In today’s candidate-driven market where there is stiff competition for top talent, many companies continue to deliver a candidate experience well below par. In a survey of 826 job seekers by CareerArc, 60% reported having a poor experience at some point along their search.

But that isn’t everything. The results from the survey also showed:

  • 65% never or rarely receive notice about their application
  • 85% who don’t hear back doubt that someone ever reviewed their application
  • 51% of those who did get a notification said it took 1 month or more

Feeling guilty now because you’re contributing to these stats? Don’t worry. Let’s take a look at candidate journey mapping: the practice of creating a visualization of the interactions, thoughts, and feelings on application experiences along each step of the recruitment process.

This lets us see through the perspective of the candidates, gain a deep understanding of their needs and expectations, and puts you in a position to attract the right people for the job.

So let’s get to it. Let’s talk about the steps that make up the candidate journey mapping.

1) Select your candidate. Before you can begin to fix the problem, you must first determine the type of candidate you are mapping. The experience, expectations, and needs of an accountant, for example, may differ from a salesman’s. The more specific you can be, the greater the chance you will have at finding the right solution.

2) Identify candidate touch points. Break down each touch point along your hiring process, starting from a candidate’s first interaction with your brand to the onboarding process. This step will help differentiate each stage and eliminate blind spots that easily go unnoticed yet play a huge role in forming negative perceptions about your company.

3) Gather your insight. Interview recently hired employees, survey unsuccessful candidates, and monitor employer review sites to get a comprehensive, multi-perspective view of how your company is currently doing at each touch point. See the viewpoint of your candidates by playing the role of an applicant and going through the process yourself.

4) Determine your weak points. Use your data to identify potential gaps between what candidates need and what you are providing at each touch point. A common pitfall is a lack of communication, with 60% of candidates in the study by CareerArc expressing that better communication would make the most positive impact on their experience.

5) Find your solution(s). Map out possible solutions and narrow down your list to the ones you predict will yield the most positive results for each touch point. Case studies on companies with notable candidate experiences are a good source of tried and true practices. It’s also important to consider the timeline for implementation, the list of necessary resources, and the specific impact it is expected to make.

6) Continuously improve. Evaluate how well your new touch points are able to improve the candidate experience by continuing to seek feedback from your applicants. Your map should always be evolving alongside your growing company and incoming candidates.

And there you have it – your candidate journey map.

It should go without saying that putting forth the effort to deliver a great candidate experience is a direct investment in building your employer brand – a powerful tool that will ensure you never fall short of recruiting the best candidates in the market.

Don’t be that company with a bad reputation. Starting mapping and building your employer brand today.

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