When it comes to communication with candidates, a ready-made candidate journey will simply never exist. Although targeted messaging and monitoring metrics are key indicators of your performance, there is just no easy or standard way of giving anyone an experience that is existentially superb to another without putting in the time and tracking the metrics that are necessary to prove your strategy is actually working.
Fully automating a human experience based on variations of many different complexities that naturally exist seems like the easy way to go, but it’s not going to give you an edge against your competition. There are so many different personas in the mix and every industry and position can differ greatly. So, when it comes to interview-stage messaging, overall communication cadence, employer branding opportunities and instances where a personal touch is absolutely essential, construct your candidate journey with engagement metrics in mind and do your best to make it original.
When developing or improving your candidate engagement plan, here are a couple of pointers that will help your organization automate the recruitment process while keeping relationships intact:
• Measure Candidate Ghosting: When candidates aren’t replying at an “acceptable” rate (your organization should define what is acceptable) — fix it. Make sure to optimize your job descriptions, evolve your employer brand strategy and assess the candidate journey, including all communications (or lack thereof), to ensure you are doing all you can to improve candidate engagement and overall interest in your organization.
• Avoid Candidate Limbo: If the candidate is a bad fit, gently let them know so they can move on with their lives. Do not keep them waiting due to other priorities, or worse, so you can hit internal performance goals. Stringing candidates along creates an uncomfortable situation for both parties and could hurt your organization’s bottom line in the long run.
Here are six key metrics some of our clients track when developing their candidate engagement strategy:
1. Application Completion Rate
Recruiter.com looked at the click-to-apply ratio for 500,000 employment applications over the course of several years. These applications ranged more than a dozen industries and were accessed on desktop or mobile and on various major application tracking systems. The analysis found that 10.6% of job seekers will complete an application with fewer than 25 questions on it.
If you are in tune with your candidates, they will be more inclined to take the time to carry on through the process. What are you doing to set yourself apart to make the application process meaningful — maybe even fun?
2. Candidate Drop-Off
It depends on the industry, but if your drop-off rates are more than 30%, I recommend regrouping and looking at where you can draw better attention. Also, what is your communication cadence and what is your average recruiter response time?
According to CareerBuilder’s “2016 Candidate Behavior Study,” which surveyed 5,016 candidates from the U.S. and Canada, “Most candidates (83%) say it would greatly improve the overall experience if employers could set expectations by providing a clear timeline of the hiring process.” Furthermore, 52% said they get frustrated most by the lack of response from potential employers during the job search process.
3. Time To Fill
I often see the time to fill reach five weeks, even more in some cases. The time it takes to fill a position can be extended for various reasons beyond an inefficient scheduling or interview process. Candidates cannot always begin a role within the typical two-week timeframe for various reasons, such as relocation, contractual obligation, etc. This is why it’s always best to track the time it took from the day the position was open to the day an offer was actually accepted.
4. Candidate Net Promoter Score (NPS)
Candidate experience is an essential part of building a good employer brand. Track how your candidates feel about your recruitment team and overall process by including surveys in certain steps of your candidate journey — for example, post-interview and at the end of the process, whether they received an offer or not. You can also monitor your candidate NPS by tracking reviews on platforms like Glassdoor and social media.
5. Cost Of A Bad Candidate Experience
According to a report by the Talent Board, the candidate experience has a significant effect on whether or not candidates apply again, whether or not they refer others and whether or not they make purchases. A bad candidate experience will indefinitely affect your company’s bottom line.
You can start tracking the cost of a bad candidate experience by calculating the total number of candidates who apply to your open positions and the number of candidates who were rejected. Then, consider the 11% overall candidate resentment rate, according to the Talent Board’s report, and the average customer spend in dollars. This will help you discover potential lost customers and revenue — a starting point for understanding the impact of a bad candidate experience.
6. Career Site Stats
Sixty percent of job candidates still rank company career sites as the most important aspect when looking into new employment opportunities, and 32% of the candidates increased their reliance on job notifications in 2018.
Make sure you’re promoting a user-friendly, search-engine-optimized career site that offers candidates the opportunity to sign up for job alerts as well as the opportunity to keep in touch with your employer brand through various content initiatives.
What makes a candidate experience superb is building a common practice within your team that everyone can agree upon. However, you cannot improve your candidate experience without tracking these metrics, as they will help promote your performance, improve your employer brand and help uncover what could be wrong within your recruitment process. Being able to track your efforts will also help you build a business case for further investment into improving your overall recruiting process.
reprinted with permission of Forbes.com