We all want to hire the best talent possible. To do so, we need to remember that it’s not about moving people through the process – it’s about how the candidate feels while going through the process.
We are in a competitive talent market right now, and there aren’t many ways to differentiate your brand from your competitors. Salaries and benefits are already competitive and on par for most companies. That means you need to up your game in other ways.
How can you do that? By leveraging technology to meet the expectations of your candidates.
Here’s why – and how to do it:
First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions
Whether or not you know it, you begin courting your next great employee when they experience your company as a customer. Your employment brand is tied directly to your corporate brand.
You need to transfer that same high-priority customer service philosophy to the way you treat your job candidates from the very first time they read your career page, to how your recruiters respond to them, to the courtesy you extend them in the interview process, to keeping them informed about their status in the running, and all the way through to onboarding.
All too often, companies take on a “you are here to serve us” attitude despite their statements about how much they value their employees. Actions and attitudes really do speak louder than words when it comes to employer branding. If you think the recruiting process is all about you and don’t give much thought to how candidates feel, then you’re in for big trouble.
Most people looking for jobs these days do so via their mobile devices – and 40 percent of candidates abandon the application process when they can’t do it on mobile. Your career site needs to be responsively designed and easily accessible via mobile devices.
Mobile-friendliness doesn’t stop with mobile apply or social media integration (one-click apply) during the application process. According to a Pew Research study from 2015, one in five American adults say that they either do not have any form of high-speed Internet access at home beyond their phone’s data plan or they have a limited number of ways to get online other than their cell phone. That means that every step of the recruiting process – including the parts that occur between the acceptance of a verbal offer and an employee’s first day on the job – needs to be not just mobile-enabled, but totally mobile-friendly.
Don’t Waste Candidates’ Time
If your company really values employees as much as the employer brand says you do, you will design and follow a process that never wastes a candidate’s time.
Think through the entire process. When and where do actually you need information? For example, don’t ask for background check information before the candidate has passed the initial screening. If the candidate doesn’t pass the screening, then you wasted their time asking them to submit unnecessary information for a background check they’ll never undergo.
Be sure to avoid redundancy. Don’t ask for the same information over and over again. Social media integration (like allowing someone to one-click apply by sharing their LinkedIn profile) should be standard practice.
On the flip side, candidates do need all your info right up front. Provide as much detail as possible in the job description – including salary – so that candidates can pursue positions that fit their needs and goals.
Integrate Your Processes
Your systems should be able to talk to one another so that information flows from your ATS to your larger HRIS system and all candidates have to do is verify their information. Just as marketers are pushing toward omni-channel customer experiences that allow customers to move from PC to mobile to store to in-store kiosk in one fluid shopping experience, HR needs to move toward a similarly omni-channel candidate experience.
Provide Real-Time Updates
It’s crucial to keep candidates updated and informed throughout the process. Think about how Amazon does it. The company sends you an order confirmation, then a shipping confirmation, then a “your order has been delayed due to weather” notice, and then a request for feedback once your package has been delivered. You need to automate similar touchpoints that keep your candidates updated on where they are in your process – even when things get delayed.
This is not just a nice touch – it is something that today’s candidates expect. Candidates have plenty of choices, and they don’t need to wait for you. Send talent community engagement emails, text message notifications or reminders, and automated email notifications every chance you get. Keep the flow of information open!
I can’t overemphasize how important the candidate experience is right now. By investing in technology that supports a streamlined and convenient process, you’ll be able to meet your candidates’ expectations and signal to them that your brand cares about being on the forefront of its industry.