Whether candidates decide for or against a company no longer depends solely on the right salary or a lot of vacation days. A Candidate Journey can help candidates and companies to better structure the application process and provide a good overview.
Whether candidates choose to join a company (or not) no longer depends on the salary or annual leave on offer – and that’s been the case for a good while now. Even the way in which the application process is designed has a major impact on applicants.
The candidate journey refers to the process that candidates undergo, starting with looking for a new job and ending, ideally, with onboarding. It takes into account every contact that an applicant has with the company and looks at their experiences and perspectives from a targeted perspective. Companies need to ask the following questions:
WHY IS THE CANDIDATE JOURNEY IMPORTANT?
The labour market favours employees, meaning that companies need to put their best foot forward to be seen as a potential employer. Throughout the entire application process, candidates are checking whether the company meets their expectations and is a good fit for them. Companies that manage to do so convince more applicants to complete the application process without dropping out early.
In addition, candidates discuss positive and negative experiences alike within their networks or write reviews on LinkedIn, kununu and similar sites. In other words, the goal should always be to optimise the communication towards the applicant in order to offer an outstanding experience.
A good candidate journey:
A candidate journey normally encompasses five stages. At each one, applicants want to be informed about the status of their application.
The job seeker wants to take a new step in their career. They are collecting information about various jobs and companies and seeing what the job market has to offer when they stumble upon a vacancy. This is the initial contact. Even at this early stage, the company needs to be convincing to prevent candidates from scrolling on to the next job ad.
If they have picked the candidate’s interest, the candidate will explore other channels to discover the information available. Applicants wish to know whether the company is a good fit for them and obtain a comprehensive impression of the company’s values. As an organization you can address this circumstance by focussing on the following touchpoints:
When the applicant is interested, he applies for the role. This phase is where lots of prospective applicants drop out because application processes are frequently long-winded, onerous, and not transparent. It is important to streamline this process and make it user-friendly.
In other words, companies are shortening the duration of their application processes, optimising them for mobile devices and ensuring that all the technology works smoothly.
It’s now time for one-to-one interviews. Applicants continue to assess whether they can identify with the company and its values. Key factors in this respect include salary expectations, working-time models, promotion opportunities and the personal impression obtained during the interview.
How are applicants welcomed? Are they encouraged to ask questions? Is the work at the company being portrayed through rose-tinted glasses or do candidates get a realistic insight?
Both parties now decide whether they want to work together going forward. At this point, the company should make its decision known in a timely manner so that they do not lose candidates by making them wait too long. Similarly, if things have gone well and candidates become employees, the contract should be concluded sooner rather than later.
The onboarding process plays a key role in retaining new employees in the long term. Over the first few weeks, it becomes clear whether the impressions gained by new employees are being reflected in practice, or whether their new job has turned out to be a disappointment.
The following steps can contribute to a positive onboarding experience:
THIS JOURNEY NEEDS TO BE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE
There are various points where you can have a positive impact on the candidate journey. It’s often helpful to come up with an image of your ideal candidate and put yourself in their shoes so you can tweak the candidate journey to suit their needs perfectly.
There is little that has stood the test of time as consistently as best practices when it comes to applying for a job. However, despite that fact, there have been a few developments over recent years that have made some age-old advice obsolete. To find out more about modern job application trends, keep on reading here.
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