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The Importance of Candidate Experience For Hiring In A Competitive Market

On average, positions are sitting open for 30 working days, the longest on record. Amidst the current candidate-driven market, being aware of job-seeker needs is crucial to remain ahead of the competition. By making candidate experience a major focus of your talent acquisition strategy, you’ll also lower internal costs and improve talent retention.

The Impact of Negative Candidate Experience
Before the advent of the internet, negative candidate experiences didn’t pose nearly as much of an issue. Job-seekers who had poor experiences may simply have rejected an offer, chosen not to apply for another position, or have been less likely to purchase your company’s goods or services.

While those are significant consequences, today those actions are magnified. Nearly 60% of job-seekers report having had a poor candidate experience and, of those, 72% have shared their experiences with an employer review site, such as Glassdoor. With 61% of candidates looking at company reviews and ratings before applying for a position, it’s clear that the candidate experience holds power. Thus, it’s important to set your company apart by strategically crafting a high-quality experience throughout every step of the candidate’s journey.

Optimizing Your Candidate Journey
The main purpose of mapping the candidate journey is to look at the hiring process from their perspective in order to pinpoint problem areas that are affecting your recruiting strategy.

1.      Identify Every Touchpoint
Many touchpoints make up the candidate experience. From job descriptions to social media posts to offer letters, every contact your organization has with a candidate builds your relationship and brand credibility. As you walk through them, consider potential pain points. Try to locate touchpoints that have more power than others in turning candidates away if they’re handled poorly, such as a lengthy application process or lack of communication between interviews.

2.      Analyze Current Practices
After you’ve laid out the map for your candidate journey, address how well your company is approaching every touchpoint. Gather competitive data, hold in-house interviews, or conduct surveys to gain insight about your current candidate experience. Use this information to identify the touchpoints that result in the most candidate falloff. Also, consider the touchpoints that your company may be completely overlooking and questions or challenges that candidates are bringing up every time you hire.

3.      Establish Consistency
Ensure that all collateral is engaging, consistent, and clear throughout every platform. The messages that you share on your career pages and social media should reflect your company’s mission, values, and business objectives to familiarize candidates with your organization. Any content that you share will influence candidates’ perception of your company and its values. Beyond developing your message, connecting with candidates in a timely manner is key. 80% of job seekers stated that they wouldn’t consider relevant job openings at a company that failed to notify them of their application status. Send frequent updates to your candidates – regardless of what stage of the journey they’re in. Touch base from beginning to end of the decision-making process so that you’re consistently on the same page.

4.      Leverage Your Resources
With the amount of technology we have at our fingertips, the candidate experience journey should be easier than ever to manage. Between sophisticated recruitment platforms, digital calendars, alerts, and automated email capabilities, it’s nearly impossible to neglect a candidate.

Another way to cultivate a positive experience is simply in the length of your application process. 60% of job-seekers said they have quit an application in the middle due to its length or complexity. Instead of a lengthy application, the one click apply feature on Linked-In or a simple resume upload will save the candidate considerable time and effort, resulting in an overall better experience.

The Importance of Candidate Experience for Hiring in a Competitive Market
There are numerous factors to consider when hiring in today’s market, and candidate experience should remain high on that list. No company can afford to lose talented candidates from their pool of potential hires due to a forgotten follow-up call or lack of email confirmation. Developing a strategic, comprehensive approach to candidate experience can do wonders for your company.

Are you ready to fill those open positions with top talent today? MISource can help you with your candidate search.

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