The importance of creating a great candidate journey

With so many vacancies to fill, employers are looking at how they can stand out from the crowded and competitive marketplace to get their vacancies noticed – an enhanced candidate journey could be the key.

A lot of time, effort and investment is going into developing employee value propositions, designing creative messaging, and making sure the right people are being targeted across multiple attraction channels. These are all important parts of the candidate journey but it is only stage one of at least six equally critical elements of what makes up the full candidate journey and experience.

These six steps are awareness, consideration, interest, application, selection and finally hire.

Every element will also have multiple ‘touch points’ so these six steps can easily multiply to 50+ steps before someone actually joins your organisation. This means there are several points of candidate interaction where you have the opportunity to get it right – or the potential to get it wrong.

In the current market, good candidates will have multiple options, therefore how they are made to feel and how they are treated throughout the process will make or break their decision to accept or decline a job offer.

Begin by mapping out the end-to-end process starting with attraction and evaluating how your business looks and sounds to prospective employees at every point of interaction including online, by phone, email or in-person. It is important to strike a balance between an engaging and friendly tone of voice while also remaining professional and informative.

Implementing and sharing a standardised timeline for a recruitment process can also improve a candidates experience of the journey. For example, acknowledging all CV applications within 48 hours, arranging interviews within one week and providing feedback – a vital but often overlooked stage.

The whole process should be simple with clear instruction given at each stage and everyone involved should understand their role within the journey.

Preparation is key for both sides, therefore the candidate should have easy access to information, knowledge of the process and a contact to ask questions, while the recruitment team should thoroughly read applications, craft tailored questions and provide a warm welcome in an appropriate interview setting.

Throughout the candidate journey there are several opportunities to make people feel great about the company and strengthen their desire to work there. Little things like following up an interview with a ‘thank you’ text, offering a site visit or sharing a branded welcome pack, and inviting a new recruit to a team event ahead of their start date can each make a big impact on the overall experience and end result.

It pays off in the long run to invest time in thinking and implementing ways to not only make the process slick but also inject some of your company’s personality from the very first interaction with a candidate. Adding some wow factors can make the whole journey and experience memorable – and could ultimately help your company secure the best talent.

Simone Lockhart is the Group Commercial Director of the Taranata Group.

This article first appeared in The Herald on 4th April 2022 HERE.