Candidate experience is nothing more than user experience. If users can easily navigate your site and find the information they are looking for in as few clicks as possible, you have a user-friendly site.
Likewise, if a job seeker lands on your career site and finds a job of interest in as relatively few clicks as possible, you have provided a successful candidate experience.
It works on the same level as marketing. In fact, it is marketing. There really isn’t a lot of difference between attracting talent to your company and the way a business attracts customers.
You are selling yourself as the employer of choice by offering the best engagement possible to a visitor.
Measuring your success involves the same basic strategy: Identify your Key Performance Indicators and then optimize where engagement is lacking to improve your audience reach.
What are your KPIs? Start with the basics.
Using your analytics program of choice, something like what Google offers, which is free to use, can point to valuable candidate data. Measure what matters, skip what doesn’t.
1. Audience. You want to see how many people are coming to your site, from where, and gain insight into their demographics. Tracking visits: new visits compared to return visits, and time on site tells you how engaging your site is. Geographic and demographic data gives great perspective into the type of candidates looking for your jobs.
2. Sources. How candidates find you is an invaluable metric. This one metric will enable you better focus on where to target candidates not on your site. Sources include organic traffic from search engines, traffic from ad campaigns you may be running, referral traffic from other websites, social media traffic, and other campaigns you run like newsletter or email traffic.
3. Page Visits. Not how many pages were visited but precisely which page initially landed on and which subsequent pages were visited, how long they remained on said pages, and how quickly they left your site. These are large determinants whether you are offering what candidates are looking for. Some people would advise to consider Bounce rates. But there are too many variables that affect bounce rate, so in my opinion, they are not reliable.
4. Goal Conversions. These get a little harder to track because it is not readily available data in programs like Google. Conversions require additional tracking codes for actions taken on your site, like clicking a talent community signup link, or clicking through to your jobs. As your objective is to push candidates to your jobs as efficiently as possible this is the perfect metric for gauging that effectiveness.
5. Exit Pages. A good indicator of engagement is measuring the exit point of a visit. By examining the last page a visitor was on you can gain insight to where you might need some improvement. Examine the content, the calls-to-action, time spent on the page, and if they left the site completely or moved elsewhere on your site.
A positive candidate experience, much like user experience on a consumer website, is the best indicator of a successful employer brand. It is also a good measure of engagement, whether you provide it or not.
A bad candidate experience will cost you in talent. No one wants to work for a company that makes it hard to find their jobs.
Most web analytics software will provide the listed data in some form. By understanding these metrics and using them to improve your site for a better user experience, you will in turn provide a better candidate experience.