As 2017 is coming to an end, reflecting on the year will show mass consumer customization continues to be a growing trend. Regardless of the industry, the need for companies to satisfy the needs and wants of their consumer group remains of the highest priority. In regards to the recruitment space, this refers to satisfying the needs and the wants of the candidate. Ultimately, we are living in the candidate’s world. Companies are now taking a proactive approach to attracting top talent by managing their employment brands, in part through investment in company websites and candidate facing technology. In a time where most things are available at your fingertips, candidates have adopted a consumer-like mentality and have the same expectations while searching for jobs.
What Makes for a Good Candidate Experience?
Meet the Candidate Where They Are
Social media, networking events, word of mouth and web browsing are some of the most commonly thought of avenues someone would utilize when trying to search for a job. However, at any given time, candidates will be using at least 18 different platforms to search for their next career move.
As smartphone technology advances, many users are opting to ditch their computers. Mobile optimization has allowed the average person the ability to conduct most of their business or personal needs via a smartphone or tablet. It’s expected for smartphones to function as a person’s only computer sooner rather than later, solidifying the importance for companies to adapt to evolving technology.
The first step in creating an enhanced candidate experience is ensuring your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is mobile optimized. Mobile optimization allows a candidate to apply for a position from virtually anywhere and you could be missing out on a substantial selection of qualified applicants simply because they no longer own a traditional desktop computer. It is also important to think about other technology your candidate interacts with during the onboarding process outside of your ATS. Background check technology is a great area to review to make sure you are using technology that lives up to the same candidate mobile expectations. Especially in millennial driven industries, lacking this feature across your recruitment and onboarding process can be a strong deciding factor for a candidate to look elsewhere.
Respect the Candidate’s Time
In 2017, companies are constantly competing with the overwhelming amount of content that exists on the internet. Especially in the talent acquisition industry, systems of records have turned into systems of engagement. Ultimately, if you cannot capture a candidate’s attention immediately, you run the risk of losing their interest in applying. Humans now have an attention span shorter than that of a goldfish. With that said, how can you increase the chances of a candidate completing an application? Take your candidate’s time into consideration.
One of the greatest paint points for candidates is filling out lengthy job applications. Asking an applicant to enter in specific information for job history or education can often feel redundant for those who have already included the information on their resumes. It is estimated that 60% of job seekers quit applications due to their length or complexity. Letting the candidate know ahead of time what the estimated amount of time needed is, can significantly reduce your abandon rates. Additionally, ensure all questions on the application are needed for the position in question. An applicant may find needing to spend 45 minutes on an application for an entry level position as a cost which outweighs the benefit.
Keep the Candidate InformedOne of the greatest frustrations for candidates is not hearing anything back from an employer after they have spent time and effort in applying for a position. It’s like sending an application into a black hole. A simple acknowledgment of the application and status along the way, can leave the candidate feeling confident in knowing their application is being reviewed and that the employer is diligently managing the recruitment process. Additionally, if there are multiple steps in the process for their background check or recruitment process, having a solution that is transparent on the process and provides real-time status updates can prevent the candidate from feeling looked over and seeking employment elsewhere.
Companies that prioritize candidate experience are more than twice as likely to improve their cost-per-hire on a year-by-year basis. Providing a great candidate experience can benefit your company or organization in multiple ways. First, it can serve as a positive indicator of the level of detail and follow through the candidate can experience if hired. Secondly, someone is less likely to refer their friends and family to apply for positions if their own experience wasn’t favorable. Lastly, a better candidate experience will likely result in a greater recruiter experience. Having the position and technology appropriate structure in place can result in greater turnaround times and greater employee retention. Work with your legal counsel early on to maintain compliance while providing the greatest candidate experience, and find new ways to raise the bar.
If you would like to learn more about candidate experience best practices and remaining in compliance during this process, check out our Candidate Experience & Compliance - Best Practices for Delivering Both Webinar.
*The information provided above is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to be legal advice, either expressed or implied. Accurate Background recommends that you consult with your legal counsel regarding all employment regulations.