Job Seekers are Consumers Too: 5 Insights to Enhance Your Candidate Experience
Providing a great candidate experience is arguably more challenging – and more important – than ever, particularly in the middle of the Great Resignation and a very competitive talent market. In this climate, delivering a positive candidate experience is no longer a “want”, but a must for talent acquisition teams determined to come out on top. But what exactly does that look like in our current candidate-focused hiring market and how have job hopefuls’ expectations changed in recent years?
To answer these questions, Brazen joined forces with ERE Media to host a webinar on how to fix the candidate experience with a customer experience approach. This panel discussion featured the bright minds of various industry leaders as they discussed actionable insights on the new definition of candidate experience and what it takes to deliver a superior job seeker journey today.
Here are the top 5 key takeaways from this amazing webinar. Read our key takeaways below, and watch the full recording here.
1. The Candidate Experience is Now ‘On-Demand’
Panel experts discussed how we are living in the age of instant gratification – and that impacts what everyone expects for all sorts of experiences. Technology is radically shaping the way people interact with companies, and job seekers’ perceptions and expectations have changed along with it.
If they already demand speed, efficiency, and transparency from the companies they interact with on a daily basis as a consumer (for everything from purchasing a gift on Amazon to ordering food through an app), then they certainly want these same things from the companies they may work for. Because of this, companies can expect to have their hiring practices be heavily scrutinized at every stage of the hiring process – even before they apply– by candidates looking at them through a consumer lens. And expectations are much higher than they used to be, so employers need to rise to the challenge and deliver optimized experiences that focus on offering a seamless and quick recruitment journey from start to finish. Which probably means taking a close look at your existing technology, processes, and systems from a candidate-first view.
If they don’t, they not only risk losing high-quality candidates to a bad candidate experience, but future consumers as well if they decide not to buy your products or services again. Worse yet, they can convince others not to do so either by sharing their stories of your recruiting process online, creating ripples in your talent pool that would be felt across the entire organization.
How does your candidate experience stack up? Take the quiz to find out.
2. Recruiter Bandwidth is More Important than Ever
With so much competition in the hiring space, talent acquisition professionals have never been busier. But their time is limited, so companies need to develop strategies and procedures that allow them to devote their attention where it really counts; in building one-on-one connections with candidates and hiring managers and creating great candidate experiences. But how to accomplish this at scale, particularly in larger organizations? Many companies are investing in better tools, technology, information, processes, and/or people to free up valuable recruiter time and deliver better candidate experiences. An all-in-one virtual event platform like Brazen’s is a great example because it helps TA professionals attract, educate, and engage prospective candidates while letting recruiters decide exactly where to place their direct efforts for the greatest impact, thus expanding on their existing reach and bandwidth for the benefit of their candidates and organizations. Many organizations also see a huge benefit to hosting virtual hiring events focusing on pre-vetted candidates they can effectively screen in large numbers during short, pre-scheduled time slots, allowing them to scale and speed the early stages of the process, so they can invest time strategically as candidates progress, rather than having to plan and schedule individual screening calls one-off.
3. Your Recruitment Funnel isn’t Linear; It’s Really a Loop
Tapping into the idea of consumer experience, in recruiting, the reality is that candidate experience doesn’t begin the moment of application and end the moment a candidate says “yes” and accepts a job offer. Far from it!
The full journey candidate experience starts with employer brand awareness (prior to even submitting an application), continues through onboarding, and even goes beyond an employee’s exit from the company. Ideally, it must be a cohesive reflection of an organization’s culture so there’s no disconnect between any of its parts. Why? Because engaged candidates become engaged employees who in turn become company ambassadors, driving referrals and new hires to the top of your recruitment process in a virtuous cycle. Even if they leave your company for opportunities elsewhere, former employees and alumni who had a good candidate and employee experience can still contribute to your organization’s employer brand by singing your praises to their social networks, becoming loyal customers themselves, and even being open to returning to the company under a different role – benefitting the top of your funnel at every opportunity.
4. Internally Build in SLAs Alongside Hiring Managers with a Process
Service Level Agreements (a.k.a. SLAs) are important commitments between a service provider and a client that detail how and when things should be done. They are also useful within recruitment teams because they give everyone a joint framework to work within and guide everyone’s attention and focus around what needs to happen to be successful. Assuming that you have buy-in from leadership and hiring managers alike when drafting and adopting them (which is a must!), SLAs can provide a level of guidance that helps everyone follow the same procedures and move together in the right direction, delivering a more cohesive candidate experience in the process. Also, don’t feel pressured to publish them externally – just use your SLAs as an internal benchmark of success that everyone involved in the hiring process can aspire to. Having internal SLAs helps prepare you to communicate and set good expectations with candidates about the timeline for each specific role – which is extremely important since candidates today are looking for a succinct, well-defined application, interview, and offer timeline.
5. Accelerate Engagement and Speed Up Your Decision-Making
Take a close look at how many rounds of interviews you’re scheduling, and have the conversation with hiring managers and leadership about why it’s critical to carefully align this to the role and the market. Because the longer it takes you to put potential candidates through your job application and interview process, the more opportunities other companies have to hire them first. Not just that, but job candidates could also decide to remove themselves from the equation if any part of your process doesn’t appeal to them (a phenomenon known as candidate ghosting). So you need to identify how and where to shorten your decision-making process in order to remain competitive while hiring effectively. To do this, put yourself in your candidates’ shoes and audit your candidate experience to find areas for improvement or simply ask candidates for feedback as they go through the different levels and steps towards the finish line.
For many more insights and information on this timely topic, watch the full webinar here.
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