Time is money for everyonejob seekers and recruiters alike. So it shouldnt come as a surprise that were all searching for a simplified (yet still effective) way to do things. A recruiter needs an efficient way to bring in the best talent, and applicants need employment. Seems straight forward enough, right? The caveat is that recruiting and job seeking are both time consuming. In fact, many applicants and recruiters would likely argue their role can be daunting and time consuming at the same time.
In recent months, there has even been some discussion regarding bad applicant experiences and how they can negatively impact a brands position. The good news is it doesnt have to be that way for either party.
This is where applicant tracking systems come into play. Designed to centralize and automate hiring workflows, applicant tracking can improve process efficiency by allowing recruiters to automate tasks, quickly review applications and manage interviews, among many other things. But, without a pleasant applicant experience, recruiters arent leveraging the full value and benefits of recruiting software, and they arent attracting or retaining the best talent.
According to HireRights 2013 benchmark report, improving the applicant experience is high on the recruiters agenda. But, where does one start when it comes to selecting an applicant tracking system or customizing an existing system in such a way that delivers the most value and the best experience for candidates?
For starters, if you dont already have a tracking system, this guide outlines some key considerations you should make before choosing one. Once you have the right system in place, here are three things you should do to make sure your hiring process and applicant tracking system are creating the best applicant experience possible:
#1 Be Creative and Responsive
Its true; applicant tracking systems are technical in nature. But there are systems that allow recruiters to be creative and customize tasks such as application responses and follow-up emails. Just because a response is automated doesnt mean it has to be generic. Break up the monotony and get personal with your automated communications. Craft content that applicants want to read. And keep candidates in the loop by informing them of the status of their applications. Dont leave them hanging.
#2 Give Job Seekers Reasons to Apply
Beyond simply seeking employment, candidates need to know why your job opening is worth applying for. Dont be afraid to brag about your companys mission and culture and why its a desirable place to work. Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase your employment brand and what sets it apart from others.
#3 Write Informative Job Descriptions (and Be Flexible)
Theres nothing worse than reading an ambiguous job listing. Make sure you explain the attributes of the position and how the role plays an integral part within your organization. Show what a day at the office would be like by creating and sharing a day in the life recruiting video or including a short description. If you have specific qualifications and/or challenges tied to the position, explain them but also be flexible with certain requirements. For example, if you make qualifications mandatory you could miss out on a top candidate who doesnt follow through with the application because she only meet four of the five job requirements.
Beyond making sure your applicant tracking system allows you to customize and automate the right tasks, you need to make sure your recruiting team is 100 percent on board. To attract the best talent you need the best talent. One of the best ways to identify top candidates is by making sure your recruiting staff is experienced and enthusiastic about your brand and what they do. If your recruiters arent excited about it, why should applicants be?
At the end of the day, the hiring process requires two-way communicationso start off on the right foot. Create a pleasant experience thats sure to drive the best talent, while highlighting your brands professionalism and unique differentiators. Be the company applicants talk aboutin a good way.