Learn from Facebook: How to create irresistible candidate experiences

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As arrogant as it might sound – I had never been in a job-hunting position in Indonesia. I interviewed people, I made the hiring decisions, I was almost never on the other side. Then I left everything and moved to the UK to pursue my master’s degree. When I was about to graduate, I had to compete with thousands of brilliant people, most of them had better English and, more importantly, working permit. My struggle began.

I applied to more than 100 companies and I experienced what I had never experience before: rejection, frustration, and defeat. I learned tremendously during my job-hunting journey about how to treat candidates decently — sometimes I learned from what the company did, but sometimes I also learned from what the company didn’t do. The best experience I had was with Facebook, and that’s where I ended up at the moment.

Indonesian startups can learn a thing or two from Facebook on creating an irresistible candidate experience:

Spot-on interviews

In Indonesia, it’s common to make candidates wait for the interviewer. Fifteen minutes late is fairly expected. We tend to think that we are the important one, and the candidates must have less important things to do.

One of my many interviewers at Facebook was two minutes late, and he apologized profusely.

Moreover, all of the interviewers have clearly perused my CV before the interview. No one asked me the question of “tell me about yourself” anymore. And, of course, no one asked me if I was married and how many children I had, since it’s illegal here to ask those kind of questions. The interviewers probed on what really mattered: my competence. The questions were tailored towards the position I was applying to, such as, “If you have to create an automation to do xxxxx, what criteria will you use?”

Clear, guided steps

I used to neglect my candidates. A month could easily go by without any update from me. I didn’t realize that they were waiting anxiously on the other side, as some part of their lives were depending on my call.

At Facebook, I went through 1 test + 5 interviews. After my first interview with the recruiter, she explained to me what the next steps were and what to expect in each step. She emailed me materials to help me prepare for the interviews. The result of each stage was informed to me in 2-3 days. It felt like upgrading from dating a wishy-washy boy to dating a reliable man: no more sleepless night looking at my ringless phone!

A warm welcome

Two days after I signed my offer letter, I got a Facebook t-shirt and a handwritten card sent to my door: “Welcome to the family!” My manager added me on Facebook (obviously) and he wrote about how he couldn’t wait to have me in his team. He introduced me to a guy who would be my buddy and encouraged me to have a coffee with him before my first day. The whole team greeted me on the entrance door when I came to the office. Seriously — I couldn’t ask for a warmer welcome.

Why creating irresistible candidate experiences is important?

Because when a company put a lot of thought and effort to create an awesome candidate experience, you can know for sure that they already have awesome customer and employee experience. Customers and employees are clearly more essential to a company than mere candidates.

Thoughtfully improving your company’s candidate experience will send this message loud and clear to the best talents out there: “We take care of our customers and our employees — and we will take care of you, too.”

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