Recruiting BuzzwordsIn Part 1 of this series we took on some of the most popular buzzwords in today’s recruitment technology marketplace in Analytics & Big Data, Mobile Recruiting and Social Recruiting.

In today’s post, we’ll be looking at 3 more buzzwords that you will hear in the vendor hall at the conferences you go to learn and what they are really all about.


Candidate Experience

What it is: The Candidate Experience has become a hot button topic for recruiting organizations in the past 12 months, even producing an awards program, The Candidate Experience Awards (which I encourage you to check out.)  However, when you hear most talk about the candidate experience it’s typically a limited view with the application process at the forefront.

In truth, the candidate experience starts way before that and includes all interactions you have with candidates.  Under the “candidate experience” purview includes:

  • Job Ad Messaging
  • Employment Brand (see below)
  • Career Site design and content (including mobile)
  • Pre- Application Communication Strategy
  • Job Application (including mobile)
  • Expectation Setting Upon Application Submittal (or on Career Site)
  • Post Application Communication Strategy
  • Talent Network Engagement

All these can positively (or negatively) affect the candidate experience and the way candidates perceive and talk about your organization as an employer.  And all of the above require well thought out strategies and processes to be successful.

Technology Considerations:  When taking on improving the candidate experience, you will have a lot to think through and because interactions with candidates happen at different stages in the recruiting process, different technologies will come into play to help you improve and optimize these areas.  Here’s a few areas to look into in regards to the candidate experience:

  • How do we ensure targeted communication with candidates throughout the process?: This is a big issue for many organizations and this all stems from needing to provide candidates with targeted messaging that appeals to them instead of automated job alerts that may do that.  The more your messaging doesn’t apply to the candidate the more they will tune out your messaging.  So a good question to ask any vendor is how do they help you segment candidate populations and provide targeted messaging to these groups.
  • What are your messaging touch-points?: This needs to be thought through internally but what stages in the process do you need to communicate with candidates:
    • After they attend an event
    • Once they complete the apply process (confirmation, survey, etc.)
    • After they interview with a hiring manager
    • Once you make a hiring decision (and invite silver medalists to join Talent Network)
    • When a role that fits their skillset opens up
    • When they started an application but didn’t finish

There are a lot of areas where communication should happen with candidates and it’s important to understand capabilities of your technology partners to automate some of these communications without losing the authentic nature of these messages to candidates.

  • Where are your bottlenecks?: As with anything else, to improve you need to measure your process.  And a lot can be learned about your candidate experience performance from recruiting analytics.  Whether it’s the success of your messaging or high drop-off rates in your application process, analytics are essential to continuously understanding what works and what doesn’t so you can improve the experience.

Supporting Articles:  These articles should help in better understanding the candidate experience:

Employment Brand

What it is: Employment Brand is the collective perception of candidates of your employment opportunities and is affected by a number of areas:

  • the aforementioned Candidate Experience
  • your Career Site (traditional & mobile)
  • Social Recruiting presence
  • Messaging (on Career Site, in job ads, etc.)
  • Hiring Process
  • What they read on 3rd party sites (Glassdoor, etc.)
  • Perception of company as a customer

But in short, it’s shaped by the interactions they have with you and your organization.  The real key is that your employment brand needs to be consistent throughout all the channels you use and have a strong connection with your marketing brand as well.  This and just as important, provide a clear and well thought out value proposition for why your organization is a great place to work.

Technology Considerations:  When looking at your employment brand and the technology you use, you need to make sure the following:

  • Consistent Brand Standards throughout strategy: It’s really important that no matter the channel a candidate uses to connect with your employment messaging and opportunities that it is consistent throughout.  So your social presence on Twitter and Facebook, your Career Site, your job ads and other recruitment channels should all feel connected and all be touting your employment value proposition.  So you need technology that enables you to centrally tie these channels together.
  • Full Control over Brand: While you can work with third parties to help with messaging and design of your brand, what you really need is a technology that gives you full control over your brand across channels.  No matter what you come up with in terms of messaging, you should be able to go in and update all of your channels in real-time, not wait and/or pay for an agency or administrator to make changes.
  • Tie it to your marketing brand: It’s important that your recruiting brand doesn’t fall too far from your marketing brand.  While there will be differences in call to actions and value proposition in the messaging, you’ll want it to be seamless when navigating from one or the other.  That means that you need to find solutions that provide full design options to your team not a boxed template that pigeon-holes your options and design.

Supporting Articles:  These articles should help in better understanding the employment brand:


Employee Referrals

What it is: Employee Referrals are one of the most effective sources for quality hires according to many publications and for good reason.  Every candidate through these programs is recommended by someone that you respect, your employee.  And these programs are nothing new.

The key with these programs are now to make them better ingrained with recruiting teams engagement strategies and making it easier for employees to tap into their networks (most recently on social media) to better identify and offer qualified candidates for open positions.  One recent development we’ve seen is not only opening these programs up to employees but to also open it up to alumni and brand advocates as well, an important step in expanding overall reach of these programs.

Technology Considerations:  When looking at your employee referral program make sure the following:

  • Ease of use integral for users: You need to make it easy for employees and other advocates to identify and ultimately refer candidates for positions and the technology you chose needs to provide this.  Social referrals is the most recent wave here and is very effective in terms of identifying and recommending potential candidates to refer.
  • Recognition Required: There also needs to be a feedback loop for employees once referrals are made.  They need to be contacted and rewarded when a qualified candidate is hired through their referral and technology should help support and ensure this happens.
  • Are Referrals your top Source of Hire?: Most organizations would list referrals as one of their top sources of hire but many measure it separately in their process vs. other channels.  When you look at technology to help you with this, in the end, you want to be able to centrally report on all your channels so you can put Employee Referrals next to your spend in other areas such as Job Boards, Social, Mobile, CRM campaigns, SEO, Career Site, etc.

Supporting Articles:  These articles should help in better understanding the employment brand:


That’s it for Part 2 of our buzzword blog series.  Part 3 will be published early next week.  Stay tuned.


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