The 4 As of a Smooth Candidate Journey

We’ve all been there – starting a new job can be a daunting experience but often one that’s filled with just as much excitement as apprehension. It is therefore essential to keep candidates engaged throughout the candidate journey process. I say process but really it’s more of a journey, for both the candidate and the recruiter.

We’ve compiled a list of four steps – ‘the 4 As’ – to help retain candidate engagement with the employer and job role whilst concurrently ensuring that recruiters avoid losing talent to competitors during the vulnerable stages of the recruitment journey.   

Attraction – the ad

This could be the first contact made with the candidate if they aren’t already aware of your business or that of your client so it needs to grab their attention in all the right ways. First of all, you need to ensure that the ad finds the talent.

Pay attention to keywords, length and even the time and place you post your job ad to reach the candidates you want to target. WaveTrackR data has shown that 200-300 words is the preferred average advert length, candidates are most actively searching and applying for jobs at the beginning of the week, and popular job titles commonly crop up as keywords so avoid unique and/or creative names for roles to ensure your ad is found in searches.

Job boards remain the most popular platform for posting jobs but social media channels and your own recruitment website are excellent platforms from which to extend your reach.

Application – applying for the role and the interview

Now that the ad has done its job of attracting talent, the application stage of the candidate journey will help to further narrow down the shortlist. The candidate is likely applying for multiple roles with competitors so it’s important that the job description emphasises the non-financial benefits of working for the company, from flexible working hours to private health cover, to good holiday allowance, and so on. Also, give a sense of the workplace culture – what’s it like working there?

Once the candidate has applied, consider the time it takes to get from this point to the interview stage – whether they make it that far or not. Keep in touch with your candidates. Let them know as soon as possible if they won’t be invited for an interview as well as if they have made the interview stage.

A candidate management system including email templates will help to quickly contact candidates. For those that gain an interview, make sure the period of time between initial application and interview doesn’t hamper the candidate’s enthusiasm or put them off the job completely by keeping them informed and updated. An applicant tracking feature will help you to track the whole recruitment process.

Acceptance – offering of the job role

After managing the candidate’s expectations, the next ‘A’ of the recruitment journey is all about offering the job role to the successful applicant. From here you can offer advice to your client. For example, a personal touch could be added by the client from a social media aspect by inviting the candidate to join their LinkedIn network. 

Acquisition and attainment – the first day and beyond

The successful applicant has gone through the recruitment journey and by this point made it to their first day in their new role so that’s where the hard work stops right? Not for the employer. By continuing to keep the employee engaged with performance reviews, career opportunities and incentives, the employer will be able to retain new employees and watch them contribute to the business.

The recruiter must also keep working to stay in touch with the client so that when they next need talent to fill a vacancy, they come to you first. It’s the recruiter’s job to find and attract talent and guide the applicant through from the application, to the interview, to their first day in their new role. After all, recruiting an employee is more than just a process, it’s a journey

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