certifications that might help the new hire excel in their role.
Eliminate Drops in Communication With Abode
Today’s candidates expect clear communication from potential employers. Depending upon the stage within the candidate's journey, recruiters may need to touch base with applicants as often as once per week.
Fortunately, with Abode, you'll never drop the ball when communicating with candidates. Abode brings a level of humanity back to the hiring process, allowing you to build personalized journeys at scale. As the only recruiting platform built by Gen Z for Gen Z candidates, Abode helps you prevent reneges and reduce early-career turnover.