Avoid The Resume Black Hole – Ways To Improve Candidate Experience

HR ideas… from Jeffery Giesener – CEO – SourceMob.com

In 2015, a good to great candidate experience is not different from what we personally expect as customers. But unfortunately there is a huge gap between what candidates expect and what Talent Acquisition Teams and their virtual Applicant Recruiting Solutions (ATS) are delivering. If you were not happy with the customer service at a store you frequent will you return? Will you tell others about your negative experience?

Let’s face it we all want the following:

A sense of belonging:

The brand that you have developed on the Web, your Career site and career social networks to attract candidates must continue inside your recruiting process from start to hire. Your recruiting brand is not just a show to be seen from afar. Instead it must be inspiring and immersive at all times! Today, when candidates respond to your call of action, does your employer branding magic end? Do you transport candidates into the bland environment of an ATS search page that is devoid “in what is in it for the candidate”? Then once they click on Apply does their nightmare get worse? Do you even know? When was the last time you tried to Apply? Have you even tested your mobile apply process?

A result of these tests in reality, a large number of candidates drop off (average 40% according to ERE.net) during an often-antiquated (yes current) application process. Additionally, once defection occurs, you lose the ability to augment your niche Talent Communities, aggregate candidate pipelines and loose the ability to address passive candidates for your niche hard to fill positions.

Now reconsider the role of the “Apply” button: if you push candidates directly from your social career sources like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ not to mention search engines and job boards directly into your ATS, you’re skipping the crucial part of the social candidate experience. Why because you again are bypassing the crucial what is in it for your candidate “WFIM” without speaking to them with your career branding messaging. Instead engage and drive candidates from your social pages or job boards to your corporate career pages and then directly into your Talent Community(s). Candidates are candidates before they are applicants. They are the ones feeding your pipelines!

It is clear that recruiters are not following through with this mission. According to a study from Recruitment Buzz, less than 40 percent of job candidates said they had a positive job recruitment experience. This percentage is way too low, and is problematic for candidates and recruiters alike.

According to the study, 73 percent of candidates would tell their inner circle about a positive experience and 62 percent would share a negative experience. Additionally, 28 percent of candidates would share a positive experience on social media and 17 percent would do so for a negative experience. This means how your candidates feel about their experience affects current and future talent recruiting. A positive experience will open more doors for exceptional candidates especially hard to find niche candidates.

You need to do everything in your power to give candidates a positive job search and apply experience from start to finish. Given that Millennials are going to make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, their needs are a good place to start. Here are three ways to improve the candidate experience for Millennials:

Avoid the resume black hole

Candidates of all kinds (especially highly technical candidates) are frustrated by the “black hole” appearance of the job search process. It can be extremely disheartening to apply for a job and receive no updates or communication explaining your position in the process. In fact, 30 percent have received a “do not reply” automated response and 31 percent have received no response at all, according to the Recruitment Buzz study.

Candidates need to feel that an actual human being is reading their resumes. In large companies, sometimes automated responses are the best option (really or is this just a cop out), but whenever possible, email candidates directly. Let them no know when they are no longer being considered for the position. Provide updates when they move to the next round of the process. Job seekers need this kind of feedback to stay motivated and you don’t know whom they know and who could provide a referral to your company.

Make referrals a priority

Nearly half of the candidates in the Recruitment Buzz study claimed some relationship with the company they applied to. About 20 percent were existing customers of the company and 12 percent had family and friends who worked there. Employee referrals account for 40 percent of job search success, so it’s important to make your referral process simple.

A great way to improve your referral process is to keep your referrers and candidates in the loop. One company cited in the study informs every referral of their status within 48 hours of being submitted. These are simple changes to make to your process that improve the experience for candidates.

Get social and mobile

If you’re not using social and mobile career channels in your recruiting process, you’re missing out on the majority of your young talent pool. Ninety-six percent of Millennials discuss their job search with others both in-person and online, and more than 30 million students and recent graduates use LinkedIn to find and share jobs. Social media makes your hiring process much more transparent to job seekers, which is an attractive quality for Millennials. Mobile is and will dwarf anything we have seen in talent recruiting to date.

Nearly nine in 10 Millennial job seekers are optimistic about their jobs search, but a negative candidate experience from your company will discourage future Millennials from applying. Make an effort to cater to your candidates and you will succeed in finding the best fitting talent in your industry.

If you find my blog posts informative, I am sure you will enjoy SourceMob’s Educational Event Series. Check out the SourceMob.com Event Area for Webinars scheduled for July and August. We have multiple Webinars on a variety of topics each month and I hope to see you with us.

Want to discuss your own Talent Acquisition challenges simply give me an email ping at jeff@sourcemob.com or call 952-417-6955.

ABOUT SOURCEMOB: SourceMob integrates Internet, social, talent community and mobile recruiting solutions to help talent acquisition professionals recruit the very best candidates for tough-to-fill positions. SourceMob’s IT, Analytics and HR Media Services distributes job content and conversations providing a job posting springboard to over 3.5 million candidate profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and all of the major search engines. We help you engage with your candidates and capture niche Passive candidates. Our solutions also enable Mobile Quick Apply and candidate application management services to create efficiencies and lower recruiting costs.

Looking forward to hearing from you,


Jeffery Giesener