How to maintain a positive candidate experience with the right tech

The recruitment industry – like so many others – has been hit hard by Covid-19. However, WaveTrackR data shows that job posts are up and applications are soaring, an early indication that we are on the slow road to recovery. The upside for recruiters is that the candidate pool hasn’t been this big in decades. After years of there being a dearth of available talent, the jobs market is now saturated with candidates who have been made redundant or are graduating into a very different world than was the case 6 months ago. 

From just 3 or 4 applications, a job may now garner 30, 40 or 50 applications. Whilst this certainly gives recruiters more choice, it also brings with it complications when it comes to how best to screen candidates, manage all these applications and ensure that the candidate experience remains positive for all. It’s important to remember that although there may be an increased number of candidates in the market, the number of available jobs remains relatively low so you will be fighting for every job. You need to, therefore, find the right candidates within the right timescale. The fact is that more applications means a bigger and more complicated workload but this is where the right technology can be of enormous help to recruiters. 

What recruiters need – especially if they’re still operating with a skeleton team – is a candidate management system that will ensure the entire process runs smoothly and not one application is lost track of. An applicant tracking system will allow you to track the entire recruitment process using notes and status updates and a traffic light system is ideal, allowing you to quickly rank candidates. Those marked as red can be automatically sent an email thanking them for their application but informing them that they have been unsuccessful this time (worded in a template by the recruiter). Given the number of posts on LinkedIn written by extremely disgruntled candidates that have been ghosted by recruiters, this simple act is enormously appreciated. 

It is also important that the application process itself is candidate-friendly. Ensure the jobs page on your website is easy to find and that comprehensive filters can be applied so that candidates can find the best jobs for them – this will also help you as a recruiter as it limits the number of candidates applying for unsuitable jobs. Given a growing number of candidates are using mobile devices to both browse jobs and apply (according to a RecWebs report mobile traffic increased by 21% in comparison with the previous year), also make sure your website is optimised for mobiles. Website speed is equally important – you don’t want to miss out on top talent because your website pages took too long to load.  

We declared in our annual report at the beginning of the year that ‘the candidate is king’ because, with unemployment at a record low, applicants were in short supply. However, it is vital not to disregard this statement now that the talent pool is bulging. Candidates might currently be plentiful and jobs still low but that won’t always be the case. It’s essential to play the long game – talent won’t hang around forever and people have long memories.

Treat candidates fairly and with respect and that will be remembered. You don’t want to find your agency’s reputation tarnished by an unhappy candidate who feels they have been treated badly and takes to social media to vent. Be the recruitment agency that clients and candidates alike can trust and treat every candidate and every application with care, using the right tech to make the entire process easier to manage.  

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