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: 

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

Two Essential Components of a Positive Candidate Experience

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Jun, 23, 2016 @ 08:06 AM

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More than three of four candidates would be willing to “accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process,” according to CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior Study

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 the 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 cracks in 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. 

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 4 Key Steps to Successful  Talent Acquisition

Tags: candidates, applicant experience, Hiring

The Next Step After Your Candidate Rejects Your Offer

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, Nov, 04, 2015 @ 07:11 AM

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Some candidates will buzz through the applicant tracking system, nail interviews and fit into your culture seamlessly. These are the types of candidates you don’t want to think twice about. But it doesn’t always turn out that way; sometimes a candidate rejects your offer. What should companies do when great candidates decide they would be a better fit elsewhere? Depending on the situation, companies may not necessarily need to scramble for another hire, but they should always see what about the process went wrong. And whatever they might do, they should never take it as an affront to their company.

Don’t Take it Personally

There are a number of reasons a candidate might reject a job offer; according to 46% of recruiters in recent survey, the biggest reason candidates reject offers is because they took another offer. It’s difficult to be on the rejection side of a job offer, but the reality is that job offers are like any other business transaction. Perhaps the job simply didn’t fit their expectations, so they chose another opportunity instead.

Tweet This: 46% of recruiters said candidates often reject you due to other offers. Read more: 

Maybe the other offer was a closer drive, it paid better or they were referred by current employees at the other company. Regardless, a candidate turning down an offer shouldn’t reflect on the rejected company as an employer. The good news is that it only it happens around 10% of the time, so companies shouldn’t encounter it too often. In most cases, it’s best for companies to simply take their lumps and move on.

 

Be Patient, Grasshopper

According to a recent survey, 55% of employers rejected many qualified candidates in favor of the one you gave the offer. A company’s first step after getting a declination from their most qualified candidate is to contact more candidates before they’re swept away from you, too. Recruiters often battle the clock when it comes to competing to obtain the best candidates for their company.

Tweet This: 55% of employers reject many qualified candidates for this reason:

Or perhaps they aren’t. If the recruiting team doesn’t feel like the rest of their candidates are a good fit for the job and don’t need to fill the opening immediately, they should instead consider waiting until another great candidate comes up. Companies should never sacrifice quality for the sake of efficiency. However, they should avoid the pitfalls of waiting for purple squirrels!

 

Take a Look at The Hiring Process

If companies think candidates declining their offers at the last second might be a regular issue, they should take a second look at how they’re hiring. If a company lacks qualified candidates and typically relies on a single person to have what it takes and accept an offer in a candidate-driven market, it might worth it for them to diversify their recruitment sources. Some of the best sources of hires right now, courtesy of a recent LinkedIn survey, are internet job boards, social professional networks and employee referrals.

Not every candidate looks in the same place, so diversifying avenues of hiring will help companies get ahold of more candidates they may not have known about before. And if candidates denying the offer at the last minute is an issue, they should think about what they can do to either be more enticing as a company or respond to candidates more quickly, so they can make the offer before anyone else does.

Tweet This: Diversify your hiring avenues for this reason:

Companies shouldn’t be too upset when a perfectly good candidate declines their offer. Instead, they should take a closer look at the rest of their candidates, their hiring process and understand that not every candidate who declines does it because of something they did wrong. Instead, they should accept it, cut their losses and keep an eye out for the next great candidate.

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Tags: candidates, recruiter

The Struggle of the Small Business Skill Gap

Posted by Mark Jackson on Wed, May, 06, 2015 @ 07:05 AM

The skills gap isn’t just for big businesses anymore. The skills gap, for those who may not know, is the documented lack of talent in industries that require certain skills, such as IT, engineering, and in some cases, the medical profession. Without that talent, companies are confused how to grow. Traditionally, large businesses struggled with the skills gap. But even small companies are finding entry-level workers don’t have the skills they need to scale.

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Small Business, Big Gaps

Small businesses have fewer spots to fill, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier to fill them. According to a report by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 29% of business owners reported not being able to fill positions in February of this year. 14% of those who couldn’t fill positions reported that the biggest problem for them was the lack of qualified labor. In a small business, every worker counts, and companies with open positions (whether they’re looking to expand or had someone leave recently) take a bigger hit to their ability to function than larger ones.

Tweet This: Small companies take a bigger hit when open positions can't be filled.

As time goes by, this becomes a larger and larger problem. In 2014, 30% of companies reported that a skills shortage was the biggest barrier to their continued growth. If companies can’t find the right employees to do critical task (which are again more important within small companies), they can’t grow. This a powerful motivator to close the skills gap. Small companies are turning to more innovative solutions that blaze past recruiting into training, learning and internal mentoring programs. If you can’t recruit ‘em, teach ‘em.

Tweet This: In 2014, 30% of companies reported a skills shortage was the biggest barrier to their continued growth.

 

Closing the Gap, One Hire at a Time

How can small business owners close the skills gap? If they need positions filled immediately, higher compensation is the easy answer. With higher salary and compensation offerings, companies can attract higher-quality candidates, and a higher rate of pay could be the difference quality hires are looking for when looking to make a decision between two employers. But in many cases, the skills simply aren’t there and in specific markets, this compensation supply and demand can price smaller employers out of the market. Training those with the capacity for the skill rather than trying to recruit an in-demand skill may be the better option.

Companies may want to consider implementing apprenticeships as well. These programs combine on-the-job training with a regular education and could be the key to creating a new market of candidates with hard skills. However, apprenticeships fell 40% in the United States between 2003 and 2013. Employees who work through apprenticeships also tend to develop an affinity for their employer and tend to stick around after their program ends. Though it may require companies to invest extra in training, it’ll pay off with an employee with hard skills.

Part of the lack of interest in apprenticeships may be the fact that they are considered far more blue-collar than the gaps in the skills we identified at the beginning of the article. But in fact, apprenticeships are ideal for skills that are rapidly climbing in demand, like coding and programming.

 

Closing the Gap with Big-picture Thinking

Taking a wider view of the problem, companies can further work with educators to programs for talent funnels. Educators want graduates to get jobs as soon as possible, and partnering with business benefits both parties. Small businesses agree: 57% are in favor of working with institutions to create these kinds of talent funnels.

Additionally, companies can help close the skills gap by thinking longer term in terms of hires. Though poaching employees from other companies benefits the poacher in the short term, it reduced the overall talent pool for the future. This could eventually come back to haunt all businesses, as it will only will make the skill gap problem worse.

It’s understandable that companies want quick solutions to prevalent problems. However, creating the talent you’re looking for by using apprenticeships or hiring candidates instead of poaching will go a long way toward fixing a problem that small businesses will eventually have to deal with.

For on-the-job training, Visibility Software’s learning management system is your best option. Our Cyber Train program keeps track of employees’ training in modern, easy-to-understand ways, while keeping track of all certifications and other requirements. Take a moment to sign up for a demo and start your best new training program today!

 

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Tags: candidates, best candidates, Hiring, skills gap

3 Reasons Candidates Reject YOU

Posted by Mary Sue McClintock on Tue, Aug, 12, 2014 @ 12:08 PM

Candidates RejectYou’ve been under the impression that your recruiting methods are faultless; but my friend, you’re terribly wrong.

Slowly, you’ve begun to notice a declining number of quality candidates applying for job openings. That fateful day has arrived, and you’ve realized that candidates are actively rejecting you as their choice employer. You can’t help but ask yourself “why?” Well a report by Staffing & Recruiting Pulse Survey showed that 46% of your contemporaries say their most desirable candidates were offered a more desirable position by another company; better than you could give them. Even though less than 10% of candidates reject job offers by 77% of recruiters it’s just as aggravating when you feel you’ve given them the opportunity of a lifetime… and another recruitment program one-ups you. Maybe it’s your ATS, or maybe it’s your antiquated process; any way you look at it, candidates are rejecting YOU and you have to figure out why.

You don’t give them what they’re worth

Candidates have worked long and hard (or studied long and hard for those fresh graduates). They know their worth, and if you can’t give it to them, they will find it elsewhere.

It is the second biggest reason candidates go with another option when they look for a job. Compensation and benefits don’t always meet candidates’ expectations according to 30% of recruiters. If they have the track record to prove they’re the best fit for the position, then shouldn’t they be compensated accordingly? If compensation resources are limited, it should be at least given room for discussion on the matter.

With the Millennial workforce beginning their professional journey, it is ever-important to be as flexible as possible with potential new hires. They desire a position that allows them time to volunteer, the ability to work from home – or the local coffee shop if they so desire – and a greater balance between their personal and professional lives. In fact, 88% want a better work-life integration than their preceding Gen X-ers.

Your employer brand is just awful

If jobseekers get to your career page and don’t see a single logo or any pre-employment cultural building information, your career page isn’t doing its job.

Everything from the faceless email to the numbing application negates any and all culture your company just might have internally. But your employer brand couldn’t be more dismal. That’s just where it starts. The mass rejection or “you’ve made it to the next step!” emails leave the company faceless to candidates. They want to know whom they are going to work for, and mass correspondence won’t do that. With 43% of email domains sending messages directly to the spam folder strictly based on the “from” name, recruiters will have little success finding credible candidates with a mass email. 

Your application process is worse than “antidisestablishmentarianism”

Your talent has already been searching for a job, spending hours of their time trying to find you in the first place. The last thing they want is to spend hours trying to navigate your career page or the application itself.

If you think that word is complicated, look at your application process; I promise it’s worse. If your career page is as unorganized as your pile of resumes, you’ve clearly purchased (or rented) the wrong Applicant Tracking System. Recruiters aren’t the only ones to experience the trials of your complicated or outdated ATS; candidates know first hand the troubles that accompany a poor system. Even though 76% of candidates prefer to apply for an open position through a career page, 58% of candidates who have a poor experience say it’s due to irregular updates. That can all be changed with the right ATS.

You’re simply not going to attract every candidate that crosses your path, but that’s not to say you certainly can’t try. You can fix the complicated process of applying to your organization. Don’t let your recruitment program fall by the wayside because it’s the only thing standing between your company and that one candidate who can change things for the better.

Visibility Software’s Cyber Recruiter takes the burden off of your recruiters and gives your candidates the ease of application to your company. Want to see how? Take the demo or give us a call to see how we can fix your hiring process.

 

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photo credit: Caro Wallis via photopin cc

Tags: candidates, candidate experience