The Candidate Experience in the 21st Century: Think Mobile, Think Global

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candidate experience

The candidate experience has become one of the hottest topics in hiring. We’ve all read that Millennials (22-37 years old) and Post-Millennials place a significant amount of importance on how well a prospective employer treats them during the hiring experience. Just as we were taught that we could judge a prospective mate on how well they treated their family, job candidates today feel that how a company treats them as a candidate will indicate how well they’ll be treated as an employee.

The candidate experience is so important that, according to a report by Talent Board, 67% of American workers say that the application, interview or offer process would have a significant bearing on whether or not they’d accept a job.

Yet, in HireRight’s 2018 survey of nearly 6,000 human resources professionals, only 37% said they planned to invest in improving the candidate experience in 2018.

Candidates’ Depend on Mobile and Apps – but Hiring Organizations Don’t Seem to Care

Millennials, who comprise 33% of the labor force—the largest generation in the labor pool—use their mobile device for virtually all communication. Comsore’s 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report stated that nearly half of Millennials use 21 apps or more per month and about 75% say their smartphone would be useless without apps. In fact, 92% of Millennials own smartphones and spend nearly four hours a day on them. Yet HireRight’s Spotlight Report on Small, Medium and Large business revealed that only 17% of small (21-99 employees) companies and 15% of micro (fewer than 20 employees) companies indicated any interest in developing a mobile-friendly application process.

The disconnect is astounding; Millennials virtually live on their smartphones yet many employers are not using mobile technology sufficiently to communicate with them. And that’s a fast way to torpedo the candidate experience. Communication is a very critical component of a good candidate experience. If a company does not exhibit swift, useful two-way communication, they risk alienating and losing the candidate as well as damaging their own reputation.

The Fix

Taking advantage of the wave of mobile-based applications provides significant benefit to the employer as well as the candidate. For example, an organization can use a mobile-friendly application process to reach candidates while they’re on-the-go (which is always).

The candidate experience may also be improved when the organization conducting the background check employs a mobile application experience such as HireRight’s Applicant Center. It’s been optimized for mobile use and offers a responsive design that adapts to different platforms so candidates see the full screen on any mobile phone, tablet or even gaming console. The candidate can reach HireRight directly to inquire as to the status of their background check. That provides much-needed information to the candidate, relieves recruiters from having to respond to inquiries from the candidate, and reflects well on the hiring organization. HireRight has found that a whopping 40% of candidates responded via mobile to an invitation to access Applicant Center.

Taking even web-based information and porting it over to mobile requires thought and effort. The design should reflect how phones and other mobile devices are actually used, where the user’s eye goes on a page, and even details such as the size of the user’s finger to ensure buttons aren’t too small. The interface should be intuitive and designed for use on the go. HireRight has even gone a step further, enabling feedback from the candidate which allows them to continuously refine and improve the experience.

International Feel

Another consideration to improve the candidate experience is to recognize the impact and complexities inherent in hiring international candidates. In 2017, there were 27.4 million foreign born persons in the U.S. labor force.[1] With increasing globalization and organizations hiring many people from overseas, apps used in the recruitment, hiring and background check phases need to be usable in multiple regions to ensure a good candidate experience. HireRight’s Applicant Center, for example, is available in 22 unique languages. Candidates appreciate such utility, further ensuring not only that their hiring process will be more comfortable but the employer will accelerate turnaround time which accrues to the bottom line.

There are many paths to improving the candidate experience. Offering a mobile-friendly platform that speaks applicants’ languages may prove one of the most valuable.

For more information on how to transform your candidate experience, visit our Resource Library.




Lewis Lustman

Lewis Lustman is a content marketer who enjoys developing materials that engage, inform, challenge, and hopefully entertain my audience. Lewis is a former journalist for Los Angeles Magazine and the Los Angeles Times, and has worked for a number of leading advertising, marketing, technology, and PR firms over the years. Interested in a topic that he hasn't yet tackled? Drop him a line in the comments section!

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