A Guide to the Ultimate Candidate Experience|A Guide to the Ultimate Candidate Experience

A Guide to the Ultimate Candidate Experience

Tired of seeing the same unqualified talent applying to your open positions?

76% of hiring decision-makers say attracting quality candidates is their number one challenge, according to Aptitude Research Partners. Today’s candidates require a more proactive, engaging, multi-touch approach in order to truly convert them into applicants and great hires. The good news is you don’t have to look very far to find quality. 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. 

For years, marketers have used nurturing to communicate with top talent to build better relationships, influence them through the buyer’s journey and convert them into customers.

Modern recruiters can apply similar lessons to make the right candidates aware of your organization, engage with your employer brand and consider your jobs when they’re ready to make a career change. Then, once onboard—nurtured as loyal brand advocates—watch them refer more great talent.

Here are eight tips to nurture candidates before they apply to change the way you think about nurture:

Tip #1: Optimal talent network placement can capture both passive and active candidates.

Candidates engage with your employer brand and visit your career site through different mediums, so your talent network also should be promoted across different channels and on multiple pages of your career site.

Inserting a talent network form in the front-end of the apply process provides an option for candidates to opt-in if they don’t complete the application. In addition, using calls-to-action elsewhere on your career site and content can capture a totally different audience: leads who haven’t yet looked at your jobs.

RELATED: 10 Hacks to Hire for Hard-to-Fill Roles

Tip #2: Customized fields can help capture the right data for more informed decisions.

While you may think you need all of the information at once, you don’t. Start small with just a few key fields, like name, email and job family they’re looking at. Once you have this information, you have time to build on their preferences over time and gain more information, as well as track which emails they are opening and which links they are clicking on.

Tip #3: Personalization will drive engagement.

Your company’s workers are people who want to feel respected, heard, and valued. They want to know their work is meaningful — not just personally, but for the company as a whole. Employees and companies need each other to improve and succeed in the long run, after all. Creating personalized employee experiences will help your company build a cohesive, engaging work environment where employees, successful candidates, and the company alike can thrive.

Learning management systems provide employees with the educational resources and opportunities they seek in order to be successful. Listen to what employees want to learn, then use a system such as CypherWorx to create courses focused on those topics. These are all things you can tout with candidates to showcase your culture and dedication to career growth.

RELATED: 3 Tips for Personalizing the Employee Experience

Tip #4: Automation can help drive conversions to apply.

Automated email reminders or triggers when candidates take certain actions can truly increase efficiency among your recruiting team. These are examples of artificial intelligence at work in recruiting. Hilton uses AI to evaluate candidate interviews, improving interview:hire rates 40% while decreasing time to fill 90%. Chatbots are on almost every ATS, and AI has the potential to predict the best candidates for a job.

At its best, artificial intelligence offers up great talent for recruiters and hiring managers, surfacing the best candidates regardless of work history, educational background, and demographic. Properly implemented, AI can deliver dramatic improvements in quality of hire, time to fill, new hire diversity, and other critical recruiting metrics.

RELATED: AI In Recruiting: What It Means for Talent Acquisition

Tip #5: Treat every applicant like a potential customer.

Just as consumers evaluate products and services on shopping or travel sites, job candidates research companies and job opportunities online, looking for the “inside view” and a competitive edge. This research doesn’t stop after a candidate applies for a job, but continues throughout the hiring process, greatly influencing their decision to choose your organization should an offer be extended.

Job seekers on Glassdoor are also highly engaged, well-researched and apply thoughtfully. They want more information than the job description can provide. Nearly 60% of job seekers always or often look for more information about a company after reading a job description. If deciding on where to apply for a job, 86% of them are likely to research company reviews and ratings to ensure that they find the best fit possible.

Part of this step also includes communicating with applicants every step of the way, even if they don’t get the job. Full transparency is key!

Tip #6: Provide a transparent view into your culture.

One of the worst things for a candidate to endure is to not know what they’re getting themselves into. Provide an accurate look into your culture to avoid any awkwardness. To help applicants understand culture, many organizations feature employee stories and videos on their career sites. But don’t assume applicants have viewed the stories relevant to their job family. Set up a multi-week drip email marketing campaign to proactively share employee content such as video interviews and employee blogs about important projects the team is working on.

In a world of increasing transparency and corporate accountability, a strong company culture is no longer a nice-to-have — it’s a business imperative. For one, company culture has a significant impact on a company’s ability to recruit and retain top talent. A recent Glassdoor survey confirmed that workers increasingly value company culture over cash, and since today’s candidates have the ability to get an insider’s look at your organizational culture through platforms like Glassdoor and social media, companies can no longer just talk the talk — they need to walk the walk as well.

RELATED: Benefits of Workplace Transparency

Tip #7: Stay proactive to avoid getting ghosted.

In many cases, the reasons for declines and "getting ghosted" may be more than simple salary consideration. Sure, paying competitive compensation for your industry and market is important, but factors such as poor employee satisfaction, weak company culture or a bad reputation may be to blame as well.

So how can nurturing candidates ensure applicants accept your offers? According to Jacquelyn Gernaey, CEO of Effective Hiring and Seven Star HR, “too many emails—and not enough real communication that sells the position and sells why they are going to fit in the new company and what the timeline and process is” can kill a job applicant’s desire to continue to interview process. And that’s why Gernaey suggests you appoint a dedicated person to walk the candidate through the hiring process. (You can also use more personal tools, like video calls, to help too, she says.)

Jordan Wan, founder and CEO of CloserIQ, agrees with Gernaey: Assigning a point-person to guide applicants through the process can limit the chance of getting ghosted, he says. He suggests appointing a guide who is not the hiring manager, and he explains that “the guide is responsible for keeping tabs on the candidate’s experience with regular check-ins.”

Tip #8: Check-in with recent hires.

One of the best ways to see what you’re doing right and which areas of your process could use improvement is to interview new hires. Onboarding is a great time to check in about how the interview process went, and even have brand new hires leave a Glassdoor interview review during their orientation. Putting formal processes in place will ensure you’re getting relevant and consistent feedback from new hires.

After the new hire has learned everyone’s names, figured out how to use the ice machine in the break room, mastered their day-to-day tasks, and set up framed photos on their desk, it might seem like the onboarding process is finished. However, after the honeymoon phase of starting a new job, it’s important to continue the onboarding process throughout the first six months (and even the first year) to set new hires up for long-term engagement. Here are some ideas for how to do that:

  • Ensure each manager schedules regular check-ins
  • Ask for and provide consistent feedback
  • Work with new hires to set goals and define expectations
  • Follow up on and schedule any remaining trainings
  • Check on benefits enrollment and usage
  • Encourage team-building with both formal and informal activities

Understanding the candidate experience and evaluating every stage is vital to recruiting today's top talent. By reading Glassdoor reviews of your interview experience and evaluating the tips above, you'll be ready to secure every career-minded candidate you want!

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