As an industry, we’ve never invested more time or attention on improving the candidate experience. And yet, research from the Talent Board tells us that we keep falling behind. Based on their latest report, candidate resentment rates are up nearly 40% since 2016.
There’s little mystery as to why: top talent is in the driver’s seat, candidate expectations are more sophisticated than ever, and talent acquisition teams are stretched far too thin. Fortunately, there are several ways to use recruiting technology to address the two factors that are at the heart of candidate resentment—a hiring process that takes too long and a lack of candidate communications.
Reducing Time to Fill
In terms of hiring process length, and keeping in mind that many top candidates will drop out if the process takes too long, you can begin by conducting an audit to assess exactly where candidates are sitting the longest without any action being taken on your side. Look to your ATS reporting functionality to gather the insights you need to uncover where the biggest delays are occurring most frequently. Once this is determined, you’ll be better positioned to leverage recruiting technology that closes the gaps. Among the opportunities:
• Automate hiring notifications and reminders, internally and externally. From the internal perspective, you can set automated reminders within your workflows that nudge hiring managers and interviewers to provide the feedback you need to move a candidate forward in the process. On the candidate side, automate notifications about hiring process status and next steps, as well as reminders when an assessment must be completed in order to move forward.
• Implement self-scheduling technology for phone screens and interviews. Self-scheduling technology is an invaluable tool for eliminating the tedious back-and-forth that often occurs when recruiters try to schedule these activities via email or phone. The screener’s availability is automatically updated as candidates select their preferred time slots, which saves significant time for both parties.
• Look to AI-driven sourcing to uncover talent, especially candidates within existing databases. There’s tremendous opportunity to reduce time to hire by cutting down on one of recruiting’s most time-consuming tasks: sourcing. Using AI to identify within minutes, if not seconds, the most accurate matches of candidate profiles against specific job criteria will jump-start your candidate engagement activities and, therefore, reduce time to slate—often one of the lengthiest steps in the hiring process.
Effective communications can be achieved by ensuring that you communicate via channels that are most convenient and visible from the candidate perspective, as well as putting safeguards in place to avoid the all-to-common frustrations that are associated with the ATS black hole. Here’s how:
• Use texting to communicate with candidates during key phases of the hiring process. It’s no secret that email often results in delayed candidate communications while texts, due to their much greater visibility, offer recruiters a huge advantage when it comes to candidate engagement. As reported by Mobile Marketing Watch, unlike email and voice mail, SMS text messages have a 98% open rate. Recruiters can leverage texting to prompt candidates to self-schedule an interview or to remind applicants that they need to complete an assessment as part of the hiring process, as well as update applicants on next steps as they move through the pipeline.
• Implement candidate relationship management software to engage and nurture top talent. A robust and intuitive Talent CRM offers employers ready access to a pool of candidates who are qualified, interested and available, which, similar to AI-driven sourcing, translates into the ability to drastically reduce time to slate. Equally important, the right Talent CRM makes it easy for talent acquisition teams to segment strong candidates, including silver medalists, and nurture those relationships for future opportunities. Having this mechanism in place helps organizations avoid the resentment that results when qualified people don’t advance in the process for a variety of reasons and, therefore, feel as if their application went into a black hole. Inviting these individuals to join a talent community conveys that you respect the time they took to apply to your organization and that they may be a great fit for a different role.
Finally, GR8 People recognizes that technology alone won’t solve your candidate experience challenges. Assigning accountability for a good candidate experience will also be critical to your organization’s hiring success. So, guide your organization in agreeing to clear standards for what a great candidate experience looks like and the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the hiring process. When you combine accountability with the strategic application of recruiting technology, you’ll be well on your way to improving both your candidate experience and your recruiting results.