A Guide to the Ultimate Candidate Experience

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

According to Bersin by Deloitte’s annual Talent Acquisition Factbook, the average hire in the U.S. now takes 52 days and costs $4,000. Today’s candidates require a more proactive, engaging, multi-touch approach in order to truly convert them into applicants and great hires.

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 on board—nurtured as loyal brand advocates—watch them refer more great talent.

We partnered with SmashFly to provide you with 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.

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: Personalized will drive engagement.

Even though it takes more time, developing personalized content will ensure value. To personalize these experiences, you first need to understand target personas as well as what they might be looking for (you can use the SmashFly Candidate Persona Template to start).

Then, it’s important to create a candidate messaging plan to map out the candidate journey (use this Candidate Messaging Template to guide you). Mapping target personas, the questions they might have in these stages and the best ways to relay that message (a content map or candidate messaging map) is key to your nurture plan.

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. A Recruitment Marketing Platform can also send automated emails for you to remind candidates to finish completing their applications, as well as automatically send targeted job alerts based on candidate’s preferences when new job reqs are posted.

In our new guide, we also provide readers with four tips to nurture candidates post-apply:

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.

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.

Tip #7: Stay proactive to reduce the number of declines and reneges.

In many cases, the reasons for declines and reneges 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? Find out in our new guide.

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.

For more tips and tricks, be sure to check out our new eBook in partnership with SmashFly, Nurturing Candidates From Attraction to Hire: A Guide to the Ultimate Candidate Experience.