Candidate experience is a hot topic these days, but it means different things to different constituencies. While there may be different definitions for the term, we define it as follows:
“The quality of the interactions a potential candidate has with a prospective employer from the point where they express curiosity about your organization to the point when you provide them with a signed offer letter.”
Broken down further, these interactions consist of the following elements:
- Employer Brand – the candidate’s perception of the promises you make regarding your unique employer value proposition and employee experience
- The jobs you advertise and how you describe them
- Your career site content and ease of navigation
- Your social network content and how well it is integrated into your overall recruiting process
- Your job applications and how well you engage with the candidates after they submit their applications
- Communication quality between your organization and the candidates
- Post application recruiter interactions with the candidates
- Scheduling and other logistical matters
- The environment of your organization, including the lobby in which you receive candidates into your organization, as well as the environment of your interviewing space
- The type of interviews you conduct
- The content of the offers you make to candidates
Because we work with hundreds of clients regarding their online candidate experiences, we’ll focus here on the first six elements of this list. These items are particularly important because they concern the largest portion of your candidate interactions. And because most take place before the candidate ever applies, 97-plus percent of these interactions occur without you being involved (See The Numbers Don’t Lie–Candidate Experience is Important).
At Talemetry, we’ve developed a Recruitment Marketing Maturity Model in order to help our clients and potential clients understand their current capabilities and map out where they need to improve. When it comes to candidate experience, here are the specific capabilities and maturity levels we see as organizations evolve their candidate experience strategies:
- Basic Level– Use of a basic career site and a single basic web application process.
- Functional Level – We begin to see job-specific application processes, HR controlled career site content maintenance, and SEO optimized career sites.
- Modern Level – Characterized by a branded global career site with micro-sites that direct candidates to jobs and content that is targeted to their profession and interests. We see social/mobile career pages and apply processes along with SEO optimization of individual job pages.
- Optimized Level – Organizations at this level measure and optimize each aspect of their candidate experience and take action to incrementally improve it. We also see candidate surveys used to augment quantitative performance metrics like conversion rates and candidate traffic funnels, with qualitative feedback on candidate experience.
By understanding where your organization falls in the Recruitment Marketing Maturity Model and making incremental improvements, your organization will reach higher levels of capability within a strategic framework aligned around increased business results.
Not only will you provide your candidates with a better overall experience, you will have a beneficial effect on your bottom line.
For more on how to evolve your capability within the Recruitment Marketing Maturity Model, download our free Strategy Snapshot.