In today’s climate, employees care more and more about understanding a company culture in a way that goes beyond brand speak. Liam O’Callaghan from AppVault explains the best ways to find and retain premium talent.
We have come a long way from sitting in reception and filling out an application form for a job. Thankfully, our ambitions and dreams have also come a long way, but has the job application experience?
Does a candidate get to know a company before applying? Sure, we have access to lots of information online about the company, career sites, reference sites such as Glassdoor and company profiles on job board sites.
Function over form?
The reality is, it is now easier than ever to apply to multiple jobs, and yet, in the US, only 8pc of visitors to a company careers page will actually apply. This leaves a very high probability that the best candidate has not applied – why?
Customer experience is not just for the customers who are paying you – it also applies to candidates, the ones whom you want to pay.
It is a hyper-competitive market, and companies are working very hard to retain good employees.
The starting point for retention is to win the best employees to begin with. Do this by starting as you plan to continue.
First impressions matter
The great candidates will very often have a choice of employers. When it comes to deciding between two or more job offers, employers need to impress upon candidates their employee culture, careers advancement opportunities, diversity, inclusion, work-life balance etc.
At what point an employer does this could be the difference between acceptance and rejection. If it was at interview stage, you may just have lost the opportunity to attract even better candidates.
First impressions count, and this is not at interview stage.
Remember the 8pc who apply? Why not attract more of the 92pc by highlighting all that you have to offer to potential employees on the job spec?
At AppVault, we talk about the ‘Moroccan Room’ effect. In our Atlanta HQ, we have converted our reception area into a Moroccan-themed chill-out space that represents our vibrancy, diversity, inclusion and innovation.
While this concept is not unusual, and lots of companies have very cool spaces, not enough companies bring this experience and this message to the top of the recruitment funnel.
Instead, companies advertise a traditional-looking job spec and, when a candidate hits the ‘Apply’ button, they are brought off to the dreaded applicant tracking system (ATS) experience.
This could be an hour of their life spent on a form, and they may or may not get a reply. What happened to all the great content on the careers page, recruitment social media and blogs?
Bringing this experience to the top of the recruitment funnel greatly increases an employer’s chances of attracting more top talent.
Bridging the gap
Extending the employee experience beyond the company careers page is now essential to attract the best candidates. Employers need to capture the candidates that the ATS misses.
Increase time spent by candidates on the careers page and increase applications by truly representing the company culture on individual job spec landing pages.
Our company has seen an average increase of 65pc spent on content lead career pages and more than a 115pc increase in page sessions per visitor.
We have also seen a huge decrease in drop-off in completed sessions from visit to ‘Apply’. Our experience is a monumental decrease of 84pc on mobile.
As a result of extending the digitisation of the recruitment process, the employer has the ability to measure and analyse the process and better manage their paid media spend.
Employers can now build a bridge between a great candidate experience for imminent and distant future employees, and efficiency and effectiveness of their recruitment process (and spend).
The career page and recruitment process is not just about imminent hires. It is about building a relationship with all future employees and, in some cases, customers.
It is also about maintaining a relationship with ‘silver medallists’ – the candidates who just missed out on securing the open role but who remain excellent candidates.
Most employees are happy in their current employment. This does not mean they will not be open to a move when the time or conditions are right.
Creating a ‘talent community’ that builds relationships with candidates through intelligent communications and targeted job alerts is a win-win for candidates and employers.
We have seen a big increase in communication with passive candidates through intelligent use of our talent community platform.
The hard-copy CV is not what it once was; it is not just part of a candidate’s profile. The traditional CV is out of date very soon after it lands on a recruiter’s desk, and is definitely out of date as soon as the candidate becomes a new employee, wherever they land.
The result is interviews with candidates who are already engaged with the employer, a lower-cost hire and a new brand ambassador.
Liam O’Callaghan is director for business growth for AppVault in Europe.
AppVault is a talent acquisition solutions company, which recently set up an office in Cork to build on the success of its Atlanta HQ. It helps companies capture the quality candidates that the ATS misses by enabling a measurably better candidate experience.