How the Right Applicant Tracking System Improves Candidate Experience

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, May, 11, 2017 @ 13:05 PM

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According to a recent report from Software Advice, nearly 26% of recruiters said using an applicant tracking system is one of the top contributing factors for applicants having a good candidate experience. A good applicant tracking system allows your company to guide every candidate through your hiring process from beginning to end with ease. Unfortunately, not every company can take advantage of this streamlining, and it costs them money and candidates. And of course, some systems are better than others. So as always, it’s important to ask the right questions about your applicant tracking system to see if it’s your process or your software that’s making your organization’s candidate experience terrible.

 Is your ATS simple?

A good ATS is simple and to the point. It helps guide applicants through the process, and makes it as easy as possible. At its best, an applicant tracking system is invisible. The last thing you want your ATS to do is to be overcomplicated, confusing and an extremely long process for the candidate, making applicants focus on the how of application process rather than the why. A recent study showed that almost 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent to applying for the position. If your applicant tracking system makes applying more complicated than it should be, drop it. A great ATS should be as easy to navigate as a consumer website, why isn’t yours?

Tweet This: 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent.

Is it Effective?

In order to have the best candidate experience, your ATS needs to do what it sets out to. For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have: requisition management, automated workflow, applicant-facing tools, pre-screening, scoring and compliance. Analyzing your current situation, your job posts, and how your ATS feeds into the rest of your hiring process can allow you to improve every part of hiring, but only if your ATS can deliver on its part of the bargain. If you feel like you have to work around your applicant tracking system instead of with it, it’s not effective. Once every element of your hiring (including your ATS) works in harmony, every part of your hiring will end up benefiting. Ask your new hires how they feel about your applicant tracking system and be ready to process their honest answers.

Tweet This: For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have:

Is it convenient?

Have you ever been to the hospital, reached the front desk to tell someone your emergency, then, once you finally reach the emergency room, the nurse asks you what’s wrong? And then, once the doctor finally comes to check on you, they also ask you what’s wrong? It’s frustrating to have to repeat yourself, especially when you’re in need of dire care. When something like this happens, all you can think to yourself is, “are these people even talking to each other?” It’s incredibly frustrating annoying, and while hospitals may have their reasons for the lack of communication, the amount of time they waste in treating a patient is all the same. 

Why treat your candidates the same way? After being questioned so many times about who they are and what they do and having to fill in the same information over and over, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your candidates are dropping out. A recent study showed that companies saw a drop out rate as high as 48% because of a complicated applicant process. Don’t do this to your candidates. It will decrease your talent pool and give you bad reputation as an employer. You need every advantage you can get as an employer looking for talent, and anything keeping you from top talent needs to go.

Tweet This: Companies saw drop out rates as high as 48% because of complicated ATS processes. 

If your current ATS isn’t your company’s standards for hiring and it doesn’t make anything easier for the candidate it may be time to look into a new solution. Your ATS is a key part of your hiring process, so don’t let your current one cost you candidates and your company money. Instead, a good applicant tracking system should expand your talent pool by giving your candidates the most optimal experience. Not sure where to look? Visibility Software’s applicant tracking system is a great place to start.

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Tags: candidate experience, applicant tracking system, ATS, cloud based ATS, recruiting software

Two Essential Components of a Positive Candidate Experience

Posted by Kimber Crumlish on Thu, Apr, 06, 2017 @ 10:04 AM

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What is the candidate experience, and why does it really matter?

Recruiting.com defines the candidate experience as the series of interactions that a job seeker has with your company throughout the recruiting process. These interactions include any communication that a candidate receives from your brand messaging, software systems and/or employees.

Clearly, the candidate experience is important to job seekers—and thus critical to employers. But how do you help ensure you’re providing a quality candidate experience? One way is by focusing on these two essential components: quality communication and effective management of the candidate process.

Quality Communication

Anybody who’s applied for a job knows that candidates are eager to hear back from employers. Yet often candidates are left in the dark, waiting weeks or even months for emails or phone calls that may never come.  

So it’s no surprise that 34% of job seekers say that more communication during the hiring process would improve their candidate experience. The only surprise is that the percentage isn’t ever higher. 

More evidence that communication from employers is often lacking comes from a CareerBuilder study: 36% of candidates expect to be updated throughout the application process, yet only 26% of employers actively communicate to candidates what stage of the process they’re in.  

The takeaway is clear: evaluate your communication with candidates. Are you consistently letting them know the information they want to know (if they’re being considered for a position, if they’re moving forward in the process, if they’re out of the running, etc.) in a reasonably timely manner? Or are you leaving them wondering and waiting?  

Candidates don’t want to be left hanging—even if they aren’t going to be considered for a position. The easiest and best way to keep them informed, and to give them a positive experience, is to provide regular, clear communication from the start. 

How Modern Talent Acquisition Software Can Help: Technology prevents candidates from falling through the cracksin your communication by sending automated email communication to candidates based on where they are in the process. The right messages are sent to the right candidates at the right times—every time. 

Effective Management of the Candidate Process

If your candidate process goes on … and on … and on, candidates will sour on their experience and your organization no matter how well you communicate with them. 

In fact, 83 percent of job seekers say that a long hiring process would either significantly or somewhat worsen their candidate experience. It’s critical to get candidates from the application to the end of the process in a reasonable time frame. That means moving candidates from stage to stage in your process in a reasonable amount of time. It’s also important to limit the pain candidates experience in any stage of the process. 

It’s worth noting that the start of the candidate process is a common trouble spot, with 90% of job seekers calling extremely long application forms a cause of a poor candidate experience. Limiting the pain candidates experience in filling out your application forms is a key part of getting more candidates to apply, and for getting the entire candidate process off to a good start.  

How Modern Talent Acquisition Software Can Help: Software helps your hiring process run smoothly for all parties. It makes applying easier by prepopulating relevant application forms with data pulled from LinkedIn, job boards and straight from résumés. And it provides routing notification to immediately inform your internal team when it’s time to take a next step in the hiring process. This eliminates internal process delays and miscommunication, two common causes of long hiring processes. 

For more tips on improving your candidate experiece and overall recruiting success, check out our webinar recording: 

Game Changing Strategies to Elevate Your Recruiting Success 

View Recording 

 

Tags: candidates, candidate experience, applicant experience, Hiring, recruiting

The Evolving Role of Recruiters

Posted by Mark Jackson on Fri, Mar, 03, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

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Recruiters as brand ambassadors – as opposed to salespeople - for your organization

Let’s face it. It’s a candidate-driven marketplace out there. It is more difficult than ever to attract and retain qualified employees. As a recruiter, you’re charged with filling open positions with the most qualified candidates. But there’s more to it than attracting top talent; you need to find the right match for your organization so every hire becomes a productive, engaged, long-term employee. Competing for talent in a buyers’ market requires the recruiter’s role to evolve from a transactional salesperson to a brand ambassador – responsible for establishing the organization’s reputation as a desirable place to work, and keeping the attention of both today’s and tomorrow’s job seekers. Just what makes a brand ambassador and how can you get there?

Convey Your Brand

As an ambassador, your job is not to sell applicants on your company. Instead, you want to serve as a matchmaker, accurately communicating the organization’s brand and identifying applicants’ individual brands to find an ideal match.

What do we mean when we speak of a brand? In this context, it’s not a marketing term. Your brand is your organization’s essence – it’s core values. It helps to think of the organization as a person and assign personality traits to it. Is your organization resourceful, adaptable, creative, independent, serious, spontaneous, responsible? And you’ll need to think beyond the organization’s brand to consider both the department and hiring manager’s brands as well.

You, as a recruiter, are the initial human point of contact for your company’s brand and are in the unique position of using both your experience and your discretion to make vital hiring decisions. You’re searching for a brand match – the perfect relationship where both parties share parallel goals and approach professional life in similar way. 

Salesperson Versus Ambassador

What is ambassador-style recruiting? Essentially, it boils down to respect for the candidate. A respect for their time, their goals, their skills and their potential contribution to your organization. Here’s a look at some of the pronounced differences between salesperson- and ambassador-style recruiting. 

Salesperson-Style Recruiting

Ambassador-Style Recruiting

Match based exclusively on resume to job comparison

Match based on meeting the brand vision and goals

Focus on easily-defined “hard” skills

Consideration of “soft” skills like leadership, oral and written communication

Success based on filled vacancies and speed

Success based on engagement

On-boarding is company-focused (internal tasks and paperwork)

On-boarding is part of the employment experience and geared to promoting early success

Applicant Experience and Onboarding

An ambassador-style recruiter should understand what’s it like to be an applicant, and hone the recruiting and onboarding process to be an overall positive experience. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that new employees decide within the first 30 days whether they feel welcome in the organization, and that one in 25 leave their jobs because of a poor (or nonexistent) onboarding program. There are areas in the applicant experience to focus on: 

  1. First impressions: Are your job listings up-to-date and does the language accurately reflect the position and the ideal applicant? Do the listings help convey your brand? Do applicants receive confirmation of the submittal of their resume or application?
  2. Process: Does the process move smoothly with organized, timely interviews? Do you process resumes efficiently? Are non-selected applicants politely notified?
  3. Finalization: Is the onboarding process geared to the applicant? Do they have the tools they need to succeed? Are early expectations communicated?

As part of the applicant experience, we can’t stress enough the importance of treating each applicant with the respect they deserve. You should be looking to attract not just today’s applicants, but tomorrow’s as well. Today’s runner up may be tomorrow’s perfect candidate.

The ambassador-style recruiter is focused on building relationships, not closing deals. By putting the applicants’ first, respecting their time and individuality, and meshing their brand with yours, your organization has the best chance to win top talent - today and beyond.

For more game-changing strategies that will dramatically improve your recruiting process, register below for webinar on March 7th, 2017 at 2:00 pm EST:

Game Changing Strategies to Elevate Your Recruiting Success

Tags: candidate experience, recruiter, applicant experience, Hiring, recruiting, recruiting strategy

Saying “yes” to Employee Engagement - It’s a long-term commitment that starts with recruiting

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Dec, 28, 2016 @ 08:12 AM

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Employee engagement is a workplace concept that refers to how committed employees are to their organization’s goals and values, and how motivated they are to contribute to the organization’s success. Research has shown that highly engaged employees: 

  • Are more customer focused, more creative at work, and take less sick leave
  • Care about the future of their organization and put in greater effort to help it meet its goals and objectives
  • Feel proud of the organization they work for, are inspired to do their best, and motivated to deliver
  • Are much less likely to leave the organization.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that companies whose employees express a high level of engagement are more profitable, have greater revenue figures, and have higher levels of customer satisfaction. A company that values its employees and invests in them right from the beginning is laying the foundation for high levels of engagement. Here are some ways your organization can begin building employee engagement during the recruiting cycle.

Meet Them Where They’re At

Social media has quickly become a powerful recruiting tool. In fact, a recent Aberdeen Group survey reported that 68 percent of “best in class” recruiters think social media is “crucial” to their recruitment strategies. Your company’s LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts can help you spread the word about new job opportunities. They also help put a human touch on your organization, providing a way to introduce and showcase elements of your corporate culture and mission.

Respect Their Time

Strive to be an employer that respects candidates’ time and efforts by streamlining the application process. Post open positions to your company’s website and/or an online job board like Monster.com® and Careerbuilder.com®. Make it simple for them to apply to more than one position at a time. And, send an acknowledgement email letting them know that their resume was received. An applicant tracking and recruiting solution, like Cyber Recruiter, can automate and streamline these tasks, integrating them fully into your workflow.

Conduct Effective Interviews

An interview is the first impression for both employer and candidate. It’s not only a chance for you to assess the candidate; it’s also the candidate’s chance to observe your corporate culture. As many as 42 percent of companies now employee video conferencing (solutions like Spark Hire) in the interview process. This is a great way to give both parties that vital first impression without either of you incurring the expense of an in-person interview.

Make Your Proposal  

Once you’ve identified your next hire, make the proposal a good one. Prepare and send an offer letter along with onboarding forms. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) help speed and automate this part of the process, letting your candidate know you value them and respect their decision-making process. And of course, the applicants that were not selected deserve the same level of respect, so be certain you send them an email or letter as notification.

Prevent Information Overload

On your new employees’ first day on the job, don’t inundate them with paperwork. Much of the necessary information was gathered during the recruiting cycle, and if you’re using an ATS, that data can transfer seamlessly to your payroll and HRMS applications, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. 

Use that first day instead to make the new employee feel welcome with an office tour, introductions to key personnel, and a welcome gift bag filled with product samples and company swag. 

Striving for high levels of employee engagement simply makes smart business sense. Think of employee engagement as a long-term, evolving relationship between your organization and your employees - one that begins long before the employee starts to work. By building employee engagement strategies into your recruiting methods, you are demonstrating that yours is a company that invests in its most valuable assets.

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For more valuable information about employee engagement and improving the talent acquisition process, check out our best practices guide - 

Best Practices Guide – 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition

 

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Tags: company culture, employee engagement, candidate experience, Hiring, Job Candidates

Rethinking the Role of Recruiters

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Aug, 04, 2016 @ 07:08 AM

recruiter-ambassador_superhero.jpg

Recruiters as brand ambassadors – as opposed to salespeople - for your organization

Let’s face it. It’s a candidate-driven marketplace out there. It is more difficult than ever to attract and retain qualified employees. As a recruiter, you’re charged with filling open positions with the most qualified candidates. But there’s more to it than attracting top talent; you need to find the right match for your organization so every hire becomes a productive, engaged, long-term employee. Competing for talent in a buyers’ market requires the recruiter’s role to evolve from a transactional salesperson to a brand ambassador – responsible for establishing the organization’s reputation as a desirable place to work, and keeping the attention of both today’s and tomorrow’s job seekers. Just what makes a brand ambassador and how can you get there?

Convey Your Brand

As an ambassador, your job is not to sell applicants on your company. Instead, you want to serve as a matchmaker, accurately communicating the organization’s brand and identifying applicants’ individual brands to find an ideal match.

What do we mean when we speak of a brand? In this context, it’s not a marketing term. Your brand is your organization’s essence – it’s core values. It helps to think of the organization as a person and assign personality traits to it. Is your organization resourceful, adaptable, creative, independent, serious, spontaneous, responsible? And you’ll need to think beyond the organization’s brand to consider both the department and hiring manager’s brands as well.

You, as a recruiter, are the initial human point of contact for your company’s brand and are in the unique position of using both your experience and your discretion to make vital hiring decisions. You’re searching for a brand match – the perfect relationship where both parties share parallel goals and approach professional life in similar way. 

Salesperson Versus Ambassador

What is ambassador-style recruiting? Essentially, it boils down to respect for the candidate. A respect for their time, their goals, their skills and their potential contribution to your organization. Here’s a look at some of the pronounced differences between salesperson- and ambassador-style recruiting. 

Salesperson-Style Recruiting

Ambassador-Style Recruiting

Match based exclusively on resume to job comparison

Match based on meeting the brand vision and goals

Focus on easily-defined “hard” skills

Consideration of “soft” skills like leadership, oral and written communication

Success based on filled vacancies and speed

Success based on engagement

On-boarding is company-focused (internal tasks and paperwork)

On-boarding is part of the employment experience and geared to promoting early success

Applicant Experience and Onboarding

An ambassador-style recruiter should understand what’s it like to be an applicant, and hone the recruiting and onboarding process to be an overall positive experience. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that new employees decide within the first 30 days whether they feel welcome in the organization, and that one in 25 leave their jobs because of a poor (or nonexistent) onboarding program. There are areas in the applicant experience to focus on: 

  1. First impressions: Are your job listings up-to-date and does the language accurately reflect the position and the ideal applicant? Do the listings help convey your brand? Do applicants receive confirmation of the submittal of their resume or application?
  2. Process: Does the process move smoothly with organized, timely interviews? Do you process resumes efficiently? Are non-selected applicants politely notified?
  3. Finalization: Is the onboarding process geared to the applicant? Do they have the tools they need to succeed? Are early expectations communicated?

As part of the applicant experience, we can’t stress enough the importance of treating each applicant with the respect they deserve. You should be looking to attract not just today’s applicants, but tomorrow’s as well. Today’s runner up may be tomorrow’s perfect candidate.

The ambassador-style recruiter is focused on building relationships, not closing deals. By putting the applicants’ first, respecting their time and individuality, and meshing their brand with yours, your organization has the best chance to win top talent - today and beyond.

For more on ambassador-style recruiting, check out our on-demand webinar

What Every Company Ought to Know about Ambassador Style Recruiting

Tags: candidate experience, recruiter, applicant experience, Hiring