Amid today's uncertainty, one thing remains constant in the realm of talent acquisition: talent leaders continue to emphasize the candidate experience. In fact, in one recent survey employers of all sizes across various industries still ranked candidate experience as the number one area of focus for global talent acquisition teams in 2021.1 This focus makes perfect sense: the world's most successful brands know that it's memorable experiences -- not neat perks or features -- that draw in customers and candidates.
When talent leaders dig deep and begin to look for ways to optimize each part of their candidate journey, however, they're likely to find that one factor -- one common denominator -- determines the experience each candidate has throughout the hiring process more than any other: the candidate's interactions with their recruiter.
Imagine a dinner at a beautiful restaurant. The setting is gorgeous, and the appetizers taste great. But then the server gets the dinner order completely wrong -- or worse, they completely forget to put in the order at all. At that point, the beautiful setting suddenly loses its luster, and the dining experience is tainted.
Similarly, a company could have a beautiful career site, on-point branding, and an open position that's a perfect match for a particular candidate. But if the recruiter can't find that candidate's resume in their pile, or if they lack the right tools to quickly and adequately engage the candidate, the candidate experience will inevitably suffer.
The candidate and recruiter experience are two sides of the same coin. Forward-thinking talent leaders know that when they improve the recruiter experience, amazing candidate experiences tend to follow. When talent leaders give their recruitment teams easy-to-use tools that provide them with the right information at the right time, they empower recruiters to engage much more meaningfully and memorably with candidates.
To activate better experiences for their recruiters -- and, by extension, their candidates -- today's talent leaders are taking the following actions:
- They're enabling richer, more insightful conversations with a centralized candidate profile. Imagine if recruiters could easily start a conversation with every single candidate by referencing a recent action they took -- an interaction with an e-mail campaign, for example, or attendance at a recruitment event. If all of that information were centrally located and easy to find, recruiters could have contextual, personalized conversations with their candidates and provide a truly differentiated, white-glove candidate experience for each one of them.
- They're facilitating better hiring team collaboration. Recruiters spend too much of their time on administrative minutiae, such as scheduling interviews, receiving approval for job descriptions and postings, and hunting down hiring managers for candidate feedback. The more painless and seamless these tasks can become, the faster recruiters can move candidates through the pipeline -- and the happier those candidates will be.
- They're making recruiters' lives easier through more seamless integrations with the systems those recruiters use every day. For example, on a typical day most recruiters likely have dozens of browser tabs open at any given moment and have to spend time hovering over those tiny boxes and trying to figure out which one is LinkedIn so they can begin their sourcing efforts for the day. Next, they have to hop into their applicant tracking system to see if the person they found on LinkedIn has previously applied to a job with the company. Then an e-mail arrives from a candidate who is following up on their background check, so the recruiter has to open yet another tab to log into the company's background screening software. This kind of constant toggling among different systems isn't conducive to productivity, nor does it lead to a positive recruiter experience. To avoid this efficiency drain, talent leaders should work with their IT counterparts to map out and integrate their entire recruitment technology stack and workflow, from source to hire.
As companies continue to struggle to source top talent, they need to do whatever they can to get an edge in what is clearly a candidate market. One of the best strategies for accomplishing that is to improve the candidate experience by improving the recruiter experience.