March 16th, 2017 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

Real-Time Recruiting via Social Media and Candidate Experience

Colorful computer buttons social

There are ways to define candidate experience. It covers many areas of the hiring process from filing out an application to filling out paperwork on day one. Many HR influencers have taken a stab at defining what candidate experience entails and they often share similar views. In a 2013 blog post for the Huffington Post, Rayanne Thorn of Technomedia simply defines candidate experience as, “What a job seeker/applicant/candidate goes through during the hiring process.” With the job market being more candidate-driven than ever before, candidate experience will continue to be a major topic for companies and organizations to come.

Candidate experience has a direct impact on business from an organization’s reputation to its profitability. Candidates who had an overall negative hiring experience will take their alliances, product purchases and relationships elsewhere. Negative experiences impact the employer brand and can also diminish their ability to attract the “perfect” new talent for their company. As for the opposite, if a candidate had a positive experience, they will continue to increase a relationship with that potential employer.

Candidate Experience Touch Points

Every single touch point that occurs between prospect and organization will define a candidate’s unique experience. Touch points include career website visits, application processes, conversations with recruiters, interview scheduling, career fairs and job offers. Organizations aim to deliver both a consistent and positive experience for each and every prospect. The desired collective impact is an across-the-board reputation as a strong recruiting organization, which will result in hiring better quality talent. According to the 2016 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Report, job seekers are doing more company research than ever before and are looking for a smooth hiring experience. Employer brand works hand-in-hand with the candidate experience. Every applicant experience reflects the company brand.

Don’t Fall Into the Black Hole

Let’s turn this around and look at what constitutes a negative candidate experience. You could easily say the opposite of what drives a positive experience, consistency and positivity, is what contributes to a negative experience. In industry lingo, this is known as “the black hole.” Social recruiting expert Stacy Zapar of Zappos and Tenfold Social Training talks about the black hole as what most job applicants fall into after spending a great deal of time applying for a job online and never hearing back from the organization. Zapar says, “All that effort, interest, excitement and hope ends up down the drain, again and again and again.” In defense of recruiters, consider that they are often inundated with applications and inquiries, and are unable to respond to each and every one. This is a real problem, so what’s the solution? Being transparent with a candidate goes a long way to making the job seeker be more in control of the hiring process, allowing them to replace anxiety and uncertainty with trust and confidence. Creating a transparent hiring process instead of an HR black hole will allow everyone to win.

Real-Time Recruiting Engagement via Social Media

What does social media have to do with the candidate experience? Social media is nothing more than a communications channel, albeit an extremely powerful one that has instant global reach. Social media as a conversation platform also significantly cuts down on the time it takes to communicate with others. In contrast, an email thread (or conversation) is privy only to those included in the address line. Email messages may get lost in the hundreds of other unopened messages in your inbox, inadvertently end up in junk and spam folders and be deleted or simply missed.

With social media platforms like Twitter, you can publicly tweet something out and it’s viewable by all of your followers and anyone else searching for the same topic. For example, a recruiter responds to a question about their company’s hiring process and tweets out their answer on Twitter. They likely have helped many others who had the same question. Social media also encourages shorter and more concise messages and conversations, in contrast to text-heavy emails. The ease of use, access to, the speed of conversation and information transmission that takes place on social media has enabled recruiters to talk to more people in shorter periods of time.

Times are changing, and it’s being driven by new technology that integrates and leverages social media principles. Social media brings transparency to the process and corporate culture. Simply put, it’s all about the conversation, knowledge exchange, real-time engagement and bringing back the human element to recruitment.

Sterling offers comprehensive employment background screening and onboarding solutions that allow companies to hire with confidence. It is very important for job candidates to have a positive experience through the many stages of the hiring process. Learn how to transform the final hiring step, onboarding from cumbersome to engaging by following tips from our white paper, Your Complete Guide to Onboarding from Decision to Day One.

Your Complete Guide to Onboarding From Decision to Day One - White Paper

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