This blog is taken from the free webinar "Build Consumer Quality Candidate Experiences Online," which you can watch here.
In order to get more of the right kind of candidates, a company must focus on the candidate experience, broadly defined as the quality of the interactions a potential candidate has with a prospective employer from the point of curiosity about working for that employer all the way through to an accepted and signed offer letter. The candidate experience can be influenced by the employer brand, or the perception of the promise made in terms of what it’s like to work for the company, as well as ads, jobs, job descriptions, career site content and navigation, social network content and integration, application process, post-application engagement, any communication between the organization and the candidate, recruiter interactions, scheduling logistics, the environment such as the interview space and lobby, interviews, the offer, and the communication of that offer.
While the candidate experience might be easier to understand and influence with the candidates you know (the ones who apply), an important part of providing a positive candidate experience overall is making sure that the experience is positive with all potential candidates, even the ones you don’t know. What is their perception of the employer brand, ads, jobs, job descriptions, career site content and navigation, social network content and navigation, and the application process?
This subset of candidates is extremely important because it represents the majority of your interactions. The examples to the right are from one of Talemetry's clients who received 964,000 job views over a two month period. Of the 964,000 job views, 111,000 started the application process. Of the 111,000 who started the application process, only 26,000 finished the process and became applicants (FYI, that's a stellar visitor to applicant rate). It’s only at this point when the candidates become known to the company. That means that, if the'yre doing a great job, a company only gets to know 3% of those who interact with them online. Make no mistake, these potential candidates are have vital interactions with your brand and drawing conclusions about you as an employer while they are on your career site.
Companies need to work towards improving the experience for that 97% of interactions with potential candidates they never get to know. Being able to make small incremental improvements within that ratio can translate into huge gains in terms of how many people they are able to interact with and get to know. For example, improving the candidate experience to increase that 3% of applicants to 10% means that the initial 26,000 applicants turns into almost 100,000 applicants. Those 617 hires become 2,278, lowering cost per hire and cost per applicant and increasing the ability to hire the right people. Changing the numbers by just a few percentage points means that you can triple to quadruple your results.
Think about it another way. Only a small number of candidates are ultimately "happy." In the example above, only 617 out of nearly a million people were hired. That's 4/100ths of one percent. The other 99.94% are somewhere between satisfied and frustrated. And these candidates are potential customers, voters, social network commenters and potential gold star employees for your competitors. They can influence your overall employer brand perception and your bottom line business. Providing a positive candidate experience right from the start, at the point of curiosity, encourages them to continue through the process, apply, and potentially become your next gold-star employee.
If you'd like to learn some key strategies for delighting candidates online, download our free candidate experience strategy snapshot report.