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The Importance of an Excellent Candidate Journey – Part 1: Before the Interview

by Ben Stinton - 18th April 2016

Hire Digital Talent

The Importance of an Excellent Candidate Journey – Part 1: Before the Interview

Engaging with all your candidates will make your recruitment process faster, more successful and stress-free.

A great Candidate Journey will keep the superstars involved throughout the process, and help prevent any disappointment when it comes to making an offer. Digital candidates are specifically aware that the requirement for their skills outstrips supply. They can afford to take or simply leave an offer based on an unsatisfying candidate experience they have had at any phase on their journey.

Even if a candidate isn’t right for the role, it’s essential to reinforce your employer brand with a positive customer experience. If they aren’t right for the role, the chances are that they may know the person who is, and will happily recommend the role to them. Alternatively, they may be a better fit for a role in the future.

Either way, a complete understanding of the Candidate Journey will pay dividends for your company. This article will explore the Journey up to the interview. Future articles will look at the Journey during the interview process, and then the time after the interview to the first day on the job.

The Journey starts with Discovery, when a candidate first finds out about your role. This can be through a job advert, or from a verbal approach. Regardless of whether this approach is direct or through a recruitment partner, it’s essential to present the role and your employer brand in the best light. Keep your job advert simple and attention grabbing. Focus on the audience as a person, rather than an ‘applicant’ who can meet the ‘demands’ of your company. Emphasis what is attractive about the opportunity to the reader. Finally, make the advert more real by telling a story that references the experience and people in the team you are hiring for.

Once they’ve applied or registered their interest, a good candidate will do some research around the role and the company, this is an opportunity to Nurture their engagement. This will be through your web-site, blogs, social media and employer recommendation sites like Glass Door. Take a look at these channels from the perspective of the candidate, and make sure they offer engaging candidate focussed content that gives them an insight into why they will love working for your company as much as your current team does.

After they’ve sent in their CV, you need to respond quickly or keep them updated if you need more time. Once you’ve made a decision, give them feedback regardless of the outcome. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s frustrating to go to the effort of applying and then get either no response or a flat rejection. Remember this candidate might be a good contact for the future, or can act as an ambassador for you referring the role to friends and colleagues.

This might sound like a lot of work, but in reality initially involves setting up an approach that will be re-used again and again. Any recruitment partners you used should be experts in candidate engagement and will be more than happy to help improve the Candidate Journey as part of their service. An excellent Candidate Journey will attract better candidates, more quickly, and make the entire process more positive for everyone involved.

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