• Why employers should focus on improving the candidate experience

    June 01, 2017 by

    Candidate experience, according to Jibe, is defined as “how job seekers perceive and react to employers’ sourcing, recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding processes.”

    Why candidate experience matters

    Improving the candidate experience should be at the top of every Talent Acquisition Director’s recruitment and retention strategy. It’s that important. Want more proof? Check out these statistics from Lever, which provides software that streamlines the hiring process and simplifies the Applicant Tracking System:

    1. 83% of talent say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87% of talent say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.
    2. 60% of job seekers have quit an application in the middle due to its length or complexity.
    3. 72% of hiring managers say they provide clear job descriptions, while only 36% of candidates say the same.
    4. 80% of job seekers say they would be discouraged to consider other relevant job openings at a company that failed to notify them of their application status. Yet, they would be 3.5 times more likely to re-apply to a company if they were notified.
    5. Talent is 4 times more likely to consider your company for a future opportunity when you offer them constructive feedback.

    Employers looking to reduce attrition, hire high volume in cost-effective ways, and develop low-cost tactics to recruit diverse talent, need to pay close attention to improving the candidate experience.

    “Candidate experience is everything,” says Sanjoe Jose, CEO at Talview, a digital interviewing, talent engagement, and hiring analytics software company. “The most important aspect of improving the candidate experience is recognizing that you’re not just dealing with candidates, you’re dealing with people. They want respect. Respect their time and efforts. Don’t make them take a day’s leave and travel for a first round interview, use tools. They want clarity on timelines and the process. Respond to their queries in near real-time, by using technology like chatbots.”

    Candidate experience touch points

    These scenarios all influence the candidate experience:

    • The experience a candidate has reading a job description and instructions given on the job description.
    • The simplicity – or difficulty – of using an applicant tracking system to apply for that job.
    • The introductory email or auto respond email that is generated after the application is submitted.
    • Follow-up communication, such as being called for a phone interview, or in-person interview. Or, a follow-up email notifying the candidate they weren’t selected to advance in the process.
    • The interview – how the candidate is greeted and treated in the interview.
    • Post-interview follow-up – is the candidate kept informed of timeline/when a decision will be made?
    • Presentation of an offer.

    The candidate experience helps build an employer brand,” says Jose. “Even if people don’t want to work for you, a good candidate experience can lead to them becoming ‘brand ambassadors’ passing on the good news about your company to others that might be interested.”

    And people are certainly going to share their candidate experiences online via social channels.

    “Social media means that people talk more now than ever before,” says Jose. “It means that word of mouth is now global, rather than local.”

    Improving the candidate experience

    There are three main components to a candidate experience, says Jose, and understanding the role each component plays can help employers and talent acquisition specialists present a strong candidate experience:

    1. People: Including recruiters, hiring managers, and even the receptionist who is the first person the candidate meets if he/she comes into your office.
    2. Systems: All the tools candidates use during the process impact the candidate experience, including: The applicant tracking system used to apply for the job, tools used for video interviews, assessments and/or onboarding tools, are all a part of the many systems employers use that relate to the candidate experience.
    3. Process: The efficiency of the process, turnaround times, automated messaging, followup are all part of the candidate process.

    Improving all of those is essential to improving the candidate experience.

    Jose recently heard from the CEO of a large technology company who said one frustrated candidate wrote to the CEO expressing disappointment in the lack of follow-up after an interview. This is a prime example of a poor candidate experience. If it happens to one person, it’s likely happening to others.

    That has both long and short-term effects.

    “In the short-term, candidates will drop from the funnel,” says Jose. “In the long-term, a poor candidate experience leads to a poor ability to attract good candidates.”

    And then the cycle continues, recruiting costs go up, attrition rises, positions go unfilled, and the company suffers.

    “Every single candidate touch point—the online application experience, each interaction with the scheduler, the preparedness of the interviewers, the turnaround time in communicating with candidates, the way an offer is delivered—reflects on the employer,” said Elaine Orler, CEO and founder of talent acquisition consultancy Talent Function, in an SHRM article. “If you’re missing the mark, the world soon knows about it…and highly skilled people juggling competing offers will certainly factor their experience as a candidate into their final decision, so it impacts offer acceptance rates.”

    That’s why improving the candidate experience should be the goal of every employer, and every talent acquisition specialist.

    Want more advice and tips on how to improve the candidate experience? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connect with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • How to use your applicant tracking system for college recruiting success

    March 30, 2017 by

     

    It’s no secret the advancement of technology has changed the recruiting game. The use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) – software applications that enable the electronic handling of a company’s recruitment needs – are responsible for the technological recruiting revolution. As outlined by ICIMS, a provider of cloud-based hiring solutions, ATS recruitment “allow organizations to collect and store candidate and job related data and track and monitor the process of candidates through all stages of the hiring process.”

    ATS recruitment is designed to enhance the overall recruiting experience for both recruiters and candidates. But forward-thinking employers recruiting recent college grads focus on the job seeker’s needs – the candidate experience – first.

    “It’s important to make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply,” said Tim Mayer, Director of Talent Acquisition for Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, which uses BirdDogHR Talent Management Suite. “If your application is a time intensive process, people will drop out during the process or might not even try at all.”

    There is some rationale for using the ATS to collect as much info as reasonably possible, including screening and ranking questions, but none of that matters if the candidate doesn’t hit “submit” adds Mayer.

    “Interaction with the ATS could be the applicant’s first step in the candidate experience and can set the tone for a great, or poor candidate experience,” says Mayer.

    What’s unique about applicant tracking systems is how they allow recruiters and hiring managers to customize their ATS for specific jobs, roles and even events. For example, a recruiter or hiring manager working a college recruiting fair or campus job fair could fully customize their ATS with functionality solely for that specific campus career fair, or hiring event.

    SmartRecruiters is one example that allows recruitment marketing and collaborative hiring in the cloud. Bjorn Eriksson, Chief Marketing Officer of SmartRecruiters, offers some unique examples of how employers can customize an ATS for an event such as a college recruiting fair or campus job fair:

    • Prepare: Know which positions you are actively trying to fill. Be sure the representatives working the booth are familiar with the open positions and hard-to-fill niche career opportunities so they can speak to them when engaging with students. With some ATS’s, like SmartRecruiters, you can publish event specific job ads tailored for college job fairs.
    • Qualify: Prepare questions or a brief interview to pre-qualify applicants. Prepare questions to ask those who express an interest in your company to pre-qualify them. “It’s also a great opportunity to focus on providing meaningful information to students,” says Eriksson. “Don’t just recruit them, but ask their opinions, offer relevant advice and see if they are really a good match.” Make sure to capture students’ contact information so that you can continue the dialogue.
    • Connect: Respond to inquiries and follow up ASAP after the event. While the impression is still fresh, group your candidates into: Best matches, possible matches, and no matches. View each candidate as a potential customer or future client, and tailor your follow up message to each group.

    Ultimately though, the success – or failure – an individual or employer has with the ATS isn’t solely technology-based, says Saïd Radhouani, Ph.D., co-founder of Nextal, a collaborative applicant tracking system.

    “I believe that the ultimate success depends on how the ATS is used, and not on how it’s set up,” said Radhouani. “Yes the implementation and functionality has an impact, but even if the setup is good, it doesn’t mean that recruiters won’t make mistakes.”

    When a recruiter starts using a new ATS, they often won’t understand all the features and functionality, says Radhouani. As time goes on, they sometimes fail to learn new functionalities, and don’t maximize the systems capabilities. So recruiters within the same organization who use the same system should meet monthly to collaborate and share experiences, functionalities, and tips on how to best optimize their applicant tracking system.

    “Recruiters should also attend webinars put on by the ATS vendor,” said Radhouani. “If recruiters know other colleagues from different companies who are using the same ATS, reach out to them to see how they are using it to ensure they are getting the most out of their ATS.”

    And if the ATS vendor has a community forum, be active in the forum, ask questions and provide feedback.

    Recruiters should be sure to measure success – and failure – in their recruiting by using the analytics/metrics capabilities of their ATS.

    “Most modern applicant tracking systems have analytics capabilities that provide very insightful metrics about the entire recruiting process,” says Radhouani. “If a recruiter doesn’t measure what they do, they’ll never know whether they’re improving their productivity or not.”

    Over time, recruiters and hiring managers get frustrated if an ATS is not user-friendly, doesn’t have specific functionality and capabilities, and does not help enhance the recruiting process. Applicant Tracking Systems are not all equal, and as hiring managers move from company to company, and use different systems, they can find pluses and minuses of each system they use. The key however, is to take advantage of the functionality of the system that is in place, find what works, and align your recruiting needs with the capabilities of the system.

    “If you don’t have what you love, love what you have,” said Radhouani. “Every ATS has its good and bad sides. Recruiters should focus on the good side and work with the ATS, not against it.”

    Mayer agrees.

    “Really embrace the entire suite of options your ATS provides,” says Mayer. “Automate where appropriate and make sure the ATS provides a candidate experience that aligns line with your employment brand.”

    Want to learn more about latest recruiting trends? Stay connected to College Recruiter by visiting our blog, and connecting with us on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • Millennial and Gen Z job seekers: your chance to tell employers what you expect [survey]

    March 22, 2017 by

     

    If you are a Millennial or Gen Z job seeker, do you have a dream job? What makes that job so appealing? Do you make a lot of money in your dream? Do you work from home or have office friends around you? What potential employers attract you? What turns you off?

    Many employers are still grappling with changes and demands that the Millennial generation brought to the workforce. Now Gen Z job seekers are about to enter the workforce, and it goes without saying that employers may not be ready for them. Help employers understand what you want and how to brand themselves well by telling them who you are and what you expect from employers.  One way to make your voice heard is to participate in this SURVEY:

    What do you expect from employers who want to hire you?

    Every survey participant will be entered into a contest to win a complimentary resume consultation and revision session with Career Coach Bethany Wallace. You will also be entered to win one of 50 $5 Starbuck gift cards.

    This survey will help companies help you

    Transitioning from college student to employee is tough. If you don’t have much experience in the “real” world, it is hard to imagine what is expected of you. Increasingly, companies recognize that their people are their greatest asset and they want to help entry-level employees make that transition during the training and onboarding process. However, without vital feedback from Millennial and Gen Z job seekers, your new employer (meaning, the Human Resources manager, your supervisor or the CEO) won’t know what you expect. If they don’t understand how to welcome your generation into the workforce, or develop your skills, there will be culture shock and disappointment on both sides.

    After compiling survey results from respondents like you, The WorkPlace Group and its constituents plan to share the findings with employers as they plan their college recruitment and onboarding processes. They will publish the results in an e-book, in various news articles, and at conferences and webinars.

    If you provide honest feedback, employers will be better prepared to meet your needs. It takes time to develop new strategies for employee engagement, benefits and salary, training and management. Your feedback will give them time to adjust.

    What’s in the survey

    The survey is meant to determine what attracts you to certain companies while searching for a job. According to Bethany Wallace, who collaborated in developing the survey, “We genuinely want to hear from college students and recent grads about what makes them more or less likely to pursue employment with a particular employer.” The survey asks about what engages you during the application and hiring process and what makes you more likely to accept a job offer.

    If you take the survey, give honest feedback. “We expect some surprises,” says Wallace.

    As a teaser, here are a few questions from the survey:

    • Which employer benefits matter most to you?
    • What most impresses you about an employer and their recruiting process?
    • Should employers keep asking about your salary expectations?

    Who developed the survey

    The WorkPlace Group developed this survey with collaboration from Lyon College and Rutgers University.

    Specifically, collaborators include:

    Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, The WorkPlace Group

    Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Director and Partner, The WorkPlace Group

    Bethany Wallace, Adjunct English Faculty, Lyon College

    Sid Seligman, JD, Human Research Management Faculty, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

    Len Garrison, Manager, Career Services, Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations

     

    Want to keep on top of job search advice? Connect with College Recruiter on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and YouTube.

  • Career and job competencies of liberal arts graduates [video]

    March 20, 2017 by

     

    There is a public perception that liberal arts graduates are somehow less valuable. Dr. Ascan Koerner with the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota will tell you why the opposite is true. College Recruiter connected Dr. Koerner with Todd Raphael of ERE Media to learn what his team is doing to make sure employers understand the relevancy of liberal arts students and graduates. A video of Todd Raphael’s and Dr. Koerner’s discussion is below. 

    According to Dr. Koerner, we have seen more public discussion in the last 5-10 years about the value of higher education, generally speaking. The arguments for what is valuable have primarily focused on STEM education. (That is, science, technology, engineering and math.) Some believe that in order to be competitive in an international job market, one really has to be focused on STEM. At one end of the spectrum, we see the Governor of Kentucky, who has questioned why universities even have liberal arts programs at all. This makes liberal arts students—and their parents—nervous. Dr. Koerner says that at the University of Minnesota, students are asking how liberal is helpful in their careers. He says their belief in the value of liberal arts has never wavered, “but the question hasn’t been posed to us in such stark terms.”

    Employers already value liberal arts, but they don’t realize it

    Overall, employers already know the value of liberal arts. The problem is, they don’t recognize it as liberal arts. When you ask employers, for example, what they value, they cite competencies that are quintessential typical liberal arts. At the top of their lists are analytical/critical thinking, communication, leadership, ethnical decision making, and engaging diversity.” Employers know what they value, but the job candidates—the liberal arts students—aren’t always good at explaining their own value. So while colleges and universities bear some of the burden of convincing employers, students bear most of that responsibility. A philosophy major may embody the exact skills needed but when you ask him how his education prepared him for a career in corporate America, he has a hard time. That is why it is so important to engage and prepare students for answering those questions. When the students eloquently explain their own competencies, that is more convincing to an employer than if the institution were to explain the overall value of liberal arts grads.  Continue Reading