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3 Ways To Improve the Candidate Experience in Manufacturing Recruitment (And Make It Your Competitive Advantage)

Hiring qualified talent is challenging in the best market, but with intense competition for top-notch candidates due to the manufacturing labor shortage, it might feel impossible. What's a recruiter to do? — Prioritize the candidate experience and make it your company's competitive advantage.

Hiring qualified talent is challenging in the best market, but with intense competition for top-notch candidates due to the manufacturing labor shortage, it might feel impossible. How can your company set itself apart so that the candidates you want to hire also want to work with you?

Prioritizing the candidate experience—from initial contact through hiring and onboarding—is one of the best ways to win candidates over and ensure that your business comes out on top. It’s also a smart way to put your best foot forward and showcase your company’s culture as an asset. Here are some tips to optimize and enhance the candidate experience. 

1. Automate the Interview Scheduling Process 

Mark is available Tuesday from 2:15 to 3:00. Haley only has openings from 3:00 to 3:45 every other Wednesday. Devonte is available at the same time as Haley but also on the other Wednesdays. Grace can only interview during lunch on odd-numbered days. Sound familiar? 

Scheduling interviews for candidates can be one of the trickiest parts of hiring—but it’s also one of the most important because it’s where your company makes a first impression on each candidate. Going back and forth (and back and forth) isn’t fun for anyone and might give potential candidates the impression that you don’t value their time. On the other hand, an easy interview scheduling process demonstrates that you’re organized and efficient, which is especially important when you’re looking to hire quickly

Optimize your candidate interview process by streamlining scheduling with a machine-learning-powered chatbot. The chatbot can identify available times for both the candidate and your HR personnel and get everything scheduled and on the books for you (and fast). And the quicker you can get the ball rolling with qualified candidates, the higher the odds that you can make them a part of your team.  

2. Improve Candidate Communications With Text Recruiting

Improving communication with candidates begins with being prompt and responsive. But who has the time to stay on top of every message? You do. Using AI-powered text recruiting, your team can screen candidates for required qualifications within minutes of their application—without lifting a finger. This means that you can quickly move forward with the most promising candidates and let those who aren’t a good fit know immediately without stringing them along.

Candidates appreciate consistent, clear communication throughout the hiring process—and this goes beyond just a quick reply here or there. If there are internal delays or discussions about the next steps in the recruitment process, keep the candidate posted (no one likes to be ghosted). Regular updates let candidates know that you value them. They also paint your business in a flattering light, which is essential when recruiting quality talent from a limited pool of qualified candidates.

Again, your staff probably doesn’t have time to constantly answer the same questions from each prospect. But there’s good news: a text-recruiting chatbot has all the time in the world. These systems, of course, don’t completely replace personal communications, but they’re an excellent way for your team to answer questions and maintain engagement with the candidate between human touchpoints.

3. Keep Candidates Engaged With a Personalized Experience

Thanks to the manufacturing labor shortage, we’re in a candidates’ market. And none of those candidates wants to feel like just another face in the crowd. Candidates are humans first and foremost, and they’ll remember how your business made them feel when deciding which offer to accept. It’s important to treat all candidates with integrity, and ensuring they have a personalized experience with your business is important. Treating all talent prospects with care is, thankfully, a new hiring trend

You never know where a candidate is in their job search when you engage them, so being thoughtful at each touchpoint is critical. Even if they aren’t a good fit for the current open position, they might be a great match for the next position you need to fill. Optimizing the candidate experience from start to finish will ensure that each candidate is left with a favorable impression of your company, even if you can’t hire them yet. 

There’s an easy way to make the candidate experience your competitive advantage: by leveraging specialized recruitment technology to automatically screen candidates, schedule interviews and stay in touch throughout the process.