The staffing industry is continuously changing and growing, but one thing remains constant: the talent market will stay competitive no matter what. The days when talent acquisition was recruiter-centric are over. We’ve now entered a new age that requires staffing firms to prioritize their candidates, which means putting serious effort in order to improve candidate experience.
That’s why delivering exceptional candidate experience has gone from being a nice-to-have to a major cornerstone of any recruitment strategy, and staffing firms that take care of talents just as much as it takes care of clients are the ones who stand out from the competition.
DELIVERING A CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE THAT WILL BOOST YOUR REPUTATION
Recruiters who go the extra mile to improve candidate experience today will reap enormous benefits tomorrow. So, here are five steps you can follow to gear your firm for growth and deliver an exemplary candidate experience.
Set clearly defined goals.
When you define your goals, you provide your team with two things: a clear direction to work towards and an opportunity to create effective solutions that address real challenges. Without goals, all your efforts will be based on guesswork — it’s like trying to hit the bullseye but doing it blindfolded.
The first thing you need to do is analyze your team’s current situation. Being aware of your current problems will help you identify what areas need improvement and what goals to set. You may start with looking at these areas to improve candidate experience:
- Communication. What does your recruitment communication look like? Are your recruiters responding well and timely?
- Candidates. What kind of candidates are you attracting? Take a look at your applicant-to-hire metric.
- Referrals. Are you reaching passive candidates? Are you doing enough to mediate referral programs with your client’s internal human resources?
- Online reputation. Do you have more positive reviews or negative reviews? What do people think of your recruitment brand?
- Recruitment marketing. Are you actively engaging candidates online? What do your website and socials look like?
- Talent pipeline. If a client calls in for an urgent opening, do you have a ready pipeline of quality talents you can tap into anytime?
Once you know which areas you need to improve on, set realistic goals. Don’t forget to ensure they align with your staffing firm’s long-term objectives.
Develop a sustainable recruitment strategy.
The recruitment strategies you use can either enrich the candidate experience you deliver or break your recruitment brand. What you offer candidates and how you interact with them contribute to your candidate experience, so it matters that you curate a well-thought-out strategy that positively impacts experience in all touchpoints.
You can consider these when creating a good recruitment strategy:
- Long-term value. Determine what your candidates want five to ten years from now. When you think long-term, you can better come up with action plans that better address your candidates’ needs.
- Authentic branding. In a highly transactional industry, be the one who treats candidates personally. When they know that you see more than just another statistic to your performance, they’ll respect your recruiter brand more. This practice may even pave the way for brand loyalty.
- Recruitment Methods. Think about which recruitment methods are best to reach candidates. Sometimes, specific talents prefer contact through a particular niche (e.g. some would want calls, others email).
- Diversity. Are you recruiting with diversity and inclusivity in mind? Not only does this reflect well on your recruitment brand, but it’s also highly profitable as diverse teams are known to be more innovative compared to teams without diversity.
As you develop your strategy, it’s critical that you tie it to your objectives, make it easy to implement, and cast the vision well to your recruiters.
Equip your team with the right tools.
These days, recruiters can utilize a handful of tools to make the hiring process easier and more efficient while hiring the right people for the job. To choose the best tech stack for you, ask yourself: what are your current recruitment challenges?
The tools you need will ultimately depend on your recruitment strategy. However, in case you don’t know where to start, we’ve listed the ones that can help improve candidate experience:
- Applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS manages the end-to-end of your recruitment process, from sourcing up to the hiring stage. Because it automates an organization’s recruitment operations, applicant management is sped up, and time-to-fill is reduced.
- Recruitment marketing platforms (RMP). RMPs are a one-stop-shop solution that can manage your landing pages, customize content depending on the candidate profile, perform audience targeting, and provide you with reports to help you make better-informed decisions.
- Digital interviewing platforms. With features that allow for recording an introductory video before a live call, digital interviewing platforms let candidates experience a more relaxed and flexible interview that provides them with more control over how they communicate with recruiters.
- Experience management. Specifically designed to help monitor and improve candidate experience, this tool allows you to capture applicant feedback at strategic touchpoints. It generates comprehensive reports that relate to your business metrics so you can analyze data for optimal candidate engagement. It’s a must-have for staffing firms looking to stay on top of every detail of their company’s candidate journey.
If you’re tight on budget, you don’t need to bring out the big guns and invest in all of them at once. Instead, you may prioritize your most pressing problems first, then slowly work your way towards the rest.
Test your recruitment strategy.
Now that you’ve got your strategy and tools to optimize your candidate experience, it’s time to measure. One key driver to success is continuous tracking and measuring to ensure your recruitment strategy is in tip-top shape.
That’s why as you work to improve candidate experience, it’s imperative that you set relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you actively monitor how well you’re doing against your goals.
Here are the four most common recruitment metrics used to measure and improve candidate experience.
- Quality-of-hire: A boost in recruitment brand will naturally draw the attention of top candidates. So, your QOH will inevitably increase.
- Referral rate: As data shows, the more satisfied applicants are with the candidate experience you deliver, the more likely they are to refer to their peers. Not only does this cut your sourcing time, but also significantly increases your ROI.
- Time-to-hire: The speed at which you’re able to fill a position from the moment you advertise a job post reflects the efficiency of your recruitment process. So, aim for quick time-to-hire goals.
- Cost-per-hire: As you minimize time-to-hire and increase the referral rate, your cost-per-hire should decrease.
Chances are, your recruitment strategy won’t be perfect the first time around, but with continued recalibration, you’ll find the strategy that works for you eventually.
Gather candidate feedback
How you treat your candidates will have a ripple effect on your bottom line and recruitment reputation. However, the problem lies in one simple truth: you can’t fix a problem that you don’t know in the first place. This is why implementing a feedback loop makes a difference — it allows candidates to express their thoughts about your brand and align you with their expectations.
Through candidate feedback, you promote a culture of transparency that allows clear lines of communication between you and your applicants. This is highly effective in building relationships as it makes the candidates feel valued.
Best of all, it equips your team with the insight you need to optimize your recruitment practices to serve your candidates better and provide long-term value through the right career matches and exceptional candidate experience. The best kind of data is one that’s straight from the people you serve.
IMPROVE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE WITH AN EXPERIENCE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
Helping you deliver a positive candidate experience each time to boost your reputation — this is what Great Recruiters was made for. Because our online reputation management software was specifically made for staffing firms, it helps you leverage candidate feedback continually so you can create long-term solutions that help enhance your recruitment services.