Applicant communication is such an essential part of the hiring process. Even though it's important to keep great applicants in the loop, this part of the process is often neglected in favor of focusing on other hiring processes.From the HR perspective, hiring is difficult. It can seem like you are always hiring for some position, and you are probably receiving hundreds of applicants for each job that you list. How can you communicate with every applicant without losing precious time and energy? This is where a candidate engagement platform comes into play.
Customer Journey vs. Applicant Journey
If you have ever seen a meeting from your sales team, you may have heard them talk about the customer journey. This journey consists of the various touch points that your company's customers face as they go about purchasing a product from your business.Your applicants also go through a journey when they apply for a job on your website. The best way to map out any journey is to put yourself in that person's shoes.The applicant journey is complicated and filled with a ton of lumps and bumps along the way. Many things aren't entirely in your control such as Glassdoor reviews and word of mouth from friends.Overall, your goal is to think about all the things that could happen along the way so you can be prepared for them. One of the biggest concerns that many HR professionals have is top candidates dropping off or getting hired by another company. Every company has a different time to hire, so this is something you should be concerned out.
Thinking About The Application Process From The Applicant Perspective
While it may seem like you are doing everything you can to move applications along and fill positions, it's essential to look at the application process from the applicant side.Put yourself in the shoes of a person who needs a career change. They are tired of their lack of progress at their current job, and they are excited to move on to greener pastures. Your ideal employee found your job listing while hunting for jobs after work and they were eager to apply. Your potential employee put their heart and soul into the application, and they happily clicked submit. Then, nothing, radio silence.
On your end, you may have seen this application roll in. You may have even checked it out, sent it to your colleagues, and you all seemed to love their responses. Hiring at your job takes a long time, though, because there are so many people who need to approve applicants before you can send out an interview request. On top of that, you need to wait for the job to close or your colleagues want to wait for more applicants.
However, this potential employee needs a new job soon. They don't know what goes on behind the scenes at your job. This candidate knows that applying to jobs is like a numbers game. They keep applying to jobs, and then another company who needs less approval/has a better communications strategy picks up that dream employee.
By the time you are ready to send an interview request, they may have already been hired.While this is a sad story of a great applicant who got away, your applicant journey doesn't need to end like this.
Map Out Your Applicant Journey Communication Points
The applicant journey can be complicated, but we are going to share something simple you can do. It's time to map out your applicant journey communication points. By mapping this out, you know that your company will always be top of mind for the candidates you want to hire.
Let's start with some simple applicant journey communication points. You may decide to have more points of contact with your applicants, but these are some simple ones that you can automate to make sure they get to your potential employees.These messages may take place over email or text message. Some of these are better over email or even a phone call to the applicant.
A Message Soon After They Apply
Soon after your potential employees apply, they should get an automated email or text message from you. This message should let them know that you received their application and that you are excited to review it with your colleagues. You can even send them a link to your LinkedIn or another social media site so they can see what happens behind the scenes at your company.
A Follow-Up Message About The Application Process
Next, keep your applicants up to date with the application process. This process can be long, and your applicants shouldn't be left in the dark during this time. You may want to provide a few different updates during this time. One will usually suffice unless sifting through the applicants is taking longer than usual. Let them know you are diligently working through the applications you have and that more information about next steps are coming.
Messages Letting Them Know They Did/Did Not Move Into The Next Round
For each round that you have, you should be messaging both people who made it and people who did not. While this is hard if you are doing everything on your own, it's not as difficult when you have a great candidate engagement platform like ConveyIQ. With our system, you can not only message people who didn't make it, but you can also gather feedback from them about the application process.
Messages Sharing Company Facts And Information To People Higher In The Hiring Process
Once you get closer to the final interview stage, you should get any candidates you have excited about the thought of working for your company. At this stage, you are looking for which candidate would be the better fit for your company. By sharing information about company values, benefits, etc you can begin to see which employees are a better fit for your company.
Messages Letting Applicants Know They Got The Job With Next Steps They Should Make
Last, but not least, you should send any applicants you decide to hire a message about the fact they were hired. All HR departments know that this message is a great one to send. People need to know they are hired after all.You also want to message anyone who did not get hired. At this stage in the process, applicants didn't not get hired because you thought they were incompetent. When it comes to the final candidates, there isn't much that separates someone who wasn't hired from someone who was employed. You want to make sure that you keep a great relationship with anyone who made it this far in the hiring process. Keep communicating with those applicants in case you have another opening they would be a good fit for in the future. Having a database of already vetted employees can speed up the hiring process.
Automate As Many Of These Communication Points As You Can
Now that you know some of the communication points that should be on your applicant journey let's talk about how to make it all happen. If you are getting hundreds of applicants per job listing, you may think that this much communication is impossible.The truth is, it is impossible, if you are using outdated communications strategies. Communication with candidates needs to take place early and often. Your goal as an HR department should be to keep people in the loop.
When you automate these conversations, your company can communicate with all the applicants you should interact with. Automation can be scary, but the truth is, this level of communication isn't possible or practical if you put one person in charge of reaching out to candidates all day. Instead, you can load all your candidates into a candidate engagement platform like ConveyIQ, pick the messages you want to send, and communicate when it makes sense along the applicant journey.
Are you ready to delve deeper into the applicant journey? Check out our whitepaper about optimizing candidate communication below.