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You’re saying the right things on your careers site, but are your interactions with job seekers reinforcing that message? Here are some methods for putting the human element back in the equation, to demonstrate that putting people first is something that you do right from the start.

Recruiting key talent isn’t only keeping HR professionals up at night, it has also become a pressing business concern for many CEOs. Simply put, good talent is hard to find, and filling open positions probably isn’t going to get any easier. According to Korn Ferry research, “By 2030, more than 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to fill them.”

It’s no wonder that companies are investing in their career sites and employee value propositions. However, these investments alone may not be enough to get the right candidates in the door.

One of the best ways to up the wow factor is to deliver an impressive job candidate experience. One that puts people – not processes – first.

Here are six ways to make a favorable impression.

1. Keep your application simple.

When it comes to job applications, less is more. There is a reason LinkedIn offers an Easy Apply option, and that is to quickly determine if the applicant is a potential match. Asking everything you could possibly want to know up front risks reducing your applicant pool. A clunky or time-consuming application can also leave candidates wondering how difficult it will be to get things done once they are hired.

2. Be timely in delivering bad news – but not too timely.

In short, don’t send out an automated rejection notice within minutes of receiving a job application. No one wants to realize that they spent far more time applying than it took for an organization to reject their candidacy. Not to mention, a quick rejection can make job candidates less inclined to join an organization’s talent community.

3. Don’t keep good job candidates waiting. 

If someone may be a good fit, let them know as soon as possible. Chances are they are applying to multiple positions. Keep your opportunity top of mind by quickly inviting them to take the next step. In terms of response times, you may want to start thinking in terms of hours, not days or weeks. That’s where things are trending!

4. Customize your automated messages. 

Your applicant tracking system probably came loaded with prepopulated auto-reply messages. That’s less work for the HR team, but it’s also a missed opportunity to keep building interest and excitement about your organization. Every touchpoint with a job candidate is a chance to reinforce your employer brand and make a good impression.

5. Actively manage expectations.

Set clear expectations about your hiring process right from the start, including the steps involved and the approximate time from start to finish. Manage expectations along the way, as needed, so that job candidates keep you on their radar. And, once you make your hiring decision, extend the other candidates the courtesy of letting them know you have decided to go in a different direction. That is even more appreciated if candidates have expended considerable time and effort in being vetted for the position. Delivering bad news well is a great way to minimize the blow, and the risk of people sharing their frustrations on social sites. Another thing to bear in mind: communicate the bad news during business hours, taking care to avoid holidays and weekends.

6. Keep the conversation going after the job offer. 

Remember, the job candidate isn’t in the door just yet, and there is always the possibility they will re-think their decision or get a better offer. So, keep the lines of communication open post-offer. Let them know how excited you are to have them join your team and ease their nerves by answering those pesky first-day questions ahead of time. Setting clear expectations for the first day and even telling them when to arrive and where to park may seem like minor things, but they can be a big deal for new employees. Having the answers in advance – without having to ask – can go a long way in reassuring those individuals they made the right decision in accepting your job offer.

Investing in the candidate experience delivers a strong ROI

A strong candidate experience can reduce recruiting costs and the time to fill open positions, while building excitement and visibility for your employer brand. Research from IBM suggests that a positive experience makes candidates 38% more likely to accept a job offer, while Workable reports that it can improve the quality of hires by 70%. And when it comes to word of mouth, 57% of job candidates will share their positive experiences on sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor

Need help attracting talent and creating an exceptional job candidate experience? JPL can help with everything from candidate journey mapping or audits to recruitment strategy and programs. Let’s chat. Drop us a line at [email protected].




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