Mapping the Candidate Journey

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Quick, riddle me this: How many steps does it take to get a job? [ Tweet this!]

As a recruiter, maybe you’ll have a pretty good idea.

So what did you guess? Is it five steps? Seven? 10?

We recently mapped a generic interview journey (assuming an initial phone screen followed by two rounds of formal interviews).

The result may shock you as much as it shocked the recruiters who consulted us throughout the journey.

At minimum, we found that a candidate will go through 19 separate, major steps before they receive a job offer.

And depending upon circumstances, there are an additional 35 – Yes, 35!! – steps the candidate could potentially take to complete the journey.

A total of 54 steps to get a job! [ Tweet this!] Of course, this is just a generalization and details will vary for different roles, people and employers.

However, it is fairly indicative as a broad view of the hiring journey. And if you’re skeptical, here’s the process diagram that we’ve mapped out:

candidate journey hireright

Figure 1: A generic candidate journey.

Are you surprised how many steps are involved in this candidate experience?

Now consider that all of this happens BEFORE the background verification, which can arguably be the most frustrating and anxiety-inducing part of the entire experience.

Perhaps this is yet another reason candidates generally don’t enjoy job searches.

Improving the Candidate Experience

At HireRight, we’ve made it our mission to help people get hired.

And one way to help accomplish this is by doing our part to simplify and improve the candidate experience during the background check (represented by everything to the below and to the right of the last black box in figure 1.)

Unfortunately, the candidate’s perspective may not traditionally have received much interest or focus from background check vendors.

It should, though, as the process takes candidates through a roller coaster ride of emotions, from elation at the time they receive the conditional job offer – to getting lost in the black hole that is the background verification process – to jubilation (again) when the hiring decision is final.

candidate journey - hireright

Figure 2: The candidate’s four stages through the background verification journey.

  1. Yay, I got the job!
  2. Wait, you need to know WHAT for my background verification? Why??
  3. Ugh, this is horrible. Am I still going to get this job??
  4. Yay, I cleared the background check and got the job!

Most candidates simply tolerate it, because, well, if they want that job, they don’t have much of a choice.

“I got the job, so I guess that’s good enough,” they mutter, relieved to be finally done with it all. Well, at HireRight, we’re taking a firm stance: Good enough is not good enough!

The Year of the Candidate – Helping People Get Hired

In fact, our CEO, John Fennelly, recently mentioned in a letter to HireRight customers that, “Our job at HireRight every single day is to help you hire the right people.” [ Tweet this!]

To drive home the point, John has declared 2016 as the Year of the Candidate at HireRight.

What does that mean?

For one thing, we are being more mindful of the challenges and frustrations an individual can experience throughout his/her entire candidate journey.

And, as a result, we find we are genuinely more empathetic to their needs during the background check.

HireRight is in the middle of an exciting journey to set a new standard for background verification’s. [ Tweet this!]

Join us on the next blog as we walk you through some examples of what the Year of the Candidate means in terms of candidate-centric processes, technology, and culture.

White Paper: Candidate Experience Checklist
Free candidate experience checklist
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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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