#CandExperienceDay2021, the Talent Board’s annual celebration of positive candidate experiences, takes place virtually this Wednesday. It’s a recognition GR8 People looks forward to as both an advocate of the need to continually improve the candidate experience and a longtime Candidate Experience Awards Benchmark Research Program sponsor. The Talent Board just released its full report, too, shedding light on where recruiting functions stand as we head into a new year.
First, the good news: We’re trending in the right direction. As noted in the 2020 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, the findings reveal “that great candidate experience increased from 25% to 31% last year.” On the other hand, there’s plenty of room for improvement, especially in terms of ensuring companies don’t lose out on exceptional talent due to issues that can be easily addressed. For example, a long hiring process and poor communications remain top reasons candidates cite for choosing to withdraw from an organization’s recruiting process.
The Talent Board also found that 80% of global employers in North America rate “improved processes and efficiencies” as their top area of focus in order to achieve their 2021 recruiting initiatives. With the right technology in place, talent acquisition teams can realize significant gains in efficiency and effectiveness, all while improving the experience of candidates. More specifically, proactive teams are leveraging automation to realize three essential candidate experience objectives:
Objective #1: Move applicants through the hiring process quickly.
One positive outcome of the pandemic’s affect on talent acquisition has been the adoption of virtual recruiting. Many teams found that virtual recruiting solutions allowed them to not simply keep searches moving forward and connect with candidates for future hiring needs but hire much faster due to the format’s convenience and the ability to build in automated functionality like pre-screening questions and self-scheduling.
This transition has benefited both TA teams and candidates tremendously, yet it’s also important that recruiters take advantage of every available opportunity to let automation do the heavy lifting for them, such as:
- Setting up automated reminders for hiring manager feedback within the application tracking system at either the workflow or system level so that notifications are triggered as soon as established feedback deadlines pass.
- Using automated self-scheduling functionality, which proved incredibly valuable to virtual recruiting programs, universally. This eliminates the delays caused by back-and-forth communications while giving candidates the self-service features they have come to expect in our digital world.
- Implementing candidate relationship management software with automated talent pools to deliver lists of qualified, interested and available candidates to recruiters. Having ready-access to talent that’s already been vetted goes a long way in moving applicants through the hiring process quickly.
Objective #2: Keep candidates informed of their status.
Automation is talent acquisition’s friend when it comes to keeping candidates informed of their status, too. Given how easy it is to automate candidate communications, it’s surprising to learn the only 66% of candidates responding to the Talent Board’s survey say that they received an automated thank-you message after applying for a role. Here’s how to close the gap with communications across the entire hiring lifecycle:
- Set up immediate thank-you notifications within the ATS that are triggered on apply. If possible, include a timeframe for the next steps of your organization’s selection process within your notifications.
- Schedule automated updates at each subsequent step of the hiring process, such as a recruiter accepting a candidate or reviewing an application. You should also make sure that, if at any point the candidate is rejected, a notification is triggered immediately.
- Look to automated communications to ensure the organization stays in touch with candidates who are selected for interviews but not extended an offer and, especially, silver medalists. These individuals should receive an automated invitation to join your Talent CRM for ongoing engagement until a new opportunity arises.
Objective #3: Use insights for continual improvement.
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of gathering meaningful insights that can be used to continually improve the candidate experience. Your recruiting software should provide clear visibility into where candidates are in your hiring process, including their nurture status within the CRM. This helps teams see where candidates may be sitting for too long, as well as other barriers that are getting in the way of hiring success and, by extension, good candidate experiences.
You should also gather feedback directly from candidates regarding their experience as this will provide additional insights that your team can use for continual improvement. One way to do this is to create an online survey and then establish triggers for when to send candidates an invitation to provide their feedback.
While the automation functionality outlined above should be available regardless of the current tech stack that your team has in place, the implementation of a talent platform makes these efforts seamless and results in the operational excellence that leaders want to see across the entire organization—and especially for talent acquisition.
Learn how Teradata leveraged automation for hiring manager notifications and candidate communications to reduce time to fill by 25%.