Rob Devlin and Giles Heckstall-Smith joined Chris Pateman to host a webinar on candidate engagement best practices in the digital age — here are a few highlights from their conversation.
When it comes to attracting and ultimately securing right-fit talent, candidate engagement is vital. According to a 2017 CareerBuilder survey, 78% of candidates say they view their experience during the recruitment process as an indicator of how much a company values its people. Assuming that most candidates probably don’t want to work for employers that don’t treat their employees with respect and consideration, it follows that providing a positive candidate experience could well be the difference between someone accepting your offer, or choosing to go with another company instead.
Despite the clear importance of candidate engagement, it remains one of the most overlooked, or at least undercooked , elements of the recruitment process. LaunchPad’s Client Relationship Director, Chris Pateman sat down with Rob Devlin, Head of Resourcing at mydentist, and Giles Heckstall-Smith, Commercial Director at Jobtrain, for a riveting webinar on how to leverage innovative technologies in order to “wow your candidates throughout the recruitment process.” Here are a just a few of the key takeaways from their conversation.
New Candidate Engagement Best Practices
Understanding the importance of providing a good candidate experience is one thing, but how do you actually go about accomplishing this goal?
Giles explains that as a culture, our collective online behaviour has changed significantly in recent years. So too have our expectations about how long it should take to do something online, whether it’s buying from Amazon or Ebay, or, in this case, applying for a job.
Giles says that at Jobtrain, they’ve been spending a lot of time working with clients like Rob to make the recruitment journey a more seamless, enjoyable experience. In many cases, this means actually splitting the application process in two. According to Giles, the first stage should focus on capturing very basic candidate information, the primary goal being to get them enrolled in the process. Then, if more detailed information is needed, you can collect that during the second stage, once the candidate is already bought-in.
Rob echoes Giles’ sentiment, explaining that today’s candidates are looking for experiences in which they’re only being asked for highly relevant information throughout the application process. Moreover, they want to see employers that are giving as much back as they’re asking for — as such, recruiters need to start moving away from the early 00’s trend of overly onerous online application forms in favour of a more streamlined, interactive approach (to learn more on this subject, check out Chris’ recent blog, The End of the Online Application Form)
Designing a Tech-Forward Process for Today’s Tech-Forward Recruits
When it comes to simplifying the application process for candidates without sacrificing your ability to effectively assess their fitness for a given role, technology is key. According to Rob, organisations should be crystal clear about what an ideal hire looks like before they launch their recruitment campaign. At mydentist, he explains, “we try to identify the two or three most important qualities we’re looking for in a candidate up front.” He and his team then rely on video assessment technology to identify applicants with those two or three key traits they’re looking for, while keeping the process as short and engaging for candidates as possible.
Giles also emphasises the importance of aligning your recruitment technology with candidate preferences. Today, he explains, well over 50% of job seekers he sees are applying via their mobile devices. In 2017, solid user experience (UX) design isn’t just about optimising your platform for different screen sizes — it requires actually replacing many of the traditional elements that were designed for desktop use with more mobile-friendly functions. In other words, that means larger buttons, one-touch functionality, and fewer text-based submission forms (to learn more, check out our Q&A with Giles on The Past, Present and Future of Candidate Engagement).
At the end of the day, both Rob and Giles stress that candidate engagement shouldn’t be viewed as an obstacle to success; rather, it’s a massive opportunity for recruiters to set themselves apart in an increasingly competitive talent marketplace, and to turn each and every candidate into a brand advocate.
The recruitment process is your best chance for making a compelling case to prospective hires to choose you over your competitors, and luckily, the technological tools needed to get the job done are more within reach than ever before.
If you’d like to learn more about some of the latest candidate engagement tactics and the impact they can have on recruitment outcomes, watch the full webinar recording here.