full stadium with silhouettes of fan HireVue recently produced an interesting white paper entitled, “Turn Candidates into Fans, Whether or Not They Get the Job: Taking Advantage of Four Key Hiring Moments.” In the paper, authors Chip Luman and Ben Martinez explain the four areas where employers most often miss the mark when it comes to the candidate experience—key areas that leave a lasting impression on candidates, whether positive or negative.

These include:

  • Job descriptions
  • Sourcing strategies
  • Candidate friendly career websites
  • Interviews

Luman and Martinez offer tips and advice on how employers can improve in each area to ensure candidates always leave with a positive experience, which will ultimately turn them into fans of your hiring process and company as a whole.

But, I want to add to the white paper’s “how to” for employers and give companies a job seeker’s perspective on how candidates view these four areas in relation to the selection process.

Job Descriptions

The paper explains how lack of engagement for the open position can easily translate into many of the vague, boring and monotone-type job descriptions job seekers encounter each day.

If you’re not engaged in the opportunity you’re trying to fill–and in turn translating that into a written job description–then why would the very best candidates get excited about the position and apply?

Unfortunately, most companies rely more on brevity and standard verbiage in their job descriptions than they do creativity and excitement. Much less, 43 percent of candidates in a 2013 CareerBuilder.com Survey indicated the job description didn’t match the job to which they applied; clarity must be a top priority.

Job seekers are able to tell if the hiring manager or creator of the job description lacked interest. And job descriptions using “standard verbiage” can be a huge turnoff because they aren’t specific. No job seeker wants to question, “So, what does the position actually do?” upon reading a job ad because the language is so dense and/or boring and general. They want a job ad that attracts and excited them as they read it—one that compels and draws them to apply.

This is also true when it comes to the company description. Job ads that leave out a company’s name are a huge turnoff because they place job seekers at a disadvantage. They cannot research the company to even see if they’ll be a proper fit or tailor their cover letters to the specific business. Lack of detail is a surefire way to keep top talent from clicking on your job listing.

Sourcing Strategies

The paper says, “If you want to hire quality talent, you’re going to need to step up your game; often times, this can be as simple as being proactive in approaching candidates where they live.”

Imagine if a job seeker researches a company only to discover that he or she must “apply within” at the company’s location. He or she will most likely move on to the companies who allow candidates to apply online.

Or what about if a job seeker has to spend 45 minutes to fill out an online application and take an assessment, as opposed to “applying with LinkedIn” for another company’s position? I think it’s safe to say most job seekers will go with the latter.

How employers source candidates is important. If job seekers see that a company has no social media accounts and no quick and easy ways for him/her to stay connected with the company or research about the hiring managers, they’re likely to move on to a more “accessible” business. Like the paper says, employers have to approach candidates where they live, and this also means making themselves approachable in those areas as well.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article to discover the final two areas employers can utilize to leave lasting impressions on candidates, and why these are so vital to job seekers.

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