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Candidate Experience Journey, Part 1: Job Search and Outreach

Posted by Amy Onorato

It’s no secret: candidate experience matters.

According to a new CareerBuilder study, almost four out of five job seekers view candidate experience as an indicator of how a company treats their employees. And one of the things they value most? Communication.

I mean, can you blame them?

The job application process is the first point of contact a potential hire has with your company. Making a good first impression can set the tone throughout the entire process. And if they never hear from you at all, well, what kind of first impression is that?

Did you know? Thirty percent of job seekers say the pre-apply process can hurt their overall candidate experience.

So, let’s go on a little journey. In the first part of this series, we’ll outline how employers can engage with talent during the pre-apply process. Let’s begin!

Job Search

This is the point in the job search process where candidates begin to consider where they want to work:

Job Boards: Are your job openings positioned in areas where top talent are looking? For employers, pinpointing the types of candidates you’re looking for and positioning your job openings across the right mediums is essential.

Along with standard job boards, also consider:

  • Job sites specific to your company’s industry or desired skill sets
  • Visibility on your company career site
  • Showcasing your open positions across your company social media channels

Job Descriptions: According to CareerBuilder, 53 percent of candidates want an employer to list how they plan to communicate with applicants as part of their job description. Providing a well-worded job description can give a candidate an honest overview of job requirements, and set expectations for their hiring journey with your company.

53 percent of candidates want an employer to list how they plan to communicate with applicants as part of their job description.

Note: Google for Jobs’ new search function also prioritizes the “most complete job descriptions” as it aggregates job openings. It’s not immediately clear how Google evaluates this, but it’s important to consider when tailoring your job descriptions.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): When looking to increase your job visibility, get in the mind of your applicant. What words would they use to search for your particular job? Using these “keywords” in your job description will help Google identify your post as something of interest.

Research

Once top talent have identified companies and job openings they are interested in, they will do their research. It’s at this stage in the job seeker journey where strong employer branding really comes into play.

  • Company Careers Site: According to CareerBuilder, 89 percent of job seekers say an employer’s career site as an important outlet for job research. For employers, it’s a great place to showcase your company’s employer brand, values, workplace culture, benefits and employee testimonials — giving job seekers a more in-depth look at what’s offered beyond the job description.
  • Employer Review Sites: Job seekers will turn to sites like Glassdoor for peer reviews and other employee insights — so it’s important to keep and eye on what’s being said.
  • Social Media: Companies can use social media to showcase company culture, highlight news and engage with potential hires — especially when targeting younger job seekers that are more likely to search for opportunities on their mobile device.

Positioning your company in a way that provides a positive experience for candidates before they even apply sets a precedent for your company’s image. It also can help attract higher-quality talent, who take time to research your company.

In our next post, we continue our journey into the world of post-apply — with tips on how to engage top talent, keep them informed, and avoid that dreaded “black hole.”