From simple decisions such as what to eat for breakfast, to life-changing decisions like which city to live in, Americans make hundreds of choices every day. And choices are a wonderful thing, because they allow us to pick the option that we most prefer. As a result, choices increase our level of satisfaction and happiness. They also make us feel powerful and in control—according to Psychology Today. This is true even for your candidates.
When you give job seekers options throughout the recruitment process, you allow them to customize the candidate experience to their liking. Research from Appcast shows that when you improve your candidate experience, you can significantly boost your applicant conversion rates.
In fact, providing a positive candidate experience can enhance a candidate’s desire to work for you to such a degree that they even tell others about your organization. The CandE Awards reports that 98 percent of candidates who have a positive experience with an employer would tell others to apply.
Not sure where to get started? We’ve identified some of the best choices you can give job seekers throughout each stage of your recruiting process:
Job seekers search for jobs on various electronic devices—including laptops, tablets and smartphones. By ensuring that your website, career site, job postings and application process are responsive, you allow job seekers to see your jobs on any device they choose to use. If you want to check whether or not your career site is responsive, read Career Site Not Optimized for Mobile Yet? Big Problem.
Successful recruiters know to be where their candidates are, such as schools, professional associations and even coffee shops near major employers. Although today’s job seekers are now largely online, this strategy still holds true. Make it easy for job seekers to find your jobs by posting them in various, relevant places online. For example, list your jobs on the job boards and social media platforms that your target candidates visit most—as well as on your career site.
If your job postings include strict eligibility requirements, potentially great candidates may not apply. So when you are listing your eligibility requirements, consider what is absolutely necessary and what are nice-to-haves. Also consider what would be acceptable equivalent experience, and provide that information as well. For example, you might write: “Candidates must possess a Bachelor's degree in Marketing or related field, or 5 years of experience working at a marketing agency.”
Give job seekers a few different ways to submit their resumes so that they can choose the easiest and most convenient option for them. For example, allow applicants to upload various resume file types—such as PDFs, JPGs, and Microsoft Word documents—and provide a quick resume form they can fill out in case they don’t have one handy. Offering various options will reduce friction in the application process and substantially minimize applicant drop-off.
If there are tests or other tasks the job seeker must complete during the application process, don’t force them to complete everything in one sitting. Give them the option to save their progress and return later. You can always setup automated emails that remind the candidates to complete their tasks, which can also keep your company top of mind and ensure completion rates. However, the best option is to keep your resume short and simple so that job seekers can finish applying before they even consider saving it for later.
Sometimes job seekers want to apply to a position with your company, but they can’t find a listed position that fits their skill sets. To capture these job seekers, give them the option to submit their resumes to your Talent Community. This way, candidates can still choose to express their interest in your organization in case a relevant position becomes available in the future.
You don’t need to modify your entire interview process for each applicant, but remember that the best candidates already have choices of other employers. And the majority of candidates for your hard-to-fill positions are gainfully employed, so consider the flexibility you provide in the interview process. Can you offer early, late or lunchtime interview slots a few times a week? If you can be flexible, you’re more likely to keep them engaged and interested in your company.
When you’re scheduling interviews, provide candidates with at least a few time slots to choose from and be willing to meet before and after normal work hours. Giving the interviewee control of when they meet with you will increase the likelihood that they commit to showing up. When you leverage calendar slot tools like Calendly and Google Calendar appointment slots, applicants can choose from and book available time slots in real time.
If your interviews typically take place outside the workplace, let the job seeker decide where the interview will be (or at least give them a few options to choose from). Giving the candidate full discretion allows them to choose a place that is convenient and comfortable for them, which increases the chances that they will show up and be on time.
Every job seeker is different, so don’t let your recruitment process treat all of them the same. By offering more choices throughout every step of the process, you can cater your process to each job seeker’s specific wants and needs. More job seekers will complete every step of your recruiting process as a result, and they will develop a stronger desire to work for your company along the way.