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Applicant Tracking System Recruiting & Hiring Employee Experience

How to Find and Fill the Holes in Your Candidate Experience

August 29, 2018
7 min read

Building a Modern End-to-End Candidate Experience


There are some signs that the hot labor market of the past several months is starting to cool off. But, 46% of managers still say they anticipate adding new permanent positions this year, there were 372,000 jobs created in the U.S. in June, and unemployment has held steady at 3.6 percent. Job candidates still have options in their search.

So how can you stand out from your competitors in the job market and attract top talent? Improve your candidate experience by engaging applicants and making candidates feel positively toward your company whether or not they’re hired. Find out why it’s so important and how you can vet your current process.

Did you know #CandidateExperience is a top factor when candidates consider job offers? Find out how to improve yours:

Why is Candidate Experience Important?

Did you know that all generations of employees agree that the application and interview process — in other words, their candidate experience — is the most important factor when considering job offers? According to Talent Board’s recent research, a poor candidate experience can have a negative impact on your entire employer brand. Those candidates often want no relationship with the brand afterward and are more likely to share their negative experiences, whether via online reviews or word of mouth. 

Prevent negative candidate experiences from impacting your company’s employer brand, retention rates, and company culture by taking an honest look at your recruiting process. Find what’s lacking and fill in the gaps to create an engaging experience for every job applicant. Let’s get started.

Search Like a Job Seeker

Imagine you’re a job seeker and get started by searching open job titles at your company in an incognito web browser. Search for related job titles and keywords, too, to see if your SEO keeps up. Ask yourself:

  • How hard or how easy is it to get to your company page without searching the company name? 
  • How many different search terms and Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) did you sift through before you found the result you were looking for? 
  • How many times did competitors pop up before you?

Browse company social media accounts, too. 71% of candidates say they research companies before applying, so you want to make sure company pages are updated and active. Check for duplicate company pages that could cause confusion and harm your candidate’s ability to find and research your company during the awareness and attraction stage.

Make it easy for job seekers to find your careers page by putting it front and center on your website and accessible everywhere. For example, link to the careers page from every job description in case a candidate wants to explore other open positions at your company.

Play Up the Perks

Your job descriptions probably talk about company values, the role requirements, and the nice-to-haves, but do they talk about other perks for employees? Candidates are looking for work-life balance, professional development, and remote work, among other benefits. Help paint the picture of what it’s like to work at your company by incorporating those details in your job descriptions.

Recently, companies have added and expanded benefits to bring in applicants:

  • Mental health and wellness benefits including gym memberships and counseling services
  • Pet insurance, an increasingly common perk
  • Remote work options (69% of employees currently work remotely or hybrid)
  • Signing bonuses ranging from less than $5,000 to more than $50,000
  • Pay on demand, which more employees are looking for during inflation 

We ask candidates to share their skills and work experiences with us, so share what you have to offer with candidates. Ensure your careers page displays both the company mission, vision, and values and your employer value proposition (EVP). What does your company have to offer potential employees? What does it look like to work at your company beyond the job description? 

Speed is Key

Online job applications can have a drop-off rate as high as 92 percent, and if they take longer than 15 minutes to complete, 70% of applicants say they’d lose interest in the job. Trim down your application and if possible, try out text message applications. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) like ClearCompany offer texting tools like Text-to-Apply, which allow candidates to submit an application in seconds via text.

If job applications take more than 15 minutes to complete, you’re losing out on top candidates. Find out ways you can improve #candidateexperience:

Fast communication and hiring processes are also part of a positive candidate experience. A recruiting process that took too long was a top reason candidates withdrew applications. If you’re dealing with lots of candidate ghosting, faster hiring could prevent as many as 70% from ghosting.

More Candidates and Faster Hiring with ClearCompany

ClearCompany clients using Text-to-Apply have 3.5x the candidates and a 400% faster time-to-hire.

You can enable faster hiring and communication with candidate texting tools like ClearText. Recruiters can get faster responses from candidates, and candidates are more likely to stay engaged with the hiring process. This technology gives recruiters and hiring managers the tools they need to hire great candidates and increase engagement.

Don’t Overdo Interviews

The screening and interviewing piece of the process generally takes the longest for organizations to conduct, in turn making it the most frustrating for both candidates and the hiring team. When you’re auditing this piece, look for unnecessary steps that could shorten the process (even a little bit)!

Analyze screening and interviewing steps to see how long they currently take:

  • Phone screening
  • Pre-hire assessment
  • Interview with hiring manager(s)
  • Interview(s) with hiring team
  • Interview(s) with leadership

Try to make screening and interviewing shorter by asking new or different candidate screening questions or involving fewer interviewers in the process. If your candidates have to endure several interviews to make it through, look for duplicate questions that can be nixed. If you commonly waste time with technical difficulties, think about making a technology checklist you can send to candidates to check their tech before any interviews. 

These steps are small and might only shave a few minutes, but every second counts when trying to hold on to those valuable A Player candidates. 

Ask Your New Hires

Now that you have an idea of how your company’s candidate experience feels and what needs improvement, find out if it aligns with what candidates think. Gather feedback on recruiting and onboarding experiences from your new hires with an employee survey like we use at ClearCompany.

According to our own Director of Talent Acquisition and Vice President of People, these surveys have helped shape our own excellent candidate experience. Improvements include:

  • Texting with nearly every candidate
  • An improved training program for new hires
  • A natural increase in diversity of employees and talent communities

Avoid bad candidate experiences and start creating an engaging, competitive experience that helps retain your A Players. Download our Talent Acquisition survey templates and get the insight and information you need to create an outstanding candidate experience.

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