3 Simple Ways to Improve the Candidate Experience

Looking for a job is stressful – just ask Google. A search for ‘job search stress’ returns about 55,000,000 results.

Whether the job seeker is a member of the long-term unemployed, recently out of work, or even employed but exploring their options it’s important to understand that they are going through a stressful, time-consuming process. The easier you can make their experience, the better chance you have of helping them find the right job and having a good impression of you as an employer.

Here are three simple changes you can make to provide a better, stress free, Candidate Experience and create a great impression with job seekers.

1) Let Me Know Where I Am

Job seekers arrive at your opportunities through a variety of paths. Search engine searches, job aggregator listings (like Indeed or Simply Hired), job postings, emails, even print ads. No matter what profession they belong to, nor what job they are looking for, for a few seconds they all have the same question the moment after they click on a link or type in that URL.

The question is: “Am I in the RIGHT PLACE?”

You have about 4-8 seconds at that point for the job seeker to do decide if they are going to stay or click the BACK button.

You might be wondering how to ensure you can keep their attention and help them stay engaged.

Here’s how you show them they are in the right place.

Five simple tips:

  1. Use proper branding to ensure they know who you are. If you had branding on a job posting before they come to this page, the branding show match as much as possible.
  2. Use the headline to say ‘You’re in the right place’ – this is one of the first things someone will look at – if it doesn’t match the primary reason they’ve come to the page, they will most likely leave.
  3. Give me the information I asked for. If a job seeker clicks on a link about Benefits, don’t send them to your Home Page.
  4. Show images that support the content accurately. If I am looking for a job as a nurse – show me a nurse in the proper setting. At least show me the appropriate clinical setting – some to help orient me.
  5. Provide simple navigation – it has to be easy to find and understand.

Proper branding and consistent navigation through the experience is critical to re-assure the job seeker that they are in the right place.

2) Let Me Find It Quickly

We know from experience (and data) that most job seekers want to find a position first – a job description of a position that matches their skill-set.

Yes, there is a lot of other information that is important to the job seeker – company culture, benefits, and your history, even how different departments are structured and how they function. That’s all important – LATER. After they find a job that’s a good fit and determined they are interested in taking the next step with you.

Job seekers want the shortest distance to their information.

Does your navigation work?

While some studies have shown that people will click and click and click until they find what they need, most successful tasks are associated with fewer clicks – maybe three or four. Once the user has arrived at your career site they should be able to get to the information they want swiftly.

Is your navigation clear? Make sure your job families organized in a way that let’s someone easily understand: I have to go HERE.

Good navigation improves the ability for users to predict what they will find if they follow a link on a website.  Use plain language in places where it will be seen and avoid using made-up words or branded slogans as navigation options.

It’s just like shopping online

Think about it this way: if you’re looking to buy a new TV, do you start by researching a company’s return policy and product warranty options? Typically you look to see if they have the product you want first. Once you’ve determined they have something you want to buy, then you explore the details of doing business with them. It’s the same way with job seekers and your organization.

Poor Job Titles = Confusion and Stress

Some experiences are insanely frustrating for job seekers – bringing them to pages that offer job information, even the headline might contain a particular job title like “Network Systems Analyst jobs” but when they look at the actual content on the page all they see is a list of random positions, none of which match that career area – or their needs. The result is confusion, stress and frustration.

You can reduce job seeker stress, and make a great impression as an employer by simply getting the job seeker quickly to that job description in a consistent, branded environment.

Make the experience about THEM and not about YOU.

3) Let Me Take Action

All of this:

  • Letting the job seeker know they are in the right place
  • Providing a strong branded environment
  • Using congruent imagery on a page
  • Clear page headlines that match expectations
  • Making job content available in a few clicks
  • Focusing on the job seeker’s information needs.

All of it is really about one thing: Make it easy for me to complete my goal.

So far we’ve discussed the user’s primary activity. It’s right there in what we call our target audience: the job seeker. This is both what they are and what they do: I am looking for a job. Let me find it. Now we have to address the underlying motivation: Now that I’ve found it, make it easy for me to take action.

Job seekers typically have one action option: apply for a job. A clearly worded button, well placed next to your job description, is sufficient to take them into your ATS to begin the job application process. At that point your career site, your brand presence has done the majority of the work in helping the job seeker reach their goal. If they’re ready – this is when they click and enter the job application process.

But sometimes they aren’t ready to click the ‘Apply Now’ button.

There could be a few reasons for this: there isn’t a position available at the time; they don’t have time to complete an application at the moment; they are gathering a variety of job opportunities to re-visit later – whatever the reason, they aren’t applying right now. It’s important to give them an opportunity to take action that requires little effort on their behalf while keeping them engaged.

Give job seekers an option if they aren’t ready to apply.

Talent Network sign-ups are the ideal alternative to the application process. Joining a Talent Network allows solidifies their relationship with you, knowing they are going to get some kind of email contact from you and even automated job alerts.

You have a warm job seeker lead and they don’t have to keep track of a browser bookmark for your site which means less stress for them.

For a Talent Network sign-up, the less fields the better: name, email, current position, zip code and even phone number. You could add a few more, but they should be carefully considered. Remember, we want to keep the job seeker relaxed, and the less you ask for, the less the job seeker has to worry about.

The Candidate Trust Benefit

If you follow these steps, you can help provide job seekers with a stress-free experience…all designed to genuinely help your prospects while simultaneously creating goodwill, building your brand, and providing you a growing Talent Network pool and applicants.

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