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The 6 Steps of the Candidate Journey and How to Ace It

The Candidate Journey describes 6 phases new hires go through before joining a company: Discovery and Interest in the job offer, Resume Submission, Screening applications, Interviewing applicants and Hiring the most suitable candidate.

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Why Do You Need to Learn What the Candidate Journey is?

The process of recruiting talent has recently shifted because of the emergence of modern technology. Today, there are usually very few candidates available for each job position because work has become much more specialized than it was in the recent past. Additionally, employers are now more accountable for how they treat their employees because candidates can easily learn about the quality of a workplace by visiting review websites, such as Glassdoor or Zip Recruiter.

Obtaining the best talents is more important than ever before because the most competitive employers go to great lengths to get talented individuals on their payrolls. Even if you succeed at recruiting someone, you could lose that talented individual to another company if you do not use the right procedures to keep them around. Therefore, it is important to understand how you can optimize your entire hiring process from start to finish.


Which Are the Steps of the Candidate Journey?

The candidate journey is a term used to describe the 6 phases new hires go through before joining a company: Discovery and Interest in the job offer, Resume Submission, Screening applications, Interviewing applicants and Hiring the most suitable candidate for the role. In most fields, employees will not join your company without first knowing about the quality of the workplace you provide. Additionally, potential employees want to know that an employer treats its employees well and can offer stable employment. 

Those who can provide all the information about the company, its mission and values to the job seekers are your current employees. On the other hand, your current employees can also make a referral for the open positions. Employee referral recruiting strategy is the top source for hiring and in this article you can find Top 10 Employee Referral Statistics you should know. 

The journey that candidates take before they join a company is almost identical to the journey that buyers take when they purchase a product in today’s world. Buyers start by discovering that they have a need, and they eventually start looking for solutions by going online and talking to their friends. Once a buyer finds out about an offering, they may seek out more information by actively reaching out or by taking more passive action, such as signing up for an email newsletter or favouriting a website.

Eventually, the buyer will feel compelled to move into more advanced stages of the buying process. If more detailed information confirms that the offering meets the buyer’s requirements, they will move forward with a purchase. The provider will then need to make sure that the purchase goes smoothly to achieve satisfaction and take action to foster customer loyalty over time.

The process that candidates go through before they join a company mirrors the ordinary buying process. Candidates first need to know about your company before they will begin to consider working for you. They can then learn about specific opportunities. Later, they can enter your pipeline by expressing interest in a position or actually applying for a job. You can then review the information that a candidate sends to you to decide if they are a good match and eventually close an employment deal with them if all parties are satisfied. Finally, you can take steps to keep a new hire loyal by continuing to build your relationship with the individual over time as they work with your company. 

The six steps of the Candidate Journey

Attention to the Touchpoints

Throughout the candidate’s journey, from its beginning of searching for a job offer to getting hired, a potential employee will have many interactions with the company itself. All those interactions are called touchpoints. Candidates will use those experiences for their final decision of accepting or not the job offer. That is why a company should make the candidate’s journey persuasive and engaging by improving and personalizing the candidate’s experience throughout the application process.  

Furthermore, having a pleasant Candidate Journey will get positive word-of-mouth about your company going. This means that you will have your employer brand speaking for itself when it comes to terms of good company culture, working conditions and inclusive workplace. Additionally, your employees themselves can convey a positive image about your employer brand by recommending job opportunities within the company through their networks. Introducing an employee referral program can make all these referrals easy to manage and help you to better attract top talents. 

Behavioural Characteristics of Job Seekers

Job seekers exhibit specific behaviours that employers should understand to succeed at attracting talent in today’s business environment. Nearly all of today’s job seekers will only consider working for a company if they believe in the company’s mission. Additionally, everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging at work, so it is important to use inclusive language at every touchpoint.

When people look for a job today, they often do not want to submit a resume as they would have in the past. Instead, job seekers desire a more engaging application process that involves providing more targeted information directly through an online platform. Gamification should be used to make the application process as interesting as possible.

Ideally, your candidate journey model should emphasize the importance of interacting with candidates at an earlier point in time. Job seekers want the chance to have meaningful interactions with an employer before endeavouring to spend several hours on an application. You may appoint a contact person responsible for the application process who keeps in touch with the candidate during their candidate journey. 

It is also crucial for job seekers to have clear feedback on the status of their application and the outcome, especially if it is a negative one. Glassdoor reports that the aspects that job seekers find most important to a positive candidate experience include clear and regular communication (58%), clear expectations (53%), and feedback regarding rejection (51%).

Therefore, transparent communication is vital: send confirmation and thank-you email when receiving the application, make sure that your candidates know all the stages and the requirements of the selection process, keep track of it by updating the status of their application and provide constructive feedback. In wider terms, we recommend you to keep interactions positive since applicants who do not work out for an open position might still fill out another application in the future that could be beneficial to your business.


Phases of the Job-Seeker Journey

A candidate journey map can be used to model the actions that job seekers take before and after they get a job. Understanding the candidate journey model can help your organization to optimize your hiring process at every touchpoint. Some of the key stages in the candidate journey model include:

1. Discovery 

Before an individual can pursue a job opportunity, they first need to know that it exists. Additionally, job seekers need to discover information about your company. Candidates can reach out to you in many different ways: through your social media channels, your website, job board, word-of-mouth or via your employees’ referrals. Ideally, your brand should be known to a job seeker before they consider a job opportunity you are offering.

2. Interest

Job candidates next have to become interested in working for your company. In the first place, a good job description containing all necessary information on the role should arouse the candidates’ interest. Interest can also be earned by interacting directly with a candidate or through strategic communications via email, social media, or interpersonal networks that promote a company’s values and mission. 

3. Resume Submission

Next, people who are considering a position have to submit their resumes. Make the resume submission easy, for example, by applying directly to a job offer via social platforms. Ideally, you should use a more advanced hiring process that allows candidates to showcase their skills and experience.

4. Screening

Applications that are submitted to your company then have to be screened. Throughout the screening process, you should seek to communicate openly with each candidate about the status of their application. Providing feedback is crucial for building a relationship with the candidate. 

5. Interviewing

Once you have identified a few candidates who are ideal for a position, you will need to interview them. Be careful to use the interview as an opportunity to show off the way your company treats its employees. Avoid being condescending or excessively critical, and appreciate any information that the job candidate provides. Invite your interviewers to express their concerns and raise questions about the position and workplace. 

6. Hiring

Finally, you will need to hire the candidate you are considering. Work hard to optimize your onboarding process by providing clear information and getting a candidate excited about joining your company. It can also be helpful to immediately have the new hire’s supervisor reach out to the candidate. The supervisor can then answer any last-minute questions and reassure the candidate that they will be a valued member of their team.


Understanding Active and Passive Job Seeker Journeys

You should be aware that there are two types of job seeker journeys according to which the phases can be split. The first three phases regard active job seekers, since they are looking for employment and actively reaching out to potential employers. Instead, the last three phases regard passive job seekers, since they may be interested in working for your company, but you will need to take the initiative to attract them. Passive job seekers usually tend to have the best credentials but are often harder to recruit. However, any recruitment process should seek to attract and nurture both active and passive candidates. That is why you should focus on making your Candidate Journey the best engaging.   

How to Create a Great Journey for Candidates

Every employer faces the same challenges when seeking to attract talent. The modern recruitment process offers enormous opportunities for companies that understand how to use recent changes in the job market to their advantage. To get the best results, you should seek to optimize your recruitment pipeline at every touchpoint. You can start by creating a candidate journey map for your company to understand where you stand and what improvements can be made. 

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