Attracting candidates to your job postings and enticing them to apply is kind of like dating: you want to put your company's best face forward to find "the one" (or more). But if your jobs aren't getting the interest you think they should, it might be time to step into your candidates' shoes and refresh your recruitment strategy.
To understand your candidates better, go through your company's the application process yourself. Is it 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”?
Candidates care about these things. In a CareerBuilder study, 4 in 5 job seekers said the overall candidate experience is an indicator of how a company values its people. If you don’t treat candidates well, it could have a huge impact on their decision to accept a job offer or even apply.
Many companies still fall short when it comes to creating a positive candidate experience. How does yours stack up? Here are three areas that are key to setting your company apart and keeping candidates engaged.
3 Things That 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 who set it and forget it. 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 being informative and aesthetically pleasing, it's critical that your career site is also easy to navigate, functional 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 well (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 you're made to enter all your information multiple times (after you’ve already uploaded your resume), there might be candidates slipping through the cracks as a result. Take notes and ask your team for a fix right away. 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're at in the application process? Communicating is key to keeping quality candidates engaged with your opportunities. More than half of job seekers say their biggest frustration in the hiring process is that employers don't do a good job of setting expectations for communication. If candidates apply only to hear nothing back, it leaves them with a bad impression of the company as a whole. That makes them unlikely to apply again, and you’ve lost out on potentially great candidates for future openings. In today’s tight labor market, can you really afford to take those chances?
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