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Candidate Reimbursement Reimagined

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Three keys to a successful candidate reimbursement policy

When it comes time for your company to fill open positions, it often means looking beyond your local talent network. The right fit could be from out of town, and the best way to know this is to conduct some in-person interviews. This requires an upfront policy for interview expenses. It is important for both companies and candidates that reimbursement policies are upfront, transparent and concise.

Be Upfront

It is very common for companies to pay for or reimburse at least some interview travel expenses. If your company falls into this category, make sure to mention in the job posting interview expenses will be paid for when applicable. However, some companies believe their positions can be filled from their local communities, so paying for interview expenses is unnecessary. If this is where your company stands, it is crucial to include this in the job posting. Let candidates know they will be responsible for any expenses related to the interview process. This way, when you move forward with interviewees, they won’t be blindsided.

Be Transparent

No matter your company’s stance on reimbursing candidates, it needs to be presented in a transparent manner before interviews are conducted. This gives candidates a sense of trust and improves their relationship with the company.

Some companies prefer to only pay for airfare and hotel fees, and others will include meal and other transportation expenses. Some prefer to give candidates a daily limit for smaller expenses like meals. Whatever your policy is, be explicit about it.

If there is something your company is not comfortable paying for (flight upgrades, alcohol, baggage fees, etc), be sure to include that in your policy. If you require interviewees to provide receipts, make sure they know that before they begin traveling. It is better for all parties involved to know what to expect before interview times and travel plans are arranged.

Be Concise

Now that the reimbursement policy is clear and understandable, the actual process of reimbursing candidates should be so, too. You should aim to make the reimbursement process as concise and simple as possible for candidates. Make it easy to submit expenses. If your process includes a fax machine you may not be on the right path. Provide an estimate of how long it will take your company to reimburse the candidate. Obviously, the quicker the turnaround the better.

Reimbursement policies vary from company to company, but no matter which your company employs, it should be upfront, transparent and concise. Having an understandable reimbursement policy helps improve the recruitment process for companies and the interview experience for candidates.

David Heller