Yana Nigen is founder and CEO of WRAP, a waste reduction art project, and Woman of the Year 2019 Golden Bridge Award Winner.
Global HR leaders are turning their heads toward employee experience, and the job market seems to be causing the candidate experience to pick back up. With many companies still working remotely, recruiters have to fill in the gaps left by a lack of in-person communication. But while recruiters can double down on their efforts to interact with job seekers online, they may also face increased competition. As someone with a background in the HR technology space, I’ve found that advancements in HR tech are making every step of the hiring process easier, smoother and more modern.
So, how do hiring organizations stand out? They should have a clear company identity that job seekers can understand and relate to in order to attract more qualified candidates. As candidates become more tuned into organizational values, ethics and overall brand experience, employers should realize that candidate journeys are very similar in nature to buyer journeys — and that a positive and frictionless candidate experience is important for success. According to Ceridian research reported by CNBC, “Sixty-four percent of American workers say they are looking for new job opportunities or will consider moving jobs if approached by another company.” Further, 2019 Glassdoor research found that 79% of adults would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying.
So, what does all this mean for candidates? As a candidate in the post-pandemic world, your job search experience should matter: Organizations should strive to make it more holistic and frictionless. Today, HR tech that focuses on the candidate and employee experience can make a better candidate experience a reality.
I’ve already seen organizations making strong commitments to improve the employee experience with programs focused on well-being and reskilling. Some are also re-centering their focus on their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The next step is to reimagine the candidate experience.
Talent acquisition should evolve and look at the candidate holistically. Additionally, recruiters should look at them as customers. This is where recruitment marketing, candidate relationship management (CRM) and onboarding should become the new pillars of excellence.
According to Gartner, “Many organizations are making new or heightened commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, but Gartner research shows that commitment doesn’t consistently extend to the treatment of potential employees.”
Some organizations will have a lot of work to do to set up hiring processes that match how candidates want to be hired. I believe HR technology can help bridge that gap.
What are the benefits candidates should reap from continued digital maturity and sustainable value creation? In the wake of the recent stress on the global economy, HR tech companies should be creating more innovative tools to support employers and candidates. Shifts in the economy and the job market have affected various industries — some severely. Some have been able to pivot, but all companies can benefit from transparency, greater digitization, standardized onboarding and a better candidate experience.
For instance, many candidates sign up for job alerts that directly feed opportunities into their inboxes. Many employers are already including their jobs in these systems to get more candidates to see their jobs. Job boards often offer to publish jobs for free. Sending job opportunities directly to candidates is a great way to improve the candidate experience.
Next, employers should offer an “easy apply” option or utilize them on job boards. We have all gone through lengthy 30-minute applications on career sites or various employers’ websites and repeated this painful process over and over. Well, many job boards are now making it possible to apply with two clicks. Candidates can store their profiles on job boards and apply quickly. As an employer, you should make sure your HR team is utilizing this great feature.
As more platforms develop tools to help job seekers manage their searches, employers should pay attention to matching job seekers’ compensation expectations. Several websites offer job seekers a way to estimate the average salary for a position in a specific region; this helps both employers and jobseekers get on the same page and add transparency to the salary conversation.
One way to understand what candidates want is to look at job boards. As central career hubs for large numbers of job seekers, these platforms constantly test strategies to engage with talent and help candidates get hired faster.
Job boards centralize large numbers of job postings in one place, which gives recruiters the opportunity to see what others are doing and identify the best-performing job postings to further refine their job descriptions.
In summary, here are some cool HR tech companies that provide these benefits to candidates. Today, candidates can automate their job searches, create alerts and look for relevant data points like average salaries in their candidate journey.
Here is a shortlist of tips and technologies that job seekers can start using right now, many of which employers can leverage to improve the candidate experience as well:
• Sign up for job alerts on websites like Talent.com, Indeed.com, Monster.com and other job boards that are specific to your industry.
• Quickly validate your salary, taxes and other withholdings by using an online calculator like Talent.com’s that makes calculations based on your gross salary.
• Scan your resume through a free tool like Resume Worded to see gaps, potential applicant tracking system (ATS) compatibility, style concerns and other useful information.
• Network with your colleagues through LinkedIn and other professional networks and organizations.
Bouncing back is on many people’s minds right now. How are we going to bounce back? How will organizations improve the candidate experience and internal HR processes? What jobs will become available, and what jobs will vanish? It is already clear to me that many candidates will have to reskill and reinvent themselves; I’ll share more on these points in my next Forbes article about hiring trends.