How to Improve the Candidate Journey? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions


What is the candidate journey?

To attract, hire, and retain the best talent, you have to put the candidate first and improve your candidate experience. Whereas a few years ago, companies and recruiters had the upper hand during the hiring process; nowadays, talented candidates are scarce, mobile, and have a competitive advantage. Finding the right talent for your organisation is difficult, and only 19% of companies are successful in attracting the right talented employees. Because it is essential to put the candidate at the centre of your hiring strategy, you have to understand their decision-making process during their 'candidate journey' and identify the right candidate, or candidate persona, for your open vacancy. Therefore, in this article, we give additional insights into the candidate journey and how you can improve your candidate journey with a few easy tips & tricks.

Simply put, the candidate journey is composed of the steps a job applicant has to go through to find a new job. The term candidate journey is derived from the marketing principle the customer journey, which is used frequently to step into the customers' shoes and improve the customer experience.

The old vs the new way of recruiting

From a traditional recruitment perspective, the candidate journey starts with an open vacancy and ends as soon as you have hired a new employee. However, this is no longer the case, but rather a short-term solution. When you are looking for a long-term solution to your hiring process, looking at your overall talent acquisition strategy is the solution. Talent acquisition should be seen as an ongoing process and should always be considered as part of your longer marketing strategy. Mapping out the candidate journey and understanding your candidates' perspective will help you identify the bottlenecks in your hiring strategy, and help you improve your candidate experience.

Most experts agree that the candidate journey has critical stages; awareness, consideration, interest, application, selection, and hiring. Each stage is unique, and at each stage, you have the opportunity to either win over the candidate or make them lose their interest. Although being aware of these stages and the overall candidate journey is essential, it is only useful if you also adapt your hiring strategy to the candidates' needs. Therefore, we have outlined four questions you should always ask yourself if you want to use customer journey mapping to improve the candidate journey.

The 4 questions you must ask yourself to improve your candidate journey

1) What are the questions or uncertainties candidates might have during this stage?
Always make sure that candidates have access to relevant information, as we explained here, having access to accurate and relevant information is vital.

2) What are the touchpoints, or interactions, that we have with our candidates?
Treat candidates like you treat your customers. Receiving a polite rejection is preferable to not hearing anything at all.

3) Via which channels do we communicate with our candidates?
Identify your ideal candidate, or candidate persona, and ensure that you are using the right channels. If candidates do not know you exist, they cannot apply for a job at your organisation.

4) What do we communicate to our candidates, and how will they perceive our message?
Always ensure that you include the right information, and keep in mind that the way you communicate your message matters too. Your employer brand should reflect not only in the way you visually represent your business but also in your written communication.

By continually putting yourself in the shoes of the candidates, you will be able to ensure that the best candidates will apply for the roles at your organisation. Moreover, by using these four questions while mapping your candidate journey, you can ensure that your process is transparent, effective, and will contribute to good candidate experience.

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