As a talent acquisition professional, your main focus is on the candidates you source for the company. Top talent means opportunity for you, the candidate, and the organization. But in order to supplement a well-rounded and skilled staff, you have to first establish an alluring candidate experience that will have applicants flocking to your door.
But it all starts with that exceptional (dare we say phenomenal) candidate experience to drive highly qualified and engaged job seekers to your employer brand.
83% of candidates will change their mind about a role or company they may have once liked because of a negative experience
If your candidate experience is at all lackluster or leaves a feeling of disdain with your job seekers, your roles will remain open and company revenue will continue to take a hit.
In fact, the average cost to fill a mid-level employee’s salary is 150% or $120,000. Similarly, it costs 400% or $400,000 of a high-level salary. That’s a lot of money and manpower wasted the longer those roles stay open.
Remember, your candidates are likely your consumers, they fell in love with your product first, then your brand, and finally your employer brand. If they are reaching out to you to dedicate their time to your mission but are met with anything less than a personalized experience, they will likely not spend any more of their hard earned dollars on your products.
If your company’s candidate experience is negative, it’s time for a serious assessment of your entire talent acquisition strategy.
What Dictates a Good Candidate Experience?
For starters, a positive candidate experience is made up of personalized interactions with every touchpoint throughout the candidate journey. We’re talking from the point of job interest to job offer, every interaction and communication should be highly tailored to that specific candidate. And the best place to start is on your career site.
The career site is a recruiters’ mecca for marketing employer brand and gathering candidate information. When we marry the two, that’s when talent acquisition can shine by offering job recommendations that are targeted with pinpoint accuracy to the job seeker. The potential applicants’ entire digital experience has the familiarity of a seamless online shopping process. The goal is to get them to the right jobs fast and make it easy for them to apply.
By focusing on these three categories and the ways you can improve them, will make the candidate journey efficient for both recruiter and applicant:
Attraction - social media profile integration, multi-device responsiveness & optimization, third-party job aggregators, and faceted search functionality.
Engagement - personalized job recommendations, job description language, saved job carts, relevant video & blog content, and articulated EVP.
Conversion - intuitive application form, error prevention, social apply, and application status communication.
What is the Current State of Talent Acquisition?
We like to call it, the current State of Talent Relationship Marketing (TRM). It’s important that talent acquisition gurus are masters at their craft. Gone are the days of listing jobs in the classifieds and waiting for someone to respond to it. Recruiters are sophisticated recruitment marketers who need to think like a candidate to bring in the best talent to the right role. After all, we are in the lowest US unemployment rate we’ve seen in decades and the war for talent is turbulent.
Candidates today expect more in their job search. It’s less about what they can do for the employer and more about what can the employer do for them. They need to be convinced that submitting an application is like signing up for a once in a lifetime opportunity - it needs to feel like it was written in the stars. And with each passing year, that war becomes more ruthless as technology improves and best practices are learned.
That’s why we released our third annual State of TRM report highlighting the Fortune 500 companies and ranking their candidate experiences based on our own analysis.
From the research, we analyzed and discovered strong findings that convey just how broken the talent acquisition processes are:
84% lack personalization throughout the talent experience
1 out of 3 has a visible and easily accessible apply button
59% fail to articulate employee value proposition
98% do not communicate the status of a candidate’s application
16 companies do not have a career site
What Was Good? What Was Ugly?
You can’t have the good without the ugly. We found the overarching successes and failures the majority of companies exhibit. If you talent acquisition process possess any of these wins (and they likely do) keep up the good work! They are crucial to keeping your candidate’s attention.
But if you also see some familiar losses, there are quick fixes you can incorporate and get your recruitment strategy to where it should be.
Career site loading time - An overwhelming number of companies scored phenomenal in the loading time of the “above the fold” content on their career sites. Less than 3 seconds was the average.
Job description - Job titles and explanations were thorough with concise language, good use of bullets, and avoided unnecessary symbols and odd characters.
Application flow - More than 80% of companies had labeled prerequisite fields in their applications making it easy for the candidate to understand what was asked of them before continuing with the application.
Social integration - Unfortunately, the majority of companies lost out on an easy and highly efficient feature. They did not have a simple social media integration for job seekers to quickly convey their qualifications and have job recommendations delivered to them based on their profiles.
Location search - Companies also missed out on finding talent that was nearby the jobs’ locations. By integrating a location search, recruiters can find the talent that lives closest to the open positions.
Feedback & surveys - Many companies missed out on asking for candidates’ feedback post-application. Even if a job seeker doesn’t receive an offer, ask them what they liked and disliked about their candidate experience. They will be inclined to apply again.
We are big believers in the candidate experience. It gets more of the right people in your roles faster. Every business process is impacted by employing the best-fit candidates.
If your company is on the Fortune 500 list, you’ll want to download this report to better understand where your talent acquisition strategy ranks. Learn how other companies are winning in the competition for top talent and what you can do to place higher in the sequences.
And even if your company is not on the list, learn from the best and worst scored companies. Adopt more of what the high performers possess and avoid what the low performers are doing.