The Talent Revolution 2022
7 Mar, 2022
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The recruitment process can often be entirely responsible for shaping a candidate’s opinion of a company. While a candidate must do their best to impress the recruiter, recruiters often forget that they also need to create a positive impression. It’s a two-way courtship. Companies that underestimate the power of the candidate journey do so at their peril. For 54% of candidates, a negative experience will impact their decision to accept a job offer. But recruiters don’t just risk losing the best talent if candidates are unsatisfied. The company’s reputation is also at stake too, as 72% of job seekers will share their bad experiences online. Understanding the candidate journey improves their experience and helps you cut the time and cost of hiring, build a stronger employer brand, and secure the best talent.
The candidate journey is the experience that job seekers have during job hunting, beginning before a candidate applies for a job. It is the very first step in employee engagement. There are usually six key touchpoints during the candidate journey which are crucial in shaping their overall experience. Each step of the journey impacts a candidate’s behaviour, and companies have multiple opportunities to engage, influence, and turn a candidate from a passive job seeker to an enthusiastic applicant.
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This is the first stage of the hiring journey where the candidate becomes aware of your company and job opening. This may have occurred from a post on social media, a referral, or a job advertisement.
Candidates are now reviewing your company and are beginning to research your company culture, benefits, and candidate reviews.
The candidate’s interest is peaked at this stage, and they’ve chosen your company as their preferred employer.
The candidate begins applying to your job vacancy by submitting their CV or completing a job application form.
This is when the candidate will begin your selection process, and this stage of the journey continues until after interviews.
The last stage of the candidate journey is where the candidate is either hired or rejected through a call or email. Everything before this step will determine whether the candidate accepts a job offer.
Creating a great candidate journey can ensure you capitalise on every touchpoint of the process. Getting it right can lead to more quality applications and referrals, shorter hiring times, lower recruitment costs, and a strong employer brand. Here are some key steps to creating a great hiring journey.
A complicated application process is a sure-fire way to put off potential candidates. To help you generate more interest in a vacancy and more applications, keep the application process both short and mobile-friendly. This shows that you value your candidates’ time. You could also:
Your candidate persona is a representation of your ideal candidate. It includes work history, education, qualifications, expertise, career goals, personality traits, and soft skills. Identifying your candidate persona will help you target more precisely and save you valuable time. The key is researching industry trends, interviewing stakeholders and existing employees, and through your experiences of candidate interviews. From all this information, you can create a checklist that will help you picture what an ideal candidate is.
Mapping out the entire candidate journey can help you to answer the following questions:
Start by researching your candidate experience. You may already have useful data such as exit interview information which you can add to by interviewing new employees and conducting an online survey with past and present candidates.
Once you’ve done your preliminary research, you need to determine the candidate persona you are looking for, i.e. your ideal applicant’s characteristics, skills, needs, goals, thoughts, feelings, and annoyances. Once you have a clearly defined candidate persona, you will have a clearer idea of the type of person whose candidate journey you are mapping.
Imagine the hiring journey from the applicant’s point of view. You need to identify your candidates’ main needs and wants at each stage and their thoughts and feelings that drive their behaviour and decision making. For example:
Outline the touchpoints and processes for each stage, including any problem areas such as a complicated or lengthy application process. Look at the transitions between the different stages and identify any points where a candidate might feel lost or disengaged.
Smooth out any bumps you come across in the candidate journey. For instance, are there too many steps in the application process? Do candidates wait too long to hear if their application is successful? Include possible solutions such as updating the careers section on the website or overhauling the application form.
There’s no doubt that a candidate’s skills and experience are important factors in their suitability for the job. But the candidate journey should not solely focus on generating a pile of resumes. It is about fostering relationships. It should focus on what a candidate is looking for and their needs and wants, rather than making them feel like they are part of a transaction. You need to make them feel that you care about them and are invested in them, regardless of whether they apply or not.
Every company that recruits staff has a candidate journey. But if your candidate journey isn’t up to scratch, you’ll likely miss out on the top talent in your industry. Create an exceptional candidate journey, and you’ll strengthen your employer brand and make your company an attractive option for people with the skills you need.
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