In the first part of this two-blog series, I discussed the importance of employer branding to recruiting and retention success and the significant investment that companies make to get it right. However, one of the challenges I’ve observed in recent years is that too many organizations fail to make sure that talent acquisition teams are leveraging their recruiting technology across four critical phases of the candidate journey—Consider, Apply, Interview and Offer—to ensure that they are delivering the exceptional candidate experiences needed to realize the greatest returns on their employer branding investments.
Part I walked through how to map essential features and functionality of talent acquisition’s tech stack to Consider and Apply. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what to emphasize during Interview and Offer.
Interview: Moving Candidates Forward Quickly
One of the most common complaints from the candidate’s perspective during the Interview phase is the length of time it takes companies to schedule and conduct all necessary interviews and finalize a hiring decision. Avoid being a cause of candidate frustration by leveraging technology that makes it easy for candidates to participate while fostering meaningful engagement and maintaining momentum throughout the process.
- Once an option reserved primarily for unique hiring situations, virtual recruiting—and especially video interviewing —became status quo in 2020. The quality of a virtual recruiting experience is often driven by the software and tools used to manage them, so look to the integration of automated reminders and self-scheduling functionality to deliver seamless virtual recruiting experiences. At the same time, recognize the validity of “Zoom fatigue” and that many workers are burned out on video due the amount of the time already spent on camera for meetings. You can address this by remembering that traditional options—like simply using the phone for initial interviews—may be preferred by candidates.
- Waiting on hiring manager feedback and approvals is a common culprit when a search stalls unnecessarily, and the recent shift to remote work hasn’t helped. Talent acquisition teams can eliminate these delays by setting automated reminders within their ATS at either the workflow or system level. Notifications are then triggered as soon as feedback deadlines pass—recruiting teams that use this functionality report that it elicits higher response rates and, therefore, reduces delays.
- As noted above, self-scheduling functionality should be integrated into an organization’s virtual recruiting process as another means of driving hiring efficiency. However, it’s crucial to make sure that this functionality is applied universally across all interview and screening formats, whether it’s an onsite open house, a virtual recruiting event or a one-on-one phone screen because it is both more convenient for candidates and a way to substantially reduce unnecessary delays during the Interview phase.
- When managed directly from an organization’s talent acquisition software platform, text recruiting for candidate communications offers additional time savings due to the speed of response associated with texting. It also benefits candidates by sending reminders and links to helpful information about the interview process directly to their smartphone. To drive participation, encourage text opt-ins across all online forms, from candidate profiles and event registration to the sign-up forms used to join a Talent CRM. Another plus with text recruiting is that organizations can set up templates within the system to incorporate substitutions that accommodate the personalized messages that get faster response.
Offer: Alleviating Candidate Apprehensions About Making a Change
Most candidates will be excited by the prospect of a making a move to further their career while anxious about the risks associated with change—feelings that are magnified by the prospect of changing employers during highly uncertain times. Use your talent acquisition technology during the Offer phase to alleviate any apprehension candidates may be feeling by demonstrating a strong commitment on your end and reminding them they made the right decision.
- Make sure you’re taking advantage of the offer letter template builder functionality in your ATS to accommodate the different information that is required to complete the letter depending on role, location, seniority and employment type. This lets busy recruiters create a tailored offer letter in a matter of clicks and route it accordingly for immediate approval so that it can get to its most important destination—in the hands of the candidate.
- As soon as an offer is finalized by both the organization and the candidate, maintain the enthusiasm and excitement by setting up an online welcome kit within your onboarding portal that reinforces to new hires that they’ve made the right decision. This will serve as a vital touchpoint between offer acceptance and the new hire’s official first day. You could include everything from a digital copy of the employee handbook to a personalized video welcome message from the hiring manager and an invitation for virtual coffee with an orientation buddy. You can also remind new hires that you’re thinking of them as they wait for their first day by sending an automated series of emails that highlight different aspects of the company culture and ways that they can get involved with the organization, such as volunteer groups, once they begin their new role.
Finally, don’t overlook one of the most essential uses of your talent acquisition platform as you complete a search by putting an automated process in place that keeps you connected with final candidates who would have made a great hire but, ultimately, weren’t offered the role. Proactive recruiters know that the best thing they can do—especially when they recruit in a competitive landscape—is fill their pipelines with qualified, interested and available talent for future needs. Set up automated emails to go out to all final candidates, and especially silver medalists, then invite them to join your Talent CRM and stay in touch until a suitable opportunity arises.
The experiences candidates have with your organization, from the first moment of consideration all the way through to their acceptance of an offer, contribute significantly to both internal and external perceptions of what it’s truly like to work at your company. Using talent acquisition technology to elevate that experience by delivering on the high standards you’ve put in place will not only advance your employer brand—it will increase your returns on the investment.
Learn more about how a seamless talent platform can help organizations achieve the operational excellence they need for better talent and business decisions. Download our 2021 Talent Acquisition Technology Outlook today.