Improving Candidate Experience: The Answer May Seem Counterintuitive
You know competition for top talent is tougher than ever right now. The talent shortage employers faced in 2021 has nothing on what’s happening now, or what’s coming down the pipeline. As of the latest BLS data, there are 6.8M Americans out of work and 10.6M available jobs—that’s only 0.65 unemployed Americans for each job opening. And that’s down from 0.74 in September, signaling that challenges may get tougher before things ease up.
This mismatch means it’s a candidate-driven job market, and whoever gets to the candidate first wins. Recent research found that the average time a software engineer was on the market in 2021 was just four days. That’s not much time to make a great first impression, build trust, evaluate a candidate’s skills and potential, and seal the deal.
Slowing Down to Speed Up
On the surface, speeding up the recruiting process seems like the answer. But speed alone won’t fix every problem. Deploying a ton of automated solutions isn’t necessarily going to help you find the best candidates without other necessary changes. Better to invest in tools that help you sort and filter candidates at the very top of your funnel faster, so you can engage with potential matches earlier in the process.
Adopting the right tech tools for your recruiting stack helps you improve the candidate experience and recruiting outcomes at the same time. Leverage virtual technology (such as virtual events and scheduled chat) and employ onboarding tools to manage an efficient recruiting and hiring process, without delays that might cost you an ideal candidate.
In order to make the most of your technology, you need a plan and a process in place that strategically targets your hiring goals. Being able to scale certain aspects of the hiring process will end up speeding things up over time and pay big dividends. For example, you might consider adding a regular series of virtual hiring events into your recruiting process, which would allow you to speak with and screen lots of candidates at once, during a short period of time. That’s one way some top employers, like AdventHealth, are leveraging the power of scale to shorten their overall hiring process.
Offer Early Opportunities for Engagement
Moving faster won’t improve your outcomes if you lose candidates’ attention, so be sure you’re giving them things to do while your recruiting team prepares to reach out to them. This starts from the moment they first see your social media posts or land on your careers site. Today’s candidates want lots of information up front. According to a CareerPlug survey, job seekers want to know about benefits, flexible schedules, COVID protocols, and compensation before they decide whether to apply.
Your careers site should help job seekers find answers to many of their questions, and a recruiting chatbot is a great tool for that, especially because it can capture their contact information so you can follow up. It’s also crucial to host virtual events that job seekers (even passive ones) can participate in and learn more about your organization.
Put the Human Back in Human Resources
The whole point of speeding up the top of the funnel is to enable you to spend more time and energy in the middle—in the stages where meaningful conversations take place, where trust is built, and where real engagement is fostered. Automation works best when candidates hardly notice it; the focus of your recruiting process should be on connections between people. Monster found that three-quarters (75%) of candidates struggle to determine whether a potential employer’s values and cultures align with their own through virtual recruiting, which demonstrates how crucial it is to speed up the top of the funnel and get to those meaningful conversations as soon as possible.
Hosting engaging virtual events can help, particularly when you also prioritize the other aspects of your conversational recruiting strategy. This means utilizing candidate personas to anticipate questions and concerns, auditing your candidate communications for inclusive language, and analyzing candidate feedback to continually improve your approach.
Speed + Quality Connections Win the Race
Some employers are racing to land candidates at break-neck speeds, but they may be sacrificing the quality of their hires if they aren’t also prioritizing relationships and meaningful conversations. By stepping back and creating an intentional, strategic plan for accelerating the top of the funnel, you can evaluate more candidates in the same amount of time—or less—freeing up valuable time and energy for the interview stage. Then, your team can do what they do best and build relationships with your ideal candidates.
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