Want to know how to really get in front of candidates, attract them to your company and entice them to apply? Put yourself in their shoes when you’re putting together your recruitment strategy.
In other words, if you want to understand your candidates, consider what they go through when applying to jobs with your company. Is the application process lengthy and complex? Is your career site easy to navigate? Do candidates hear back when they put in an application – or does it go into that infamous “black hole”?
Believe it or not, candidates pay attention to these things. In a 2017 CareerBuilder study, 4 in 5 job seekers said the overall candidate experience is an indicator of how a company values its people. Therefore, if you don’t treat candidates well, it could have a huge impact on candidates’ decisions to accept a job offer or even apply.
Unfortunately, many companies fall short when it comes to creating a positive candidate experience. Below are three areas that are key to creating an experience that sets your company apart and keeps candidates engaged.
3 Elements That Can Make or Break the Candidate Experience
- Your career site: You might not realize it, but your career site could be turning quality candidates off. According to that same CareerBuilder study, only 45 percent of candidates say they can typically tell what it would be like to work for a company based on their career site, which is bad news for employers. If job seekers can’t get an accurate feel for what they’re getting into when they apply, they might think twice before doing so.
Take full advantage of your career site and use it to educate job seekers about your company and the work environment, advertise your jobs and link to your application process. In addition to making it informative and aesthetically pleasing, it is critical that your career site is also easy to navigate, functioning properly and optimized for mobile devices (where more and more candidates are searching for jobs).
- Your application process: Research shows that many candidates abandon the application process if it’s too complex, too long or not functioning properly (e.g., links are broken). Testing your company’s application process yourself is the fastest and easiest way to evaluate it. If you find there are too many hoops to jump through or hate the tedium of entering all of your information again (AFTER you’ve already uploaded your resume), imagine the frustration candidates feel when they’re applying. Think about how many candidates are slipping through the cracks as a result. Fix it immediately. With a seamless application process, everyone wins.
- Your communication: Are you responding to every applicant? Do you keep candidates up to date on where they are in the application process? Communicating is key to keeping quality candidates engaged and interested in your opportunities. More than half of job seekers say employers don't do a good job of setting expectations in terms of communication at the beginning of a potential hiring interaction, and 81 percent said continuously communicating status updates to candidates would greatly improve the overall candidate experience.
If candidates apply only to hear nothing back whatsoever, it leaves them with a bad impression of the company as a whole. As a result, they are unlikely to apply again, and you’ve lost out on more potentially great candidates for future openings. In today’s tight labor market, can you really afford to take such chances?
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