How TA Teams are creating a WOW candidate experience

With such a competitive talent market, TA Teams are focused on creating a positive candidate experience. However, to set itself apart from the crowd, teams are recognising the need to build a top-of-the-line candidate experience to attract applicants and secure top talent.

Wondering what that X Factor is for different companies? From creating ‘moments that matter’ to offering swags, and measuring overall experience with successful candidates to providing quality feedback for unsuccessful applicants, we caught up with 6 Talent Teams to find out how they’re doing things differently.

Michael Christmas, Talent Team at Flybuys

At Flybuys, we’re all about providing more value to everyday Aussies. With more than 8 million active members, there’s a good chance potential candidates are either current or future members of our program. It’s important to ensure our recruitment process is a true reflection of our brand and its values, so we do a range of things to ensure we’re giving candidates a rewarding experience throughout. 

Whether a candidate is successful or not, we gift “thank you Flybuys points” to everyone who interviews with us. It’s our way of showing appreciation for them giving us their valuable time and a nice little touch that is always well received, especially when we’re needing to deliver constructive feedback, rather than an official offer of employment. 

We also developed a free hub of helpful information in the form of a Candidate Coach site which is provided to all candidates when they apply for a role with Flybuys. They can access the site throughout the recruitment process for support and guidance to help them perform at their best. The site provides candidates with a range of advice and tools to help them get more value out of their application experience, including resume templates, interview tips, exercises and practice tests, and of course more information about our company. It also has links to mental health supports which many candidates have told us highlights our people-centric values and culture. Our hope is that this site provides extra value for candidates to take beyond their Flybuys recruitment experience to further their careers. 

Of course if they’re successful, we ensure our onboarding experience at Flybuys is seamless and memorable with welcome merch packs, their choice of tech, work/life balance hybrid working, Be Well initiatives and so much more. And most importantly, we always seek to improve and iterate on our approach with our candidate feedback surveys.

Clint Williams, Talent Team at Lion

At Lion, creating an exceptional candidate experience from start to finish is really important to us – yes, it’s about our employment brand, but it’s also the starting point of a great employee experience. To identify our strengths and pain points, we completed full empathy mapping of the candidate experience and built our experience around that data.

As a result, we created 4 Guiding Principles that underline everything we do in Talent Acquisition:

  1. Keep promises and act fast.
  2. Enable our candidates to shine.
  3. Value our candidates’time and effort with feedback.
  4. Share our passion and have fun.

We also identified 3 “moments that matter” where we really want to stand out. One of those moments is the offer. We want our verbal offer to be a really exciting moment for the candidate; after all, it’s not every day that someone gets an offer for a new job, so we want it to be a moment of celebration and congratulations. We don’t want it to be a surprise or disappointment, where expectations aren’t met or it feels like the start of a long negotiation or debate. So this means the pre-work leading up to this moment is really important – from the first conversation with a candidate, we are establishing their salary expectations against our range to confirm whether those are aligned.

So, when the moment comes, we can make it a real ‘human moment’ and talk about how they are feeling about resigning, what they are going to do to celebrate and make it a moment they’ll look back on fondly.

Sadie Knapp & Tyan Bekooy, Talent Team at Canva

We’re always looking for new ways to deliver experiences that evoke belonging and connection through our ‘Peak Moments’ program.

  1. Candidates:  Receive a number of multimedia presentations (made in Canva of course!) throughout the recruitment process to provide a glimpse into life at Canva.
  2. Newbies: All new starters receive a warm welcome message from the team and a swag box prior to starting with a ‘Class of 2022’ hoodie, to foster a sense of connection and camaraderie.
  3. Unsuccessful Candidates:  We want every candidate who applies to feel valued, regardless of the outcome, so recently we have been focused on enhancing our regret experience. As well as offering interviewed candidates who reach our Challenge stage a 6-month Canva Pro subscription, we now introduce them to Lilypad. Lilypad is a TA platform created by Blackbird Ventures to connect talent with their dream job in tech start-ups. 

Our commitment to providing great candidate experiences extends to our hiring managers and stakeholders because we recognise the significant role they play too. We recently relaunched Hiring Essentials training to every interviewer, regardless of their tenure. This training ensures that all interviewers are properly trained on interview fundamentals (taking into consideration DEI as well as Talent Brand), Zoom etiquette, and how to make great hiring decisions.

Simon Hedt, Talent Team at Slalom Build

We have onboarded ~95% of our AU team remotely, because of COVID. This has forced us to really focus on the experience being provided, ensuring candidates feel engaged and connected with the broader team from the off. It has driven a very connected and relationship driven onboarding experience with a fortnightly new starter schedule where we have “onboarding groups” that can go through the experience together and feel less isolated and less like “the new person”.

We demonstrate our values clearly from the moment a candidate joins in many ways from the way we interact we each other internally, positive leadership and our Employee Resource Groups that represent some of the diverse sub-groups that make up our organisation. These include:

  • Slalom Women that connects, elevates and celebrates women to enable an equitable voice throughout Slalom
  • First Nations Advocacy Network who represent our indigenous community and drive further education and activism in this space
  • Horizons Group that represents those on the Neurodiversity spectrum and continue to educate for advocate for better mental health awareness and care

Another investment was to include a book, ‘Growing Up Aboriginal’ with each new employee’s welcome pack to start them on their Indigenous Australian education journey. It has created greater conversation and awareness of the focus we have as an organisation that continues to embed in Australia.

Cimon Smith, Talent Acquisition Team at Coles

For us at Coles Group, creating a WOW candidate experience starts with conscious inclusion. We look to widen our candidate pool and diversify our workforce by proactively considering what inclusion looks like for diverse candidates across the recruitment lifecycle.

At the Awareness and Consideration stages, our dedicated Talent Acquisition Marketing and Inclusive Recruitment team works to ensure we apply an inclusion lens to the work we do with candidates, recruiters and hiring managers. This includes embedding inclusion content into our employer brand and recruitment marketing, that promotes inclusion (including recruitment adjustment requests ) on our Coles LinkedIn, Coles Careers Instagram (@ColesCareers), job boards (including Seek, Indeed, LGBTI Jobs and Work180), job ads, our careers website and via our internal channels and communications.

At the Interest and Application stages, we manage a dedicated Inclusive Recruitment Inbox to respond to candidate queries and support candidates through the process, and we’ve applied progressive diversity questions in our candidate profile.

At the Selection stage, we seek to continually improve the knowledge and confidence of our recruiters and hiring managers, so the experience is inclusive right the way through process. This includes education, training, self-serve resources and story-telling that heroes not only diverse team members, but the inclusive hiring managers and teams that support them. We also seek and act on feedback by surveying our new hires who identified that they live with disability or are gender diverse/non-binary, and we’re big on tracking our inclusive recruitment data across all our Better Together pillars. Closing feedback loops and tracking our data helps us apply insights to provide a positive and inclusive candidate experience and that’s a win-win for everyone.

Sarah Purches, Talent Team at RMIT Online

We have a crafted a unique and high touch candidate experience that starts the moment someone applies for the job and continues on well into the onboarding journey of the successful candidate.

The aim is to ensure all candidates, regardless of the outcome, have a personable, respectful and enjoyable experience. We are also now measuring candidate experience with our successful candidates using CultureAmp and we are thrilled to see that we are now scoring 97% satisfaction rate! To do this, we mapped out every single part of the journey and asked for feedback from lots of different people. We channelled our inner Marie Kondo and asked them “does this spark joy”, if it didn’t, it had to go or be replaced with something that did – it needed meaning!

We have now got so many different internal stakeholders playing their part in this journey – it really does take a village!

We have also incorporated some exploratory questions during the screening process to really find out what people want. This allows us to keep a real time finger on the pulse and continuously share these insights with the business so that we can look at how we continuously improve our offering. Our approach is more conversational than interrogatory – we want to get to know people and find out what makes them tick. This also allows candidates to feel at ease and more comfortable in putting their best foot forward.

Join Clint Williams at ATC2022, together with Brie Mason of Employer Brand Mason, and Sarah Halaseh-RussoPeople Experience at Officeworks, as they discuss the need to gain alignment on a change in EVP mindset and approach, and a redefinition of roles and responsibilities.

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