Episode 4: Your Summer Candidate Experience Checklist
So the big question is this: With summer here and time on hand to re-evaluate recruitment strategies, what are your organization’s weak points in the candidate experience and what can you do to correct your current plan? Find out in this podcast. Also, be sure to look for our infographic on this subject at https://rightjobnow.com/2019-summer-recruitment-marketing-checklist.
Thank you for joining us. You’re listening to Hire Education from RightJobNow.
Hey, everyone. Happy summer to you. It’s Mark here with another edition of the RightJobNow Hire Education podcast. I’m here today with Phil. Phil, how are you?
I’m well. How are you?
Outstanding. You having a good summer?
Great! You know, summertime is an outstanding time for healthcare facilities and organizations to take a look at their recruitment marketing and their candidate experience before we move back into the fall of the year and then into 2020.
Now’s a great time to look at some things that you may not be doing, make some additions, make some changes, tweak your plan if you have one, and if you don’t have one get one written.
And so to help you with that we have put together a candidate experience and recruitment marketing checklist.
So what is the candidate experience? It’s the interactions that your candidates, and I mean every interaction that your candidates have with your organization.
From recruiting to sourcing to screening to interviewing, hiring, your onboarding processes, and even how you fire people.
A really well developed candidate experience can reduce everything from your time-to-hire to your cost-to-fill and they can also improve the quality of the candidates that are applying for jobs with your organization.
You know there’s a real difference in perception between organizations and how they feel about their candidate experience and what the candidate actually experiences.
And about 70% of employers feel they do a good job with the process, while only about half of candidates agree with that.
The majority of employers often believe their experiences outstanding. Unfortunately that’s not always the case.
You know there’s a divide between how employers believe they’re doing and how the candidates rate their efforts.
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, self-reflection, self-examination is difficult for individuals as well as organizations.
But this is one of those things were beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; it’s, in this case, it’s in the eyes of the candidate.
You may feel that you are doing an outstanding job or that you have a great career platform… informative, easy to find a job, easy to apply to a job, great communication with the candidate, but that’s not how the candidates see the process.
So, just a data point on all of this about negative candidate experiences. CareerArc, in a survey they did, said 60% of candidates that said they had a poor experience 72% percent of those shared it online or with someone they knew directly.
And this is nothing new. Your bad news travels faster than good news, but in today’s multi-channel social media world, the impressions of your organization are seen by more people in more places faster than ever before. I mean it’s immediate.
Yeah, you know you can always just go online and look for those views and work to address and manage any negative comments and also thank them for any positive comments. It works both ways.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean there are number of places which you can do this. Job boards… I mean, I know that on places like…
Glassdoor is huge for that.
Yeah glass door is and even Indeed.
You can go in if you’re a paying an account customer there and someone makes negative comment, you can go in and respond to those as well, but, I mean, it’s always beneficial if you’re scanning those things daily.
And in a lot of cases you can actually get an email. Indeed and Glassdoor will pop you an email that says somebody’s made a response so….
So to help you out with all this we have actually put together an infographic that has a list of key elements that candidates consider before and after they apply for a job with your organization.
The first section we’re gonna look at, you want to look at your career site, career pages, or career page.
Eighty-nine percent of job seekers say your career site is their most visited recruiting asset. And that’s from CareerBuilder.
Optimized career sites can increase conversion rates for applicants, and this is from TalentLyft, by up to 50%.
So, your first effort should be to try, if you can, build a standalone career website or a recruiting platform which contains your pages of information about your organization, social media, as well as your job search, etc.
And on this section you want to make sure that you’re delivering engaging content for your applicants, for your candidates, people looking for jobs.
You want it to be useful, relevant information about your organization… a site that answers all of the candidate questions.
And remember, it doesn’t matter where this information may exist. Maybe it’s on your hospital website… doesn’t matter.
Repeating content is valuable in every case, because you don’t know where someone’s going to enter the process. So repeating content is not a problem.
You also want to keep from… development, in a design standpoint… you wanna keep content on your career site.
Often times you’ll see people that have on… whether it’s their ATS job search or other information… ends up opening multiple instances of a browser window.
And that is incredibly frustrating and annoying to job seekers, especially in this mobile environment.
Probably fifty to sixty percent of people are looking at your organization through a mobile phone or a tablet and if your site is opening up multiple windows, it’s annoying.
Try to keep information on a clear, concise, and well-designed user interface and create a great user experience, okay?
The other thing you wanna do… you wanna make sure that you are using responsive design techniques.
You wanna create a site that works on every device… on a phone to tablet, laptop, or desktop.
It’s amazing the number of web sites, and in particular, career sites and career pages that are not responsive.
People may think they work on a phone, but they don’t. They’re elements and pieces that are placed into design, so you really wanna make sure that everything, from top to bottom in your website, is built using responsive design techniques.
And I can’t stress this enough… you gotta make sure that your job search is simple and easy to use. Most ATS searches today rely on outdated keyword and really difficult filtering systems.
And that’s because your ATS really isn’t concerned about the front end effort. Their primary focus is back end operations. And that’s what they’re billed for, that’s what they do.
So, you want to make sure that, if necessary, that you build or you have someone that has a really brilliantly designed and developed user experience and UI for job search.
Because if your candidates can’t find jobs that they want they can’t apply.
And the other thing to remember is that your job search is the most visited page on your career site. Heck, it’s probably the most visited page and gets more traffic than your hospital site gets.
And that makes perfect sense, so with that much traffic you want to make sure that you’re presenting your candidates, people searching and applying for jobs, with the best and the most incredible experience that they can have.
So with the job search being the most visited the part of your career site or your hospital website, you wanna make sure that you focus on creating the most easy-to-use job search navigation available.
And the other thing you want to do is… you want to avoid paginated job results.
You see that in a lot of applicant tracking systems where you will get your job results rather than at the bottom you’ll see page one, page two, page three, page four….
Unfortunately, often times, whether it’s on the desktop or mobile device, it spawns another browser search window or leaves that page all together and there is no way to back browse to previous jobs.
It’s just frustrating. You’re trying to get people to find a job. Don’t make them think. Don’t make it hard for them to look for a job.
If you can create an ATS overlay that has a continuous scroll; that’s the smartest thing that you can do.
You also want to allow candidates to apply for jobs using their social media profiles, whether it’s LinkedIn or Facebook or anything else.
And another big one is you wanna have a career hub or talent community for passive candidates. Maybe they can’t find an opportunity, but they want to work at your organization… but they can’t find a job they feel is suited to them.
And when I say a career hub or talent community, it’s got to be something more than just give me your email and your name and we’ll drop you a line.
You want to be able to include something where the candidate can provide you, for instance, possibly a resume, their contact information… a candidate mail system where they can choose the job class that they’re interested, a region, the state, or particular facility that they’re interested in working in.
And when a job appears in your ATS that matches that candidate’s desires or interest, then they can receive information on it.
Also becomes an area where your recruiters can build the list of candidates that they can communicate with regarding opportunities that they may see that are coming up.
You also wanna make sure that you tie in everything to your analytics.
All of this page information, your talent community, your career hub, whatever you wanna call it… you wanna make sure everything is in the analytics, because you want to know where people are coming from, what they’re doing, how many jobs they look at, what jobs they’re looking at, all of that information is critical to your business side of your recruiting operation.
You also need to focus on the SEO, that’s critical. Your pages, all of your individual jobs… and this is one of the unfortunate things about applicant tracking systems is that the information that appears in the URL for particular jobs is not of value to getting found.
And if you can use an overlay that will convert that data into a place, a job type, a facility, an organization, etc., in the URL and in your analytics information, that’s just so much better for your SEO.
Remember that you want to get all your social media active and on your career site.
And when I say it’s active, it’s kind of embarrassing when you have, Twitter accounts, Facebook, et cetera, and you’re an organization that’s seeking to hire people and communicate your information and your brand and you haven’t made a post on anything for months.
No one’s going to follow you.
You really have to be active. You have to have a strategy, you have to stick to it, you gotta remember that it’s all about your employment brand and that should come through on everything you do, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, any of the sites that you’re working in and active on.
It’s great if you can have a blog as well, but that takes a lot of effort. You have to be able to develop and maintain the content for the blog.
If you don’t have time for it, don’t do it. But if you can, it is another great way to communicate information about your organization… what’s going on there… what’s happening with the hiring process… what’s happening with people within the organization.
And it’s just another way to kind of expand everything in terms of the communication of your employment brand.
So we’re gonna talk a little bit about job descriptions and again this has been said many, many times. I mean, I know that we’ve written a plethora of blog posts and videos, et cetera, about it and so have a million other people, but job descriptions and your requisitions… they matter more than you think.
Job descriptions are the most important job-related content candidates look for when they’re researching a career opportunity.
It is the first step in finding, engaging, and hiring the right candidate.
So when you’re writing your job descriptions, your requisitions, you want to write interesting, clear, and accurate information, an explanation of the job, and its responsibilities.
What is it exactly that you expect from them and the job you’re posting?
Always communicate your employment brand and be creative with your content, if you can. Speak directly to the applicants with your words.
You want to write clean and concise job titles, and this is critical for your keyword search as well as search on paid boards and free boards like Indeed and Google for jobs, you want to remove any physical location information from the job title.
Don’t mention floors, buildings, etc. Don’t put that in the job title.
Don’t put work details in the job descriptions. It either goes in your ATS form or in the first paragraph of your copy. The ATS and job boards know what to do with that data, okay?
And not all clinical healthcare facilities use the same departmental acronyms. You know, healthcare is like the government… there’s just a ton of acronyms, and so you wanna look for generics.
If you’re not sure there are a number of places where you can go for a list of generic job titles and departments.
So if… if you need to use an acronym in the job title, like the ED or ER, spell it out in the first paragraph of the job description. Emergency department. Emergency room. And then you can go from there if you follow up and you’re consistent by using ED or ER.
And always assume candidates have no clue what you’re talking about. Be specific. Provide them with details.
And highlight the benefits of the job for your candidate. You know, why should they take this job from you? What’s in it for them? What are they going to get out of this?
And always, always finish with a call to action.
And you… you know, here’s another thing… you know, we’re talking about… you know, the whole applicant process. AppCast did some research that said if you can reduce the length of your application process to five minutes or less, meaning I’m on a phone, tablet, or desktop, and I’m filling all this out… if you can reduce that the five minutes or less, you can boost your applicant conversion rates by up to 365%.
And I gotta tell you, if you have not applied for a job on your career site, on your ATS, then you need to take the time to do it. You need to take the time to search for specific jobs and fill out an application so you can experience what your applicants are experiencing.
Next section we’re gonna talk about is setting the expectations for your recruitment process and then how you communicate those to the candidates and how important it is.
In a survey done by CareerBuilder, they said that 83% of the candidates said it would improve their recruiting experience if expectations regarding the recruitment process were set and communicated to them in advance.
Eighty-three percent. That’s a big deal.
So what’s your process? What are the steps and time lines for your recruiting, your interview, and your hiring process?
Are those processes and that information, has it been clearly communicated on your website?
And quite honestly, the details for all of this should have their own page. You should have a page on your career platform that details what your hiring process is.
Another big thing is… does your ATS deliver an email thanking the candidate for their application and does it include the details regarding your process as well as links to additional details and information that’s relevant to your interview and hiring process?
Do you send an email to candidates and does it have that information in there?
The Talent Board said 86% say not… the candidates… say not receiving an email and having applied creates an incredibly horrible candidate experience.
And that’s true. I mean, “I applied for a job, did you get it? I mean, you got any information, anything you want to tell me or is it just go into the black hole of applications?”
You want to offer an easy to use and mobile-friendly application process.
You gotta remember… and I think great recruiters know this… but great recruiters communicate with their candidates.
As we said before, you want to have a full service career hub or talent community.
And you want to provide access to potential candidates for a chance to communicate about the opportunities that they’re interested in, along with any pertinent data regarding their own qualifications. You want to make that available.
Again, you may not have an opportunity or job for them at that time, but they’re interested enough that they’re going to provide you with their information as a recruitment resource to say, “Hey! You know, here’s everything about me. If a job comes up in this area, give me a ring, holler at me, drop me an email.”
And you want to also remember that you during this entire process that you want to communicate regularly with your applicants.
Fifty-two percent of job seekers said their number one frustration in this whole process is the lack of communication and response from employers.
1. Create a page on your career site that communicates what your hiring interviewing hiring process is.
2. Make sure that you’re sending regular emails along the way to candidates to inform them of what the process is and where they are in it.
3. Make sure that email includes all the information about the process.
And again have a place where your potential candidates can provide you with information without actually applying for a job.
And that’s having a full service career hub or talent community.
Finally, we want to look at screening and interviewing. And they matter. Screening and interviewing matter and they matter a lot to the candidate.
Forty-eight percent say that the screening interview process has an impact on how candidates… how they favorably view your organization.
And only 59% of candidates say the process was easy.
So over half of the people that are interviewing in places are going, “This is just not a piece of cake.”
And remember, it’s most likely that today… it’s a buyer’s market. Candidates are talking to more than just one organization, so you wanna make sure that you treat and show your candidate respect during the process.
You want to provide an easy and straightforward interview process and you want to communicate all that to the candidate. During each phase of the process you want to ensure that you’re communicating.
And you want to provide an easy transition from being an applicant to an employee.
Again, clearly communicate your onboarding process for your new team members.
And you always want to work to exceed your candidate’s expectations of your organization and the process.
Can you shorten the time between the application, the screening, the interview, and the hire?
Forty percent of candidates have rejected offers because another employer gave them an offer faster.
People are getting ghosted because, again, it’s a buyer’s market. They’re applying to a number of locations and if you can’t move faster than the other guy, there you go.
And remember, if your candidates have a spectacular experience you gotta have a system in place that allows them to make referrals for you.
You’ve got a brand new happy hire. Let’s see if they have some friends they want to refer. You know, so if you have a referral tool or if you have a referral program and referral process, get them in on it right at the start.
Also consider the importance of how you respectfully reject applicants. It really makes a difference in how they communicate to friends, family, co-workers, and on social media.
I mean, you know, you can reject someone for a position and in that process if it’s been handled professionally and with discretion and kindness, they could say some very nice things about you in the process to maybe their co-workers or friends.
And despite all the modern technology surrounding the hiring process today, and there’s a ton of it, don’t forget what really matters is the human touch.
It’s more important in this competitive day and age now than ever before.
A personalized approach will make all the difference in the world and it’ll make your organization stand out.