When it comes to recruitment, never underestimate the value of a good candidate experience. From cutting down your application process times to streamlining your interview process, you’ll be more likely to find great sales candidates, as well as spread the word about your company through positive feedback. In fact, in a recent survey, 78% of applicants said that a good candidate experience would encourage them to refer someone else in the future, and 62% would apply again.

In a market where 72% of candidates have shared their candidate experience online or with friends, hiring managers would do well to invest time in finding out what their company’s reputation is like online. After all, it only takes one or two bad reviews for potential star candidates to be put off.

Don’t lose the best sales people because of a bad application process. Here’s what you need to know about improving yours:

Sell the opportunity

Sales people want to work somewhere that they feel they can thrive, so use your website and social media platforms to show that your company is the place they should be applying to. Show people what it’s like to work for you, whether it’s your great training opportunities, rewards or social events. Promote the perks and benefits that come with life at your company as much as you can: after all, if you don’t shout about them, how will candidates know why they should be applying to you?

Bring your career pages to life

53% of candidates say that a company website is the first place they go to when they apply for a job, so make sure that your career pages are telling them everything they need to know. Get interactive: use video, photos and testimonials from your current employees to keep them engaged, and back it up with social media posts to help hook more potential applicants. Post reviews on Glassdoor, too: there’s nothing worse than an outdated profile for putting off applicants. After all, the more candidates learn about your company culture, whichever medium they use, the higher the chances are that, when they apply, they’ll be a better fit for the role.

Communicate throughout

Did you know that 60% of applicants think that ‘better communication during the recruitment process’ would make the most positive impact on their job-hunting experience? It’s something that many companies fall short on: don’t be one of them! Set expectations from the start: tell candidates how long the process is, what to expect from it, and above all, be transparent in explaining the decisions that you take, such as why you think they may or may not be a good fit for the role.

You also need to make sure you stay in touch with your candidates. Even if there’s nothing new to say, most people want to receive updates just for reassurance. Indeed, should they not receive anything, they’ll likely lose faith in the recruitment process; after all, 44% of job seekers who don’t hear back from an employer after applying have a worse opinion of them after the job interview process is over. As 58% of sales candidates secured at least one job interview after being on the market for just two weeks, it’s clear that you need to act with haste if you want to secure the best sales people.

Keep it simple

Many of the people that you’ll be interviewing are still working sales people, who are trying to fit in job applications around often-hectic day jobs. They’re busy, so make the application process as hassle-free for them as possible. Research shows that conversion rates increase by 365% when a job application takes five or less minutes to complete: to make the most of yours, keep your application process streamlined and mobile-friendly, especially for today’s technology-savvy millennial generation. Realistically, you need to request nothing more than a CV and an email address; in a market where 70% of jobseekers want their applications to be fewer than five pages in length, simplicity is definitely key.

Make the application process fun

Sales people like to be challenged: it’s in their nature. Indulge that with tests and quizzes over the course of the recruitment process. Whether it’s a demonstration of their communications skills or a role-playing scenario where they have to call a client or give the interviewers a fast five-minute pitch about something they’re passionate about, it’s easy to find opportunities to liven up the recruitment process, and get your applicants engaged with the intricacies of the role that they’ll be applying for.

Use AI to personalise

Technology has come a long way since the start of the century, and today it’s a valuable tool in aiding and enriching the hiring experience. Many companies are starting to use it from beginning to the end of their hiring process: indeed, IBM recently created an AI addition to their site that personalises the user journey, helping to match the candidate with the role that’s right for them.

That’s not all, though: 80% of executives believe that working with AI can improve productivity and performance when it comes to recruitment. Indeed, it’s extremely versatile, offering 24/7 availability, giving instant feedback and even letting candidates check their application status in real-time. Some chatbots can even function as advisors, which again takes the strain off your resourcing team in favour of instant service.

Take your candidates further with BMS Performance

At BMS Performance, we know the value of a great candidate experience, and by using the steps above, you’ll be able to supercharge yours and work towards attract the best talent in the market.

Interest piqued? For more guidance and advice, why not get in touch with our team of experts?