The attention to and investment in employer branding as part of an organization’s comprehensive strategy to attract and retain talent is essential to realizing recruiting success. According to LinkedIn, the vast majority of enterprise talent acquisition teams remain committed to their investment, too, as “63% of talent professionals expect their employer branding budget to increase or stay the same.”
Like any strategic talent attraction initiative, employer brand development done right requires major resources. From extensive primary research and employer value proposition (EVP) articulation to highly-produced employee videos and social campaigns that bring to life what makes working at the organization great, the costs are significant.
And yet, many companies embark on an employer branding initiative while forgetting to ask one of the most relevant questions: Is our team using our recruiting technology in ways that actually help our organization’s employer brand ROI by ensuring exceptional candidate experiences?
Map Your TA Tech Stack’s Capabilities to the Candidate Journey
The disconnect occurs when companies forget that every single candidate journey touchpoint is an opportunity to reinforce the strength of your employer brand and, conversely, avoid the negative impacts associated with candidate resentment due to poor recruiting experiences. Because technology supports all aspects of the hiring process, this covers a broad range of interactions, from the prospective employees visiting your career site to those who complete an online application and participate in video interviews—each activity represents an opportunity to align your talent acquisition technology to the candidate journey and ensure consistently positive experiences for all.
Wondering where to start? A good place to begin is by mapping your talent acquisition technology’s capabilities to the candidate journey along four distinct phases: Consider, Apply, Interview and Offer.
Consider: Connecting Candidates to the Right Opportunities
During the Consider phase, candidates undertake a broad range of activities (e.g., visiting employer career sites to search current openings and learn about the culture, reading online reviews, and joining the company’s Talent CRM). As such, the tech emphasis should be on providing prospective candidates with solutions and applications that link them to the right opportunities while improving communication and facilitating connection.
- Intelligent search capabilities should be core to a personalized career website experience as this will dramatically improve job search and content results because the technology allows for tag-based criteria to be embedded into the job search functionality. All visitors are encouraged to provide details—seamlessly, in a matter of clicks—regarding their discipline, skills, experience level and current job title, so that both jobs and content can be tailored to each individual’s interests and background.
- Chatbots support various hiring functions, beginning with the ability to answer common questions that career website visitors have during the initial phase of their search. Build out your chatbot playbooks based on the questions that your talent acquisition team has received most often—you’ll deliver candidates the information they seek on-the-spot while reducing the need for busy recruiters to try to keep up with the volume of questions received.
- There’s tremendous power in the use of AI-driven sourcing applications that can be set to “go to work” as soon as a job is opened. These applications immediately begin searching for talent in your existing databases against specific job criteria and requirements, delivering scored and ranked matches in minutes to recruiters for review. You’ll cut way down on time to slate by uncovering talented candidates that you already have access to while also scouring millions of profiles in public databases to find that needle in a haystack—all behind the scenes and without the need for recruiters to invest countless hours of their time on futile sourcing activities.
- Talent CRMs, particularly those that developed using a talent pool model, offer ready access to a pool of candidates who are qualified, interested and available, making it easy to nurture those relationships for future opportunities. Having this technology in place also helps organizations avoid the resentment that results when qualified people don’t advance in the process for a variety of reasons and, therefore, feel their application went into a black hole. Inviting these individuals to join a Talent CRM as a way to stay in touch for future opportunities 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.
Apply: Streamlining the Process While Keeping Candidates Informed
In this phase, candidates invest considerable time completing online applications. Unfortunately, they also spend a lot of time waiting for status updates from employers, often wondering if their resume has even been reviewed by a recruiter. Make their experience better by implementing applicant tracking system (ATS) functionality that streamlines the application process and, most importantly, keep them informed of their application status.
- At minimum, candidates should be able to apply online easily regardless of how they go about it, whether applying from a mobile device or storing a resume in your ATS database to take advantage of one-click to apply when a relevant job is identified. Resume parsing should be fast and accurate, allowing candidates to upload a resume that is pre-populated into an editable application form.
- Recruiters can dramatically improve their ability to keep candidates informed by setting up automated communications at the workflow level, which are then triggered at key stages of the process, including confirmation that an application was received, when a resume is reviewed/accepted by a recruiter and when a candidate’s information is forwarded to the hiring manager for review. In addition, a notification that the candidate was rejected should be set to trigger immediately, ensuring that nobody is ever left wondering about his or her application status.
Yes, it’s a lot to think through in terms of process, but all of these capabilities are essential to the success of an organization’s recruiting function. Plus, we’re halfway there! Next, I encourage you to read my Part II post, where I’ll delve into the Interview and Accept phases of the candidate journey.
What else can talent acquisition do to further the organization’s employer brand? Adopt a next-gen Talent CRM—one that leverages automation to put actionable lists of qualified, interested and available candidates in the hands of recruiters. Get all the details in our e-book, A deep dive into tech for talent pools.