How HR Tech Can Improve The Candidate Experience

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There’s little doubt that we are quickly moving towards a candidate’s market. There are all kinds of stats I could present to prove my point.

But if you’re an HR professional, you probably don’t need any data to validate your own personal experience. Chances are that you’re overwhelmed with open requisitions for new job openings, as well as trying to frantically backfill for those who have recently left your organization for other opportunities.

Maybe hiring managers and executives are even complaining aloud while you mine resume databases and staffing agencies to try to find qualified candidates. Unfortunately for you, recruiters at your competitor are doing the exact same thing.

In this tight labor market, recruiters battling over a limited pool of candidates have to use every advantage possible to beat the competition.

Candidates who feel poorly treated as part of the hiring process will not only choose a different employer, but may also have a downstream ripple effect on your company’s brand reputation and revenue (check out this neat calculator to find out how much a bad experience can potentially cost you through the candidate’s resentment of your company.)

Providing an exceptional candidate experience can make your company stand out from competing employers. While a lot goes into the overall recruiting experience, one way employers can differentiate themselves is by leveraging superior HR technology.

As you look to build your HR tech strategy, look for the attributes that enhance the candidate’s experience:

  1. Integration – Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) system should be integrated into your various other systems so that candidates do not have to fill out multiple forms requesting duplicate information over and again. Why even ask for a resume if candidates have to manually enter their job history and education information into your employment application anyways? For the best candidate experience, they provide their information only once via their resume. That’s it. Technology integrations can then automatically propagate that data to downstream Human Capital Management (HCM) systems such as background screening, on-boarding, payroll, electronic I-9, etc. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is as frustrating to the candidate as having to waste their time on data entry across multiple forms and systems. This is such a common frustration that the internet is filled with memes and jokes about the matter.
  2. Mobile – It’s 2015. Need I say more? Mobile is dominating the world. The world now has literally more mobile phones than toilets. It should not be surprising then that many candidates are now using their mobile phones to apply to jobs. Yet, for some reason, many employers are still not making an effort to make their career pages mobile-responsive. If you don’t think it’s important, you should take note: 40% of mobile candidates abandon non-mobile applications. In this tight labor market, can you really afford to lose them?
  3. Social integration – You can speed the overall hiring process by helping candidates apply to your job posting via social integrations. LinkedIn has become equivalent to a resume for many people anyways, so why not take advantage of that? Applying to a job could be as simple as candidates linking their professional social profile to your job requisition and pressing the submit button. I’ve seen more and more employers enable this; and trust me, as a fairly recent job seeker, this was my favorite feature.
  4. Candidate-centric processes – Another common frustration for candidates is that they are asked to jump through seemingly unreasonable hoops in the application process. Sometimes, it takes 9-10 forms and 45-60 minutes just to apply for a job all of which becomes instantly meaningless if the candidate is not selected for the position. If the information really is necessary, you can always invite second-round candidates to enter additional information pertinent to the specific job requisition at a later point in time as part of the recruitment process. Forcing everyone to do this upfront is a sure sign that you’ve implemented a recruiter-centric hiring process rather than a candidate-centric process.

The beauty of this discussion is that you’re not only helping provide a more positive candidate experience, but you are also helping yourself by shortening the time-to-hire.

If you can leverage HR tech to simplify and shorten the hiring process, why wouldn’t high-caliber candidates with multiple offers choose you over your competition? And this will land you in the good graces of hiring managers and executives. At least until the next job requisition gets posted…

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Abdul Rastagar

I lead the Product Marketing team at HireRight. I am a customer advocate, digital and future enthusiast, technologist, and all around curious guy.

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