As the economy continues to boom, and the appetite for talent along with it, candidates are increasingly able to raise their expectations of both their employment and of the recruitment process itself. Superior candidate experience has become more than a topic that requires well-meaning lip-service. It requires speed, transparency and humanity that many businesses or recruiters simply weren’t equipped or motivated to provide at scale pre-pandemic.
This expectation is far from unreasonable. But it has meant a tectonic shift in the way recruitment and staffing processes leverage technology to meet rising candidate expectations without drowning the recruiter. Unfortunately, in many cases, that’s led to panacea point solutions bolted too quickly onto outmoded, inefficient core processes and platforms.
Conversely, the staffing firms, recruiting agencies and TA departments that are taking a holistic approach to both technology and process improvement are seeking out integrated tools and built-on, flexible and open technology platforms. They know all too well that the communication lag, redundancy or administrative burden at every point from sourcing to hiring and onboarding is opportunity.
It’s an opportunity to do better by candidates as well as customers. And if missed, it’s an opportunity to be left behind by competitors.
Businesses should consider the following expectations and imperatives as they plan or sustain their business’s digital transformation around candidate experience:
- No more “black holes” when submitting an online application through an applicant tracking system (ATS). Clear, consistent (e.g., software-assisted), human follow-up is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a requirement.
- Consistency and transparency throughout the recruitment and hiring process. If recruiters in any model are still relying on their memory or manually created tasks to keep candidates updated and engaged, they run the risk of letting talent fall through the cracks.
- Speed. Recruiters who are not at least touching base with candidates to communicate status as quickly as a competitor while the candidates navigate the business’s various processes — from submission to background check to onboarding — are giving their competitors a distinct advantage. And better than just touching base, they should streamline the processes themselves.
With the sheer demand for scarce talent, agencies and brands don’t have the time or luxury to be working with outdated processes and technology. In a market like the one we’re currently in, failing any one of these imperatives gives away far too much.
Aaron Elder is CEO and co-founder of Crelate, an intuitive and flexible recruitment platform for modern talent businesses that equips firms with the tools to make more placements, win more business, and seriously scale teams.