Every company that hires job seekers has a candidate journey. The candidate journey is the path that job seekers must take when they want to land one of your open positions. It involves every step in your recruitment process, starting with finding the job ad and continuing through the onboarding process.
If your candidate journey is subpar, you’ll miss out on exceptional job seekers. However, if the experience you offer exceeds expectations, you’ll elevate your employer brand, making you a more attractive option in the eyes of skilled professionals.
If you wonder why the candidate journey is so critical and how you can gauge yours, here’s what you need to know.
The Importance of the Candidate Journey
The quality of your candidate is vital to your company’s hiring success. When the recruitment process is cumbersome or confusing, many job seekers will opt to abandon the opportunity, often out of pure frustration or annoyance. Similarly, if an applicant doesn’t receive any feedback about their application, they may assume that they aren’t being pursued, causing them to move on immediately.
Often, when the candidate journey is poor, word tends to get out. Professionals often speak openly with other job seekers in their network about their experience. They may warn people away from your company or encourage them to focus their search on your competitors.
However, if your candidate journey is clear, simple, and welcoming, word will spread about that, too. This can cause your company to be viewed as an employer of choice, bolstering your recruitment efforts.
Plus, more job seekers will complete your process. That ultimately gives you access to a deeper talent pool and may make it easier to locate professionals with hard-to-find skills.
Gauging Your Candidate Journey
If you want to determine your candidate journey’s quality, there are a few approaches that can work. First, if your applicant tracking system (ATS) can identify abandoned applications, that’s a great place to start. It lets you know how many candidates begin to apply but ultimately walk away, providing you with insights about how your application process is viewed.
Second, you can discuss the journey with applicants and new hires. They’ve personally experienced your candidate journey and can give you feedback about what it was like.
Finally, you can always put together a team of employees to examine the experience. You could create a sample job opening and ask them to apply, taking notes about the process and how they perceive it. This gives you another source of information and, if you use employees from a variety of departments and job levels, could be particularly enlightening.
How to Improve Your Candidate Journey
Enhancing your candidate journey doesn’t have to be a challenge. Ideally, focus on streamlining and simplifying.
For example, remove any redundancies, like asking for a resume and requiring all candidates to fill out blanks in an application. Limit the number of essay questions you use in the application or consider eliminating them from that stage entirely.
It’s wise to find opportunities to automate basic communication, as well. For example, an email stating that the application was received is a good starting point. Next, follow-up with a second one when the resume is reviewed, letting the candidate know if they are moving forward.
Beyond that, transition to personalized messages. Since the pool of candidates heading to the interview phase tends to be smaller, reach out to them as individuals to coordinate interviews and provide further updates.
Even those small changes can make a big difference. If you’d like to learn more about how you can boost your candidate journey, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us today.