A skilled recruiter is a valuable asset to organizations in all industries. However, to effectively attract and interact with candidates, recruiters must possess a specific set of recruitment skills besides their networking skills.

Recruiters have a significant impact on candidate experience.

They are responsible for managing candidates’ communication processes and ensuring that recruiting processes are fluid, easy to follow, and are respectful of candidates’ time.

Why Focus on Candidate Experience?

As a recruiter, it’s also important to reflect on what you think is a great candidate experience.

A candidate’s opinion of an organization is based entirely on their interactions with them. Nearly 4 in 5 candidates (78%) say the overall candidate experience they receive indicates how a company values its people.

This goes to show how seriously recruiters should focus on the candidate experience they provide.

When it comes to the candidate experience, the first impression is everything and what drives the first impression are traits.

Read more: An agency recruiter’s guide on Candidate Experience.

Here are a Few Traits Recruiters Must Possess for Delivering a Stellar Candidate Experience

1. Excellent Communication Skills

Many candidates often complain about a lack of communication from recruiters or employers, which is the main factor behind the candidate experience.

A recruiter’s communication skills are usually the deal-breaker for providing a positive candidate experience.

In fact, 47% of candidates never receive any form of communication from the organization they apply to, even past 60 days after applying. Therefore, strong interpersonal and communication skills are a must for every recruiter!

When communicating effectively with candidates, transparency and consistency are key. Make sure that, as a recruiter, you are able to deliver your message so that the other party understands it.

If a recruiter is not able to communicate clearly and consistently with candidates, it will negatively impact the candidate experience as communication is the foundation of a positive relationship or any experience.

Therefore strong interpersonal and communication skills are a must for every recruiter!

2. Effective Use of Phone/Video Calling

Recruiters spend 80% of their time in communicative tasks, including interviewing, meeting hiring managers and phone calling.

In addition to this, the pandemic has led to a significant rise in remote recruitment methods, including video calls and phone calls.

Therefore, the modern-day recruiter must be proactive during video calls and phone call scenarios. When conducting video interviews and phone calls with candidates, make sure you are following these best practices–

  • Be transparent with candidates
  • Provide a proper introduction and conclusion
  • Communicate clearly and briefly
  • Provide time to the candidates for any feedback or queries

Another aspect to consider during video conferencing and business phone calls are technical issues and not to mention, behavioural cues.

Therefore, make sure you are aware of the technical issues that may arise and how to overcome them.

In addition, during video calls, make sure you are actively taking note of body language and facial expressions, which can provide insight into a candidate’s psyche.

Read more: 5 tools that’ll help you provide the best candidate experience.

3. Active Listening

While it’s important to ask the right questions when interviewing candidates, that isn’t all it takes to conduct successful interviews.

It’s also important to listen actively. Actively listening to candidates is vital in getting the information you need to make sound employee selection decisions.

Moreover, active listening isn’t just an important factor for making important decisions; it also sets a positive impression on candidates as they feel that their voice is being valued.

Make sure you are actively listening to candidates by taking pauses to let candidates process the information and taking breaks to let the candidate speak.

Listening skills are critical for any recruiter or employer who conducts candidate interviews. Active listening is not only beneficial for recruiters in understanding candidates—it’s the key to providing the best candidate experience.

4. Make a Good First Impression

As they say, the first impression is the last impression—and this is especially true when it comes to candidate experience!

Ultimately, a candidate’s decision of accepting an offer more or less depends on their first impression of the company and the interviewer.

Even if a candidate isn’t hired, it’s important to set a positive impression as candidates are likely to share their positive experiences with their peers. Creating a good first impression can start before the actual interview.

You can do this by equipping candidates with details like the interviewer’s name, what they should bring, the duration of the interview and anything else they can expect. Opaque communication and providing feedback also build a positive first impression.

Creating a positive first impression on candidates reaps double benefits. Firstly, you will find the right candidate for the job, and it will enhance the brand image of the company in the job market.

5. Practice Common Etiquettes

Just like in our day to day lives, practising common etiquettes can make a world of a difference when it comes to a positive candidate experience.

The best way to recruit candidates is to make them feel welcome and comfortable during the hiring process.

In addition, being courteous and positive can make candidates feel less stressed.

Make sure you leave enough room for candidates to communicate their experience and address any queries. As a recruiter or interviewer, make sure you are well prepared and punctual for the interview.

This shows that the candidate’s time and efforts are valued. Always remember—a bit of common courtesy and professionalism can significantly improve the entire hiring process and candidate experience.

Read more: Positive candidate experience & organizational culture.

6. Be Informative & Understanding

As a recruiter, being understanding and showing empathy is also important for the candidate experience.

Being understanding is an essential trait as it helps match a candidate with an organization’s needs. Being understanding helps recruiters get a sense of an organization’s requirements and a candidate’s ambitions.

This helps recruiters prioritize the roles that need to be filled and work with management to create hiring goals for the company. Most importantly—recruiters have to put themselves in others’ shoes to better understand and connect with them.

In addition to this, recruiters must set communication expectations and provide consistent updates to candidates to keep them in the loop.

According to LinkedIn statistics, 48% of candidates respond positively to receiving interview information ahead of time.

By being transparent with information, you’ll show candidates that you value their time and are willing to set them up for success.

7. Nurturing Candidates

In a market led by passive job seekers, candidate nurturing is vital to an effective recruitment strategy and candidate experience.

Today’s candidates require a more proactive and engaging approach to convert them into great hires. Nurturing candidates is a great way to make suitable candidates aware of your organization and engage with your employer brand, which helps deliver a better candidate experience.

With this being said, a recruiter who can effectively nurture their talent pool is a recruiter who will deliver the best candidate experience!

8. Multitask!

Recruiters will have to fill multiple shoes under a single role in a day’s work. Recruiters have to fulfil the role of a marketer, a hiring manager, and more.

With so many tasks at hand ranging from cold calling, emailing, interviewing, sourcing and onboarding, recruiters must be ready to fill multiple roles simultaneously.

This helps recruiters stay connected and understand the entire recruitment cycle. Above all, this helps recruiters collaborate and communicate more efficiently with candidates—meaning a better candidate experience.

Undoubtedly, recruiters serve as a prime asset for recruitment agencies and other organizations.

As the job market is becoming increasingly more candidate-centric, these skills are sure to help talented recruiters provide the best candidate experience.

Further read: 20+ candidate experience statistics that’ll compel you to take action.