With over 4 million new jobs being posted online each month, companies just cannot afford to ignore the effects of their hiring processes, join us as we uncover why the candidate experience matters.

Companies that pay attention and adapt to the needs of their ideal candidates have a huge competitive edge over those who ‘post and pray’ their vacant jobs.

Actually, it warms my heart to see that so many companies are spending both time and money on understanding the candidate experience, and I look forward to seeing what happens over the coming years as this fast becomes an essential part of recruitment.

Many companies who I speak with value the importance of candidate experience. However, most often they struggle with taking action to improve their processes and communication.

Companies who grab this opportunity to learn will see improvement in the quality and volume of applications, and will also find that when done correctly, a more diverse pool of candidates become available.

Although often slight changes, the process to identify the challenges and pitfalls of our own career pages can be daunting without independent help. Which is where the Candidate Assessment from Zocket can give actionable insights for improvement steps, before making a bigger investment.

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WALK A MILE IN THEIR SHOES

The first rule of understanding what your candidates actually experience through your process is to assess what information they are receiving and where are they finding it.

For example, it’s not enough to spend time making a rocking career site, if candidates are applying to all of your jobs through a job board.

Of all the time that candidates actually spend job hunting, at least 50% of it is online, searching for positions, researching companies and applying to jobs.

The perspective that companies need to hear is what your candidates view, absorb and assume, about what it is like to work at your company. It is amazing what can be found when companies get an unbiased assessment of what their candidates see and hear about them.

 

HIDDEN LOSS OF CANDIDATES

When companies ‘post and pray’, or post a job and pray the perfect candidate applies, they also have to expect a miracle that a candidate stays engaged long enough to jump through the hoops that companies call their online application process.

We speak with many companies, and the most surprising thing I hear is that they do not know how many candidates they lose during this process or how long it takes a candidate to apply for a job through their online process. These hidden losses are a huge expense of a weak understanding of the online experience.

 

The first step is identifying the risk areas and strength in the current online candidate experience to determine which small and major changes are required.

 

THE MULTIPLICITY OF ONLINE EMPLOYER BRANDING

I am not a marketing guru, and as a CEO it remains a strife between myself and our Head of Marketing when we discuss the consistency of our brand online.

The reason is, that I find it more important what we are talking about in the moment, and she sees the brand and messaging across all the channels we have. But from simple consistency, such as positioning of the logo to all the types of images used across different social media channels, it is a struggle to make sure that your Employer Branding is consistent, authentic and reveals what you want it to.

It means taking a step back, digging in for information in all of the places where candidates can and will be finding information about what it is like to work at your company and taking a picture of the consistency, the messaging and what types of candidates it attracts.

Again, while sitting in your potential candidate’s seat, ask yourself, what are the assumptions that they make about your company and how will they fit in?

 

PROMISE VS. REALITY

What we often see when doing online candidate assessments is that companies have a fairly clear opinion what they would like to look like, but often the employees look at the cool new employer branding pages and ask themselves, “Do I work at that company? I don’t recognize that as my daily grind.”

Even more, most still need to ask the question, what types of people are attracted to applying to jobs at our company with the current employer branding? Contrary to popular belief, not everyone wants a Google-like office with a foosball table and a cuddle wall, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Ideal candidates feel comfortable and thrive in a specific environment, and some actually like boxes in the hall or even cubicles. There is no one-size fits all version of the ‘perfect’ working environment, so why try to make a version of your company that is a promise, but misses the reality?

More importantly, is the promise of the well-thought through employer brand bypassing the singular most important fact of attracting the ‘right’ candidate? When the fact is that we pay external hires 18% more salary than internal promotions, they have higher exit numbers and lower performance reviews, it is essential that the online promise is as close the reality as possible to reduce the exit numbers.

 

CAN YOU SMELL YOUR OWN HOUSE?

Do you know about the phenomenon that you can’t smell your own house?

Walking into someone else’s home, you realize that their house has a specific smell to it, yet when walking into your own, you smell nothing?

That phenomenon is exactly the reason why internal employees should not be relied on to give an independent view of what you represent to candidates online. However uncomfortable, the honest and independent view of an external expert and surveying what candidates actually say about your website is key to assessing any changes needed.

 

BIAS

A few weeks ago, I did a presentation for the HBA in London at Gibson Hall about using technology to reduce bias in the hiring process.

Just to be clear, my opinion is that we need our biases, in all its forms, as it helps us to automate decisions and at times saves our lives. Yet we know that we also have incorrect biases which are deeply rooted in our unconsciousness. For example, those biases that stimulate our inclination to hire mini-me’s.

We cannot change our biases with conscious facts and figures, but we can teach it to adopt new biases with new information, which diverse candidates can give. The same thing goes for the online candidate experience, often without realizing, we affect the types of candidates who apply to jobs at our company because of the biased view that career pages, social media channels, and job descriptions give.

The words that are used, the images that are portrayed are a huge factor on which candidates base the answer to the question, “Will I fit in there?”.

 

WHY CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE MATTERS

Attracting and retaining the best talent is critical for any company in the digital age. The first step is identifying the areas of risk and strength in the current online candidate experience to determine which small and major changes that are required.

Save money by focusing on the lowest hanging fruit and walk a mile in your candidate’s shoes by having a company like Zocket perform a Candidate Experience Assessment to provide actionable insights in your online Employer Brand.

We hope this weeks blog helps you see just how the candidate experience matters.

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