5 Tips for an Unparalleled Candidate Experience

Optimize Candidate Experience

Did you know that 88% of job seekers are more likely to become loyal customers of your company, and even refer their friends, if you give them a positive candidate experience irrespective of whether they got hired?

The benefits of providing a great experience to people applying for jobs have been demystified with many companies now reporting a strong impact on their bottom line. Unfortunately, it’s not as straightforward as we had hoped. Even though it can be hard to make the business case for investing in the enhancement of the candidate experience, there are several immediate benefits to be gained, with some of them that can be achieved fairly easily.

It used to be enough to present job candidates with a plain text description highlighting the job requirements and the desired qualifications. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Nowadays, employers are challenging candidates with games and role-playing simulators to attract the best and brightest to their companies.

Gamification is gaining popularity in its ability to drive candidate participation in referral programs and responding to career content to help build brand awareness. It is effective in converting the people who see your job opportunity into active applicants in your pipeline. By disguising your application and assessment process as a game, you’re much more likely to not only convert the top talent who noticed your ad, but also engage candidates and make them want to come work with you.

As discussed in a previous post, while not every company has the budget to create their own version of the Marriot Hotel, other practical ways to leverage gamification are available. These will help bring in the right candidates for open positions and create strong talent pipelines for future hiring needs. Here are five tips for gamifying the candidate experience.

Tip #1: Give points to candidates for interacting with you.

Companies are in constant pursuit of the passive talent, who is currently employed somewhere else but would still be open to changing camps if the right opportunity presented itself. These types of candidates need more than a job description to get theme excited to work with you. Invite these passive candidates to connect and interact with your organization via virtual contests, hackathons, or quizzes and give them points for their participation. This will not only demonstrate how innovative and fun your organization is but will also give them a sneak peek on your company culture.

Tip #2: Show candidates how they stack up against the competition.

It is worthwhile to show how many candidates have already applied for the same job and how well the candidates rank in terms of points earned against those of others. This competitive intelligence drives candidates to act on the right opportunities and motivates them to interact with you more.

Tip #3: Encourage candidates to apply with their social media profiles.

Most people don’t have their resumes on their smartphone, but just about everyone is on social media. Allowing candidates to use their social profiles to apply is painless and effective. As some candidates tend to “over sell” themselves on the resume, information maintained on social profiles tends to be more accurate. And if you really require a resume, allow candidates to upload their resumes from a cloud service such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Tip #4: Show candidates their social connections within your company.

Candidates often want to get an inside scoop (and maybe even a referral) about the job before applying to it. Allowing these candidates to visualize their social connections that are currently working with you and enabling them to message for guidance can help convert a passive candidate into an engaged one who is interested in joining your ranks.

Tip #5: Be Mobile

Mobile recruiting is taking over every aspect of the recruitment process. Candidates are 2-5 times more likely to access your career portal on their phone than they are on their PC. Beyond that, nearly one-quarter (23%) of all Google searches that contain the word “job” come from mobile devices. Enable candidates to engage with your employment brand anywhere, any time, and on any device. Ensure that every step of your application process is optimized for mobile devices.

If you are able to foster a positive candidate experience, talent will come to you. Candidates will talk about your organization and tell others about the positive experience they had during your recruitment process.

Recruitment and Marketing tie the knot

Better Hires

Marketing and Recruiting working together

Recruiting is much more complex than it has ever been. Job board posting can’t be the only way you let candidates know about your openings anymore. Relying only on social media updates of your new positions isn’t enough either. Having a strong employment brand is becoming increasingly crucial. Organizations that come out on top in the recruiting game will be the ones that consistently communicate an authentic employer brand and value proposition that not only captures the attention of highly skilled workers but also compels them to follow, engage, and ultimately join their teams.

The focus should be on building and nurturing longer-term relationships with the right candidates. Top talent are hanging out in online communities – reading, sharing and commenting on your content. If your company is serious about hiring these highly skilled individuals then you need to actively start leveraging the synergies between marketing and recruitment. There are more similarities between the two departments that you might initially think, making this relationship a potentially long and prosperous one. Quite simply, the methodology that marketers use to produce new customers for your company can also be used to successfully recruit the talent you need to get the job done.
The points below illustrate six key marketing principles and how they are inadvertently applied to talent acquisition.

Market Research – Organizations collect market and competitive information to understand what is happening in the marketplace, the pain points and what their competitors are doing in order to uncover an untapped need. As the war for talent is intensifying, recruiters are following a similar approach of researching supply and demand of good talent as well competitors’ workforce to lure good employees away.

Segmentation – Market segmentation consists in sizing the overall market into smaller groups to understand their individual specific needs and buying decisions so that marketing messages can be tailored for maximum ROI. In recruiting, this practice consists in separating easy to fill jobs from the ones that require highly specialized skills and tailoring a different sourcing strategy with its own metrics for each.

Positioning – This is a strategy that helps position a company’s products/services differently from their competitors by showcasing their unique value proposition and benefits. From a recruiting standpoint, differentiation is also used for employers to “stand out” to candidates and making them look like a more desirable place to work than their competitors.

Branding – The branding process is about creating positive, and emotional associations to corporations’ products/services in order to drive sales and growth. Branding can also be instrumental to recruiting as a strong employment brand would enable the company to attract potential employees. Job descriptions alone – even creative ones – are no longer enough to attract the best candidates. Talent acquisition leaders are creating digital content around corporate culture and benefits of working at their firms.

Implementation – Marketers are engaging with customers and prospects on social media to respond to questions, to share engaging content and to promote their company and/or products. Savvy recruiters are doing the same to promote both their personal image and their company’s employment brands. As candidates increasingly expect to be able to engage with companies via social media, talent acquisition professionals with a strong and active presence are better equipped to attract top candidates.

Control – One of the main drivers to organic growth is effective monitoring and control. A data-driven measurement system is put in place to determine the effectiveness of marketing campaigns against desired ROI. From a hiring standpoint, knowing which channels are bringing in the most candidates and quality hires will help improve the recruitment strategy and channel their energy where their strongest potential candidates are coming from.

As recruiters become well-versed with these marketing tactics in their everyday processes, they will start reaping the benefits of recruitment marketing. When these organizational functions work together and leverage each other’s strengths, they can craft a cohesive and appealing message and brand. Once established, the sky will be the limit as they can spread the word and attract candidates, fans, and customers.