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How to Create a Quality Candidate Experience

In today's labor market, everyone is competing for the best and brightest candidates. There are significantly more jobs available than job seekers—7.1 million job openings in August compared to 6.2 million unemployed people for the same month—which means that HR professionals have to be on their game to create an exceptional candidate experience that will attract top talent.

In this candidate's market, HR teams need to put a strategy in place to portray their company in the best light possible, streamline the application process and continue improve recruitment tactics. Here are three ways to smooth pain points in the recruiting process to create a winning experience for recruiters, applicants, candidates and hiring managers.

1. Showcase company culture

When candidates land on your career site, are they welcomed with an engaging hub of information or a confusing web of mixed messages? First impressions are long lasting, and a customized career site is a great way to improve the candidate experience by educating job seekers about your company's unique culture and brand.

Research shows company values and employee testimonials are two of the most important types of marketing content for candidates. Showcasing company culture through a customized career site by including a vision and mission statement or video testimonials from current employees can help attract the candidates you want. Consider what makes your brand special and what sets it apart from other companies in your industry. Highlight features that are specific to your organization and to the individual roles you are hiring for.

2. Create a streamlined application process

More candidates than ever are applying for jobs via mobile. Nine out of ten job seekers use a mobile device as part of their job search, so enabling candidates to search and apply for positions on any device is now fundamental to creating a positive candidate experience. Ensure the application process is simple and quick—if possible, do not require a cover letter, keep job descriptions short and to the point, and make sure your career site uses a mobile-responsive design.

Without a streamlined application process, it can be hard for companies to remain competitive in recruiting top talent. Candidates should be able to easily apply to a job from a careers page without having to leave the browser or log in to a different system. On a similar note, applicant tracking system (ATS) can help to create a more user-friendly hiring experience for HR by allowing managers to coordinate recruiting activities such as screening applicants, scheduling interviews or tracking application status, all in one place.

The easier it is for candidates to apply for a job, the more likely top talent will take the time to do so.

3. Don't discount hiring data

Bringing data into the hiring process is the final key to round out a successful candidate experience. An ATS can help track important metrics—such as time to fill, cost per hire, offer acceptance rate and quality of hire—so HR professionals can identify areas that need improvement and adjust the recruitment process accordingly.

This ATS data can also reveal trends about where top candidates come from, so recruiters can focus their efforts on channels that bring in the best candidates. Another useful function of these systems is to track various points in the recruiting funnel and use analytics to identify and eliminate bottlenecks so valuable candidates will be less likely to drop out.

To attract top candidates, companies need to focus on creating an exceptional hiring experience for job seekers, from start to finish. Elevate your unique employer brand, make it easy for talent to apply to opportunities and use data to continually enhance the candidate experience. The more simple, informative and intuitive the recruitment process is, the more engaging candidate experience you can create.

Would your HR team benefit from the ability to place, review and manage job requisitions and candidate information all in one place? Hire the right talent, faster with Cornerstone Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software.
 

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