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

Implementing a New ATS? Follow These 5 Tips.

Posted by James Bellew on Thu, Feb, 16, 2017 @ 08:02 AM

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Selecting a  quality applicant tracking system (ATS) that meets your needs is critical for improving your talent acquisition process and results. But if you don’t implement it successfully, even the right ATS technology won’t be much help.  

In this post, we provide five tips that will help you successfully implement a new ATS, enabling you to both get the most value and avoid headaches.  

1. Check vendor references BEFORE negotiating and signing a contract. As part of this reference checking, be sure to ask about the implementation experience. A few questions you might consider asking include:

  1. How difficult was implementation?
  2. How well did the ATS integrate with other software? (This is particularly helpful if the reference uses other software you also use.)
  3. How helpful was the provider with implementation?
  4. What suggestions do the references have based on their implementation experience?

2. Carefully prepare for implementation, including deciding which data to bring over from your old ATS. There’s a famous quotation by Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Avoid unnecessary implementation problems by being prepared and organized. An important part of this is determining which data you will bring over from your old ATS, and which you won’t. The amount of data you bring over often impacts the length of your implementation process.

3. Test your new ATS. Ensure that it meets your specifications and expectations. Verify you’re getting what you’re paying for—that your new ATS lives up to what you’ve been promised and seen during demos. As part of this, ensure the ATS integrates properly with other software you use. Lackluster integration is a common source of frustration. Don’t let it happen to you.

4. Get users trained fully and effectively on the ATS. This includes recruiters and hiring managers, but also others who will be using it. Ensure they know how to use features and functionality that are important for getting the most value from your new ATS. Those great reporting capabilities don’t do much good if users don’t know they exist, or don’t know how to access or use them.

5. Keep refining after beginning use. Take advantage of valuable updates the provider makes to your ATS. Especially with best-in-class ATSs, taking advantage of new capabilities is key to getting more value. Additionally, give existing users training refreshers as necessary, and ensure new users are trained fully.

Follow these tips. They should help your organization implement your ATS successfully, and help you get great results from the start. 

Are you considering changing to a new ATS? Before you make such an important decision, download “5 Questions to Ask When Switching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).It will help you make a smart decision. 

 

Tags: applicant tracking system, ATS, recruiting, cloud based applicant tracking system, cloud based ATS

Selecting Your New ATS: Best-in-Class or End-to-End?

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Jan, 31, 2017 @ 14:01 PM

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One of the most important choices employers face when deciding on a new applicant tracking system is: Do we want a best-in-class (aka best-of-breed) solution, or an ATS that’s part of an end-to-end system? 

It’s an important choice because best-in-class solutions and end-to-end systems have clear advantages. If you make the right choice for your particular needs, there’s a good chance you’ll be happy with the ATS you select. Conversely, if you make the wrong choice, you’re much less likely to be happy to be satisfied with your new ATS. 

Below are primers on understanding best-in-class ATSs versus ATSs that are part of end-to-end systems. 

Primer on Best-in-Class ATSs

These ATSs are dedicated to best-in-class performance and user experience. They integrate with other software solutions that manage post-hire needs, such as training and payroll. 

The advantages of using best-of-breed ATSs include:

  • Greater innovation and more dynamic—potentially creating a competitive advantage
  • Easier to specialize and customize
  • More rapid upgrades

Primer on ATSs That Are Part of End-to-End Systems

End-to-end systems (aka “suites”) are when individual vendors provide all of your HR technology needs, from recruiting software to training to payroll. The ATS is one component of the end-to-end system you use. 

The advantages of using end-to-end systems include:

  • Simplicity
  • Only one vendor
  • Few, if any, integrations required

Which Is the Better Choice?

In recent years, there has been much discussion and debate about whether best-in-class or end-to-end systems are better. It’s a debate without a winner to date. In fact, according to a 2016 Ernst & Young HR technology survey, the percentage of organizations that use best-in-class software is roughly the same as those that use an end-to-end system. 

As noted earlier, however, making the right choice for your particular needs is highly important. For example, if you’re having trouble sourcing and hiring the talent you need, moving to a high-quality best-of-breed system—thanks to greater innovation and customizability—could be a difference-maker. 

The Rise of Easier Integration

One of the biggest HR technology developments in recent years is that integration has become much easier. In fact, more and more best-of-breed software products are even offering a variety of plug-in integrations with other best-of-breed software. Analyst Ward Christman told TrustRadius, “I'm seeing a huge shift towards partnering to meet customer and market needs. This path is becoming easier thanks to better standards and connectivity via APIs and data interchange hubs, with additional ‘alliance building’ resources coming soon to support this need for collaboration.” 

Another analyst, Bryan Wempen, added, “I don't feel like a shift from specialized to suites is happening, actually just the opposite. I see specialization as the trend with a focus on features for interpretation of data and analytics about everything talent.” 

It will be interesting to see if improved integration impacts the best-in-class vs. end-to-end system debate. 

Considering a new ATS? Be sure to download “5 Questions to Ask When Switching Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).” It will help you select the right ATS for your needs, and implement it successfully.  

 

Tags: applicant tracking system, ATS, recruiting, integrated recruiting system, cloud based applicant tracking system, cloud based ATS

How Assessments help companies make smart hiring choices

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Oct, 13, 2016 @ 13:10 PM

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You might be surprised to learn that the country’s best salespeople hail from Iowa. Or that Oregon produces more CEOs than any other state. (We’d be surprised too, since we just made that up.) But what if you actually had predictive insight like that? What if you could screen applicants by certain indicative elements, in order to better predict their success with your organization? Well the fact is, you can. Employee assessment tools enable you to use key data points and predictive analytics to refine and improve your recruiting efforts. And when assessment tools are an integrated component of your recruiting solution, the value of both becomes even greater. Let’s learn more.

Assessments help you hire the best

Employee assessments and predictive analytics is changing the way organizations search for, find and retain top talent. When applied to recruiting, these tools help to:

  • Screen out candidates lacking key skills
  • Identify top talent that demonstrate the competencies required by the job
  • Provide further insight into key behavioral traits and motivators that individuals bring to the job
  • Identify benchmarks to invest in future recruitment efforts for certain skills

 

Assessments to help your team reach their potential

The value of employee assessments doesn’t end after the hire. You can continue to use various assessment tools to make smart investments in your team – helping every employee find and maximize their strengths. In fact, people who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged in their work and three times more likely to say they have an excellent quality of life. And we all  know how important employee engagement is.

When assessment tools are wisely used among your workforce, they help to: 

  • Increase motivation and team performance
  • Retain key members of staff
  • Develop cohesive leadership teams
  • Identify future leaders
  • Increase sales performance
  • Identify applicants’ strengths (and weaknesses) to better align future training

 

Integration leverages the power of assessments

Once you decide to embrace the value of employee assessment tools, you’ll need a place to securely store the data you’re collecting. That’s where the value of integration comes in. By integrating your recruiting/applicant tracking solution with your assessment solution, you have a single source for the insight and information about your applicants and your personnel. We currently partner with two employee assessment companies: Gallup and Predictive Insight, integrating their assessment tools into Cyber Recruiter, our recruiting/applicant tracking solution.

Integrating an applicant tracking solution like Cyber Recruiter with an employee assessment tool provides a streamlined assessment process, making the results of those assessments more functional, through the ability to: 

  • Directly take applicants to an assessment survey after they complete an online application
  • Email a link to the assessment survey to applicants as desired
  • View and share the results of the assessment survey from within Cyber Recruiter

We’d be pleased to share our experience with employee assessment integration. Contact us to start the conversation. For more helpful hiring insights, read our new article - Best Practices Guide - 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition

 

 4 Key Steps to Successful  Talent Acquisition

 

Tags: cyber recruiter, employee engagement, applicant experience, Hiring, assessments, recruiting, hiring assessments, applicant tracking solution, integrated recruiting system