Kristina FinsethFebruary 08, 2016
Topics: Candidate Experience

Candidates ARE consumers

The internet has changed the way we do many things from shopping online to communicating with people around the world and now - searching for your dream job. The internet has continued to improve and become a part of our everyday lives, transforming the way we experience things. We now have come to expect high quality experiences and when we are not met with the quality experiences we expect...we are disappointed.


When making a big purchase in our life, we do a lot of research beforehand. For example, let's compare the experiences of shopping for a car to the experience of searching for a new job.

First: Imagine your experience when you shop online. To sum up the experience in one word - your experience is likely SEAMLESS.

Now let's imagine a different experience. Pretend you are going online to search for new job. This experience although in practice is similar, is almost the opposite. HEADACHES.

NEWSFLASH: Candidates and Consumers are NOT from different planets.

New Car.

Although candidates may not be the same people who consume your company's product or services, they are consumers. The consumer journey is comprised of hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments. Each is viewed as a critical opportunity for brands to shape consumers' decisions and preferences. Your journey to buying a new car likely starts by jumping from multiple sources to gain information and ends with your decision.

You might begin with a general google search that leads you to a list of the best brands of cars currently being bought. That might lead you to jump around a few car brand websites. From there you could jump to social media where you could see other car owners' opinions. That could give you a good idea of the type of car you want to buy, but you likely will get feedback from someone you know who has owned a car before, just to be sure.

When you research you are met with endless information about the car. From comparisons of different models to video views of the interior as well as the exterior features of the car.



Before actually buying the car, you may have touched on dozens of different websites, reviews and other marketing content that has aided in your decision making process. It's obvious that people tend to spend more time researching before making a big purchase decision - they want to know what they're actually buying.

New Job.

The candidate journey, like the consumer's, is full of hundreds of real-time, intent-driven moments. Each is a critical opportunity to shape candidates' decisions and actions.

The ability of talent acquisition teams to attract and engage candidates is becoming increasingly harder and more competitive. So why are most employers struggling to make a first impression with candidates?

Searching for a new career should be an exciting experience, but the quality of experiences that candidates are greeted with from search to apply is severely lacking and affecting the way employers are attracting and retaining top talent.

Take a look at the graphic below that illustrates how the consumer journey has changed (click to enlarge).

Consumer Journey

The candidate journey has also changed rapidly, evolving the way candidates search for and apply to jobs. 76% of candidates conduct their own job research across multiple channels prior to applying. Candidates are taking control of their own journey, and employers are lagging in their ability to efficiently respond and engage with candidates.

Employers need to catch up or they risk losing more great hires.

Phenomenal companies need phenomenal people. Hiring them requires building a phenomenal experience for the candidate. So how do you create an engaging experience for candidates?

Create a wow-factor.

Start by asking yourself, "How do candidates see my company?" Candidates often are looking for many basic things in a job like if a company is financially solvent, agreeable salary offerings, and health benefits. They are also searching for a company whose values align with theirs, that might actually be enjoyable to work for and they also want to know if they are able to actually see themselves in a position at your company.

Compare your candidate experience with the experience of an online shopper. By matching content with the information that candidates are actively seeking, you are providing a more engaging experience that leaves candidates with a good impression of your company. Use blogs, videos and other interactive comment that allow the candidate to actually envision a job at your company. By providing this content to candidates upfront, they are energized and excited about the possibility of joining your team.

The experience that a company delivers to prospective employers will undoubtedly influence their perceptions of the business as an employer and also a business they would support as a consumer.

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