What’s your first thought when you think of candidate experience? Interviews? Hiring manager follow up? We’ve made the case that online candidate experience is the most lucrative place to focus on candidate experience. But the reality is that candidate experience spans several touch points across the candidate lifecycle.
Where does candidate experience begin and end? Let’s explore the candidate journey and what you can do to optimize their experience throughout.
The first stop on the candidate experience train is somewhere else. Studies show candidates research your company on social sites like LinkedIn, review sites like Glassdoor, and well, elsewhere.
Recommended actions: Research your own company and jobs. Make sure your jobs, employer brand, and messaging are present and consistent wherever candidates find you. Audit your presence across the web looking for problems or poor representations of your company/jobs and correct if possible.
Your jobs are on job boards you know about, and many you don’t. If lower tier/shady job boards scrape jobs from your career site to list on their sites, candidates could be getting bad experiences as they try and investigate and apply to your jobs. Issues can run from out of date jobs to candidate confusion to outright hijacking of personal information as some boards can make it seem like candidates are applying to you, when they are actually harvesting candidate/resume info.
Recommended actions: Do a thorough Google search of your jobs and apply for them. Identify any sites that might be confusing for candidates. Work with your career site vendor or internal web team to block their crawlers from scraping jobs. You have the best candidate experiences when you control the flow of jobs onto and off of external boards.
Two words: Consumer quality. Pretty much all of your talent acquisition efforts point people to your corporate career site. If your career site does not provide the same easy, personalized online experiences as you find on leading consumer sites, then you are not meeting your candidates’ expectations. This hurts your ability to convert visitors into applicants, damages candidates’ perception of your company, and depresses all your hiring efforts.
Recommended actions: Investigate both your ATS and third party vendor capabilities for implementing career sites, talent network, and job application solutions that provide modern, personalized experiences. This should include job search, targeted content, easy and smart engagement devices like talent networks, and multi-step job applications.
From the moment a candidate becomes known to you, you should be engaging with them to:
- Let them know you know who they are and recognize their potential value to your organization
- Educate them about your company
- Reinforce the value of your brand
- Suggest jobs that are relevant
- Solicit referrals
- Reflect targeted key messages that align with your other candidate facing channels
Ideally, this starts before the application process. Sourced candidates, talent network opt-ins, leads from events, etc. should be hearing from you regularly. This continues after the application process with confirmation emails, self-service portals, interview scheduling, employment offers, and the like. Every communication should be timely, reflect the above characteristics, and be frank and respectful in delivering good news and bad news about a job opening.
Recommended actions: Consider investing in a candidate relationship management system (CRM) that integrates with your ATS to manage communications in a holistic way. Trying to manage multi-stage, multi-point engagement from multiple systems opens the door to communications falling through the cracks and negatively affecting your brand and candidate goodwill.
Does candidate experience extend into early employment? We think it should. The first 30 days of employment is so fragile that extending candidate experience strategies into onboarding can pay big dividends. Having a formal messaging plan that extends through onboarding can help reinforce the candidate’s decision, orient them to your employer brand, and provide clear lines of communication in case there are hiccups in the process.
Recommended actions: Using your CRM and/or onboarding solution (or other tool), create a sequence of messages designed to reinforce your brand, provide important information at key intervals, and include a response mechanism for new hires to voice concerns. Post hire surveys can also be effective in identifying areas where pre-hire perceptions may not be lining up with post hire experiences. This is invaluable in preventing turnover and fine tuning pre-hire messaging.
For more about candidate experience solutions that span all phases of the candidate lifecycle, check out the Talemetry Recruitment Marketing Platform.
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