Improve Employer Branding By Optimizing Your Application Process

Successful employer branding is aggregated from the ROI of several metrics. Among them are retention rates, employee engagement, quality of hire, cost per hire, and number of applicants. While primary emphasis is put on retention rates, it’s the last in that list that, to me, seems to be the most important.

From your number of applicants comes all other metrics. If your application fails to pull in candidates, the other metrics fall by the wayside.

As you’re probably aware, today’s job applications are time consuming as they generally require the same information to be entered multiple times from application to application. Sadly, candidates associate that experience with what it’s like to work for you.

Something with flow and ease of use, on the other hand, will endear that positive experience to you as an employer who “gets it.”

The worst offender in the application experience, of course, is the applicant tracking system. While ATS software has proven itself to be more effective for sourcing and evaluating candidates, it doesn’t provide much of anything user-friendly on the candidate side.

And applying these days is really the candidate’s game. With improvements in recruiting technology and the rise of mobile it’s just as easy for a quality hire to walk away from your application as it is for you to turn them down.

Your ability to recruit talent and get them to follow through is dependent on the experience you provide in the application. And that includes providing a mobile-optimized experience.

While your ATS may not offer a mobile solution, there are cost effective ways to address that without replacing your ATS. One way is by integrating an overlay that visually transforms your ATS application into something more appealing and easy to use.

A large and growing pool of job seekers are mobile, so an overlay that is responsive to screen size will literally enhance the experience offered by your ATS and allow more users (read more talent) to apply.

With this kind of technology seeing increased use in the recruiting industry, candidates have the luxury of skipping otherwise appealing offers from one company that are difficult to complete for ones that are easier to access.

A survey by CareerBuilder found that 56 percent of applicants are likely to return to your company to search and apply for jobs if the experience is positive the first time around. That survey also found that 37 percent would likely suggest your company to others based on a positive experience.

You spend a lot of money to recruit the best talent for your company. But you are losing so many of them to an application process that turns them away.

Some of the things you can expect from a decent overlay are:

Employer branding with ATS integration

Any time you can provide a fluid environment to applicants without losing functionality or compromising data collection is a plus to employer branding. Transitioning from job description to application should be seamless from a brand perspective.

Secure applicant accounts with profile management

It’s an oft repeated complaint by applicants that having to repeatedly fill in the same information across applications with the same company frustrates them.

With account creation and profile management, applicants can enter information once and have it prefilled automatically for all future applications. This includes work history and education. It’s a big time saver that allows for many applications to be filled.

Multiple ways to upload documents

A huge issue for many mobile applicants is resume storage. It’s just not an easy task to put a resume on a phone. By incorporating multiple third party solutions, like Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud storage access directly into your application, you easily overcome this problem.

Sectioned applications that save automatically

Ideally you should request only enough info to pre-qualify someone to help facilitate the process of applying. Nonetheless, an overlay can take any length application without truncating it and break it up into easily completed sections that will save automatically upon completing each section.

This allows applicants to move through your application in any order they wish or go back to a section and edit the information before submitting.

Multi-device access

An apply process that works on desktop and mobile interchangeably lets applicants complete your application in any amount of time without having to start over. Start from one device and finish from another, a perfect convenience for those longer applications when time is an issue.

These are just a few examples of what an ATS application overlay can accomplish to make your candidate experience better for mobile applicants and applicants in general.

The overall goal of your application is to get talent in the hiring funnel. Your recruiters can do the leg work of qualifying but you have to have the applicants to do so. Once your application process is streamlined for all devices, then you will see better ROI on the other employer brand metrics.

There is no question, though, that your application is where it all starts.

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