Article: Understanding the journey of a job seeker & creating a good candidate experience

Talent Acquisition

Understanding the journey of a job seeker & creating a good candidate experience

Here are some simple concepts that TA professionals can utilize to create a good experience on the entire journey of a job seeker.
Understanding the journey of a job seeker & creating a good candidate experience

‘I went into a construction trailer one day to look for a job. Right when I walked in, the superintendent threw a piece of trash and missed the can. I picked it up, placed it in the can, and asked for work. Come to find out that he gave my name to another owner who hired me just because of that piece of trash. I worked for him for ten years. Now, I have my own company.’

This is the story of Ken Beckstead from Cigarette Pollution Services.

Such kind of real stories fascinate all of us. The choices one makes with own actions and reactions leave an impression on people and carve a path for all of us. 

 Now let’s hear another story!

‘After spending a whole week looking for job opportunities, writing cover notes and trudging hours in applying via online application processes of various companies, I somehow managed to get a mail which stated the schedule for a telephonic round of interview. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was to keep to waiting hours beyond the given schedule and the call never came. After I emailed the concerned recruiter, the rescheduling happened twice. Finally when I was called for the interview, the waiting time again was beyond my imagination and that really blew me off. I can’t wait to share my thoughts in a Glassdoor review now. And having been treated so unprofessionally, I now know where I don’t want to work.’

Both the stories reveal different perspective and reflect why we need to think hard while trying to manage a candidate’s journey. The impact the first story creates is blossoming with motivation, trust and is an example of a great value system. When it comes to the latter one, it’s truly shocking to see the lack of respect and non adherence to the foundation principles of a progressive organization that’s being carried on by a TA team. 

So what exactly TA teams must be sensitive about? Given below are simple concepts that TA professionals can utilize to create a good experience on the entire journey of a job seeker. 

It is time to move from a transactional approach to a relationship first approach

A report by Clutch suggests that nine in ten people (91 percent) say that the interview process influences their opinion of a company, including 40 percent who say the interview process strongly influences their view of a company. Hence, try to build value with your interactions with the candidates during the job seekers journey with you. In today’s era, applicants are both - a potential hire as well as may be your future consumer. So, relationship must come ahead than treating them as mere applicants.

Storyboard your ‘ideal-candidate journey’

Together with your team, take a moment to reflect and map out what an ideal candidate journey must look like. Try finding out answers to these three critical questions:

  • What is the best optimal way for ongoing interaction with a job seeker? 
  • How can you make candidates feel valued and well informed at every stage of your hiring process? 
  • What is the best way to nurture candidates that are not ready to apply and keep them warm for the future?

Communication is the key. As per a report published by Hays, 71 percent of applicants say that they would abandon an online job application process if that took 15 minutes or longer to complete. Also, it stated that 49 percent of candidates would consider applying for a role instantly if the process appeared to be simpler. Moreover, application sites should not only be easy to use, they should also respond to questions about the adequacy of the job and the seekers interests.  Over 69 percent of applicants say it is important for them to have a point of contact that can provide status updates on their individual application. This need for clear communication has been seen as an emerging challenge and companies need to use technology to solve this in future.

Recruiters need to focus on the candidate’s experience first and hence define a recruitment strategy that has a holistic approach towards the job search experience. As per the Hays report, 50 percent of applicants gave a neutral to very poor rating of their experiences when applying for a role directly on an employer’s website or online jobs portal. Also, 58 percent of applicants expect to hear within three days whether they have been successful, which generally doesn’t happen easily. 

There's always room for improvement and always space for optimization. Hence effective feedback systems with technology interwoven in them have eased out the situation. Measuring and monitoring the candidate experience is must and ideally you should get feedback from candidates at every stage of the recruiting process. This will help to check bottlenecks immediately and proactively will fix issues to improve the job seekers journey in a much broader way.

In short, never undermine the power of a candidate who is in touch through a web of different online and offline interactions with your company. Every time you connect with a candidate, you have an opportunity to build your relationship and increase their brand loyalty. Create ‘human centered’ design that has the capability to put the context and realities of the user first. Map it to a Customer Journey. Candidate Experience must meet the Customer Journey Map. Remember a great candidate journey doesn't just happen overnight. Make adequate efforts at every touch point and that typically requires a lot of work and a great team.

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Topics: Talent Acquisition, #NewAgeHiring

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