Candidates are consumers. And as consumers, candidates are used to personalization ― from social connections to how they buy products and services. When candidates search for a new job (one of the most important choices they can make!), they expect the same level of personalization in their interactions with companies. Candidates want to know why they should put their precious time and energy into your organization. It’s not only about the job, but the experience and lifestyle that comes with it. This shift changes the paradigm of how companies structure their candidate experience, from the way organizations market their brand and culture to the way they create a relevant, targeted candidate experience.
To truly influence candidate actions throughout their career search, talent acquisition teams need to get inside the candidate’s head in order to understand their motivations and questions.
Your candidate experience aligns closely with the consumer experience in five distinct stages. Here are five pros tips to better influence candidates in every stage:
Awareness: “Who is this company, anyway?”
The candidate’s attention span is finite, and your organization is competing with other potential employers and life priorities. In fact, Glassdoor Research has found that career-minded knowledge workers are 50% more likely to move to a new company based on the company’s culture. And today’s top talent wants more than just the job description, with 70% of candidates looking for unique insights about the company that they are applying to. Companies need to be on the channels top candidates use every day, engaging in a meaningful way to gain their attention and become their top choice.
Pro Tip: For active candidates, focus specifically on job marketing channels such as job boards, job search engines, and niche sites to reach candidates that are currently looking for open positions. For passive candidates, social media, search engine optimization, referral campaigns, and candidate sourcing strategies can be ways to get on the radar of candidates that may just need a nudge to consider other options.
Consideration: “How do I learn more about this organization?”
Now the candidate starts researching all the opportunities that caught their attention. Wait, what? Did you think you were the only company they would research?!
Savvy candidates (the ones every organization wants as employees) will use all the resources available to understand more about each organization, its culture and the company’s potential to fit what they are looking for. Over 60 million unique users visit Glassdoor monthly. And the majority of these users (83%) are actively looking for a new job or would consider better opportunities. It’s the number one reason why they visit our site. Furthermore, nearly 60% of job seekers always or often look for more information about a company after reading a job description.
Pro Tip: You want to drive leads considering your company to apply, but the reality is that most will be passive. So what if these leads aren’t ready to apply yet? Are they lost forever? Most likely, unless your organization uses another call to action like a talent network. If you don’t capture your best leads in your talent network, they are just generic visitors on a career site. If your organization solely relies on an ATS to capture applicants, you’re missing a huge opportunity to capture a larger percentage of candidate leads that consider your organization but aren’t ready to apply.
Interest: “What actions can I take to show my interest?”
This stage is where many organizations lose their interested candidates. The candidate just took a leap of faith with your organization: they either applied for a job and are in your ATS, or they opted into your talent network to learn more about your company, employees, culture and jobs. They put themselves out there and expect a thoughtful response in return, but too often they hear nothing back at any point in the process. Reports show that the ominous "black hole" where applications just disappear is bigger than many recruiters think; some studies show almost half of candidates never receive any indication of the status of their application.
Pro Tip: Glassdoor’s new Candidate Messaging feature allows you to contact and manage your potential candidates in one place, so you can find a better match, faster. Send, receive, and review candidate messages all in one place for a more seamless experience. For job seekers, this new feature eliminates the “application black box” by allowing recruiters to speak directly to them. It’s a win-win.
Evaluation: “Are you right for me? Am I right for you?”
At this point, your organization knows more about the candidate than at any other point and is evaluating him or her as a fit for the job and culture. This evaluation process is a two-way street. The candidate’s evaluation of your organization is not based just on the hiring process, but on every interaction they’ve had to date with your employer brand, whether you’re aware of it or not.
Pro Tip: Nurturing candidates should not stop at the interest stage! Throughout the hiring process, you should provide applicants with compelling resources, employee videos and stories and Glassdoor reviews to help create a positive perception of your organization, keep them engaged and influence them to accept your offer over another. Your employer brand is the number one way to showcase company culture, values and mission, which according to Glassdoor Economic Research can be far more compelling to career-minded job seekers than a compensation package.
Relationship: “I made the correct decision, right?”
You’ve both made the leap: the candidate accepted and has a new company to call home, and you’ve gained a new employee. It’s the honeymoon phase, so you’re both happy now, but the next few months are crucial to whether or not the relationship is successful. Onboarding is pivotal to get your new employee up to speed and producing at a high level, but it is even more important for the new hire to feel like the company is investing in them to be successful.
Pro Tip: The initial relationship stage is essential to getting your new employees to promote the organization enthusiastically and get involved in your recruiting efforts. While the job comes first, it’s a great time new employees involved in contributing to your organization’s online reputation, like writing a Glassdoor review. Candidates want to see what current employees are doing and hearing their stories helps to influence other candidate leads to reach this stage in the journey!