Candidate Experience Management: Attract the People and Skills You Seek

Guest Contributorby Peter Wiedemann | Posted | Talent Acquisition

Candidate Experience Management: Attract the People and Skills You Seek

In best-practice customer relationship management, you engage prospects and loyal customers, learn about them, and personalize the value you offer in easy-to-use, intuitive and authentic interactions. Employers should interact with prospective talent in similar ways. Just as the customer needs to be viewed with empathy across developing stages in the relationship, so too should candidates be treated. This philosophy and strategy is the bedrock of candidate experience management.

By "in the relationship," we mean not just the initial connection, the job application and the hiring of someone, but also the gradual quandary of determining cultural fit and the later question of whether the new hire is getting everything he or she bargained for once aboard.

How to attract your best hires by managing candidate experiences

These "beyond-the-hire" candidate experiences such as onboarding, engagement and development can be just as necessary considerations as the more HR-focused time-to-hire and right hire metrics. After the hire, HR also needs the insight to develop its people and advertise future skill needs back out to the market as part of a well-informed, holistic talent management strategy.

According to an Aberdeen study, companies with a formal engagement strategy in place are 67 percent more likely to improve their revenue per full-time equivalent on a year-over-year basis. In addition, new hires tend to leave early when not engaged. The 2018 Job Seeker Nation Study by Jobvite reports that 30 percent of employees who leave an organization have done so in the first 90 days.

Recruitment and onboarding must be seamless from the candidate's experience, and findings shared between hiring teams and candidates during the recruitment stages should flow forward to nurture the new hire's personal and career development. It's important to offer talent not just a good first impression but also a lasting one beyond the hire.

Stages in this candidate and employer exchange – and they are not always linear – include:

Networking, and sharing mutual interests and information

Occurring predominantly on social and professional networks today, this introductory stage drives engagement with distant candidates and allows teams focused on best recruiting strategies to discover and relate to passive candidates.

In a broader sense, AI-fortified digital social networking enables physically separated people to widen yet hone their communication and collaboration opportunities, whether for employment/talent acquisition pursuits or in working together toward a common interest or organizational objective.

Inspiring interest in brand and careers

Your culture still matters, a genuine inside-out look at your culture through video and content gives candidates deeper vision into your organization, your people, and where a new team member's skills and efforts might be welcomed.

Building and managing a talent community/talent pipeline

This is your people and skills pipeline and it must be nurtured with the same ongoing care and empathy as the people in your valuable sales funnel. Hiring teams must have visibility and multi-dimensional search capabilities across contract help, existing employees, and a relevant candidate pool from which to learn about people and make talent decisions.

Keeping the members of that pipeline engaged

Providing personalization and relevance throughout the candidate journey meets each candidate's informational needs, addresses their interest areas, and identifies and flexes for their preferred communication channels. A foundation for this borrows from the principle of account-based marketing (ABM), and you get to know a candidate, and they get to know you, in little steps, with the relationship growing increasingly personalized to preference.

For any candidate (active or passive) not hired for a job immediately, hiring teams can, as in marketing, personalize the experience throughout an individual candidate's journey, leveraging machine learning built into the digital tools.

Vetting those individuals toward qualification

This includes pre-hire analysis, candidate benchmarking, reference checking, salary range determination, and other confirmation and verification checks. You can engage candidates during this stage, too, by inviting them to use an online reference checking system where they can voluntarily link you to their previous supervisors, colleagues and customers with whom they have worked.

Closing the deal with quality hires

For the recruiter, landing impressive candidates and building 'the perfect team' is the equivalent of completing a sale and enhancing the customer relationship.

Digital HR transformation: Crucial in modern recruiting and the candidate experience

Organizations cannot afford to ignore the competitive advantages that digital transformation, including human-and-machine interaction balanced with real human contact, can bring to engaging talent and overall talent acquisition. Is your organization ready?

Chances are your organization is already tapping into the digital network ecosystem for business growth. Recruiting like a marketer is simply a matter of employing this same paradigm toward offering the ultimate candidate experience, where relevant, operational and strategic skill and talent is connecting with you on social and professional networks and where conversations where if limited to the physical world would never have occurred.

Smart digital pre-screening tools help to enhance and distill the relevant field of qualified and engaged candidates while also mining the market's potential skill categories and search semantics data for future use in job descriptions and attracting the right talent. These tools liberate recruiters to recruit for many positions simultaneously instead of focusing on one job at a time and posting and praying.

Digital transformation allows talent acquisition departments to:

Leverage best practices of strategic digital marketing organizations for wider and more data-driven talent sourcing and finding rock stars for recruitment success.

Enhance their online presence in an authentic and social way, helping to drive interest in brand, culture, values and career development opportunities.

Support those times when the candidate wishes to engage with an employer brand, but your human recruiters are not available.

Grow employer brand awareness through dynamic job and career pages on your website and participation in online communities, job sites, digital and video networks, as well as community relations and other physical-world events.

Measure recruitment channels, and discover which sources of talent are delivering the best results in terms of the people and skills the organization requires. Measure beyond the hire. Most recruiters want their new hires to work out, so strong onboarding and two-way dialogue between HR managers and recruiters are critical.

Apply total talent acquisition. From the organizational standpoint, you want to save your recruiters time and feed them insights to help them to converse with candidates according to location or region or by industry experience or position. You want to give hiring teams vision into what talent is available to them for a job or gig, whether it's an external candidate, a steady contractor or an existing employee wanting to grow into the position. The management of all of these talent sourcing channels and data in a single practical way is what is known as total talent acquisition, or 360 - degree sourcing.

Expand your reach through job distribution, and then instead of post and pray, move on to a channel-drawn pool of relevant candidates and skills from which to compare and contrast. These recruitment channels might include the aforementioned job distribution networks, your career sites, job sites, blogs and content feeds and also more inbound techniques such as SEO. Like with sales, you need channels. But in this case, they are channels to acquire talent and you want to be able to analyze these recruitment channels for optimum return on investment.

It's time to leverage the power of digital transformation. With the capabilities of personalization, digitization and gamification, talent acquisition will lead to fruitful candidate to employee experiences, engaged employees and skyrocketing successes.

How Great Organizations Welcome New Employees

Explore best practices that every organization should follow to build strong and lasting working relationships with new employees.

Download Now
Cover of the book
Cover of the book

How Great Organizations Welcome New Employees

Explore best practices that every organization should follow to build strong and lasting working relationships with new employees.

Download Now

Related Articles

Close [x]

Get our Saba Blog Digest email delivered right to your inbox.

Join over 100,000 of your HR peers: