What is “Candidate Experience” worth in the digital age?

Looking at the world today, it is most definitely an entirely different landscape to that of twenty years ago. Millennials have been immersed in technology their entire lives and, with Gen Z growing up too, it would be safe to say the world will only continue to become more and more digitally minded over the next few years.

Already, this is a driving change behind many businesses, as they attempt to market toward the newest generation of consumers. With an arguably innate understanding of technologies, the digital expectations of these younger buyers are considerably higher, meaning businesses must chase to keep up.

And, as these consumers begin to join the workforce, these changes are starting to affect businesses from the inside too. But, does this really apply to all areas of business? In particular, the less visible such as recruitment?

Recruitment falls into an unusual category within businesses; relating both to the company and to the customer. Ensuring you attract the right candidate to suit both of these is a vital task, yet many forget to give recruiting the right attention.

Customer and Candidate Experience

When marketing to consumers, businesses will dedicate countless hours and effort toward improving the customer experience, or CX, on their website. Just as this CX could make or break a sale on your ecommerce site, Candidate Experience on a career site is absolutely critical in attracting capable job applicants.

Recruiters who put an incredible candidate experience at the heart of their service are the most likely to attract the most skilled and highly qualified employees.

Optimising the recruiting experience for candidates is easily overlooked by many businesses, which is why so many choose to pass the process over to specialised recruitment firms.

The Digital Customer Experience in Business

Did you know that one of the most powerful consumer-held devices in history, the iPhone, now comes without instructions? That is because people have become intuitive enough with technology to simply open the box and start using right away.

Nowadays, people have integrated technologies such as this into their lives so much that they barely have to think about it. If you’ve ever seen a toddler using an iPad more adeptly than you yourself ever could, you’ll understand what we mean.

More so is the case for adults, however, when it comes to using consumer websites. Technologies that are designed with usability in mind simply slip into our everyday lives.

Think about popular online shopping sites, such as Amazon or eBay. Even if you had never used either of these, the sites are created to be easy to navigate and user-friendly, so they would still be simple to use.

Businesses invest thousands working with marketing companies to make their websites more functional in this way. That’s because we live in a very much experienced-based economy.

According to research from Rocket Source, a massive 81% of consumers are willing to pay more for superior customer experience. This includes everything from a user-friendly site to continued support through multiple touchpoints during and after their purchase.

You may be able to find a particular item cheaper from an obscure deals website, but if you knew you could spend slightly more to receive instant responses to queries posted on a webchat, receive future offers based on your loyalty, or be able to ring up a call centre if you have any issues, would it not be worth the money?

Large, successful companies consistently make changes to their websites to optimise the user experience and flow; making functions simpler for the user. This can include time-saving techniques such as predictive type-ahead search bars, or even just an attractive and well laid out page to allow for smooth transitions across the site.

But, when it comes to recruitment, the premise should be the same. Rather than simply improving conversion rates for sales, your focus should be on optimising job application completion rates instead. Many HR departments to notice this correlation when it comes to posting job vacancies.

The Digital Candidate Experience in Recruitment

When looking for a new employee, many businesses will simply post on a job board site, or on their own separate careers platform.

That means, whilst you might go through incredible lengths to modernize your usual site’s user interface and CX, your career site could be left behind. The trouble is, even when modernized, these job vacancy platforms rarely implement unique functionalities which can connect job seekers with suitable job postings.

And, in most cases, the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) behind general job boards rarely have the candidate experience in mind either. These ATS processes record data from the posting of a job, applications and screenings, interviews, and who is hired.

What they fail to take into account are the systems put in place to increase engagement with potential candidates. Lacklustre experiences like this drive talent away from applying, where natural flow of the site should be pushing them toward the application form.

Too often do job seekers applying on mobile devices find they can only go so far as the ‘Upload CV’ page before being told they need to use a desktop to complete it. Even if the vacancy is extremely attractive, the chances of them returning to complete the application later on are slim.

Implementing CX Into Your Recruitment

As more and more millennials and Gen Z people join the workforce, the expectation for higher digital standards will greatly increase. Whilst anyone can hire a creative agency to make their site look pretty, the key here is functionality.

Responsive web design and coordinated candidate experience is vital. Applicants should feel a smooth transition between the online forms and telephone conversations with recruitment staff.

Working out how to alter what is offered by your existing ATS may be necessary, particularly if you cannot currently track these touchpoints candidates have with your firm.

Another way to boost your candidate experience and attract and retain interest from the highest calibre candidates, is by using a specialist recruitment company like Maxwell Stephens.

Our extensive candidate database means we can send personalised suggestions to the applicants we believe would best suit you. We also offer advanced search options and a user-friendly platform to give candidates the best possible user experience.

And best of all, you won’t need to make any of these changes to your own site. We will do all the hard work for you to match the most suitable candidates to your job openings.

For more information on how we could help you, or if you are currently searching for your dream job, speak to our team today on 0207 118 48 48 or email info@maxwellstephens.com.