Improve your candidate experience starting with the reception area

Improve your candidate experience starting with the reception areaWe’re covering the candidate experience this month on the COATS blog: how to improve the service you offer to your candidates and attract stronger candidates in the process. We start at the same place many of your candidates start (and some of them stop): your reception area and the people in it.

This is your first impression on candidates (and vendors and clients too, if they visit you), so try to view it through fresh eyes. How does your lobby look? Would you want to spend time there, or would you be counting the seconds until you could leave?

Make sure your chairs are comfortable, that you have enough of them and that there’s something for candidates to do or read while they’re waiting. (Once they’ve finished filling out the application, of course.)

If you have policies against cell phone use, accompanying family members, etc., be sure to post those policies in your lobby area. Some staffing agencies even have flat-screen TVs mounted in their lobbies with a slide-show presentation of company policies, resume tips, interviewing hints and dress code pointers.

Also consider the people who greet your candidates, whether over the phone or in person. Give them scripts for handling difficult candidates with responses that match your company’s policies and protect you legally. Also, let them know when it’s okay to transfer a difficult call to you or one of the other managers.

And consider your receptionists as people themselves, people in a tough job. Be sure they have a chance to take a break regularly, as well as after a draining experience. They’re dealing with people in a high-stress situation, and some of that stress is bound to rub off on them.

Also let your receptionists know that you appreciate what they do, and give them any training or additional equipment they might need to do it even better. Your reception area is one of the most important parts of your company, especially as far as candidates are concerned. Treat it accordingly.

What do you do to make your reception area and/or receptionist top-notch? Let us know in the comments!

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