Recruiting in 2023 is a much different experience than it was prior to the implementation of Technology. The candidates get a different experience each time they go online to complete an employer application and impacts their view of the organization. Why? The simple reason is that in the time prior to online applications, a candidate only needed a pen and sometimes a resume to apply for a job which was pretty consistent with the paper application. The recruiting process was quite simple then; complete an application in writing and submit it to the employer for the opportunity to be considered for a job.
The candidate experience in 2023 is different each time a person applies to a company through their online process for many reasons, the most basic one is the implementation of technology or an electronic application which is known as the applicant tracking system (ATS). The applicant tracking system or ATS is not so simple for candidates, this really has a strong connection to the way the potential employee experiences the hiring process at a company or employer. If you have not had the time to do an assessment of your current application process and your hiring team has not done this as well it maybe a benefit to experience the company process the way the candidates do. Each company has a different experience, why because now we are not all using the same paper. There are many ATS vendors who are vying for the opportunity to contract with employers to promote their jobs on the internet and put their process into an electronic format. Each vendor's system creates a different experience for candidates, each employer or organization has a different process built into a workflow and it is also built into the computer program which are all different. This is much more complicated than a simple piece of paper and a pen.
Recruiting in 2023 is not basic it is complex for many reasons; and this includes the candidates, organization, the hiring team, leaders, human resources and recruiting. If anyone involved in the hiring process or who has a say in the budget of the systems in the organization or any aspect of a business who needs people does not have first-hand knowledge of and experience in their own application candidate experience this is doing the employer a big disservice. The system reports with the metrics and number of candidates, compliance, branding, the unemployment rates, fiscal dollars, etc. are not going to give anyone in an organization a better understanding of why your business may not be getting candidates into your doors for interviews as their own first-hand experience of what a candidate must do to complete and submit an application to your organization. I have spent countless hours in meetings, reporting, speaking, training, and basically stating anything related to communication and recruiting with leaders who do not get the basic reasons on why it is challenging to fill open positions. The number one reason for leadership never being completely satisfied with any of these answers is the fact they probably have not experienced the company's own system and process to experience the challenges candidates have completing an application for their own organization. Therefore, they cannot give input or feedback to those in recruiting and/or human resources if they are not understanding what is involved and speak with the vendors on process improvement. The second reason is the comfort zone of a workflow or a recruiting process once it is built many organizations do not take the time to do a thorough assessment on an ongoing basis on their own process or of those of the most successful competitors in their industry or of the positions they are hiring for to constantly upgrade and improve the candidate experience, reduce challenges and roadblocks they have to completing applications. The simplest metric of fall off rates is almost never one that is being brought up in leadership meetings where everyone has ideas on how to get candidates, yet this is the basic way to increase applicants and it is rarely being discussed or analyzed.
The industry for applicant tracking systems (ATS), system add-ons or integrations to them on the front end and back end with assessments, tools for increasing more candidates, etc. is even more competitive. The ATS fiscal spend for these SAAS or software as a service online application systems is extremely big for a recruiting budget, and yet when the biggest financial spend of the department is not assessed for process improvement on an ongoing basis, ease of the job to get and track applications, or the team making the decisions is not going onto as many sites of other organizations using the tools to vet the candidate experience which is the most important free step that can be taken to assure that you will maximize the output and efficiency of the goal to get applications into the organization prior to investing in a system. An organization would not continue to use a sales process that did not bring in revenue and customers, so why is this so often being done in companies with recruiting. Employees are the most important aspect of a business, because you cannot do work without someone to complete the job. Why is this not on the radar of business leaders? An assessment on an ATS is free, and once the system is paid for and implemented this is the most important step to take which can change the dynamic of the business. Why do many organizations not do this? The answer is simply because many in recruiting, human resources and/or any other department that have to fill roles is not aware or educated that this is key to maximizing not only spend, branding, candidate experience, improve lack of candidates, etc. but why leaders sit in meetings week after week questioning recruiting on why there are little to no people to interview? This is simply because they do not know their own process or why candidates may not complete their applications, how many just quit in the process or what challenges they have to overcome just to complete one application for their organization. Any recruiting department not looking at or measuring the results of the drop off rates for candidates on an ongoing basis and doing assessments of the system is giving the candidates to their competitors. A well-oiled recruiting process has everyone experience the application as the candidate, and then gives input to improve the workflow the system is built on to assure that the candidates are not turned off or dropping off in the company recruiting process because it is too complicated.
The recruiting team, hiring team, leaders and human resources should all be trained on the process and assess it ongoing. If this is not happening, it is a simple process improvement step that will reduce meeting time, spend on employee time in meetings, improve access to candidates and ultimately business as employees are drivers of this and maximize spend for the recruiting technology. The training consistently of everyone on the team enables teamwork to be on the same page, communication to reduce conflict or misunderstandings of the process or challenges and make candidate experience a win for the organization and getting new employees through the door with a positive outlook of the organization. In closing, an excellent candidate experience grows business, and improves retention and everyone being on the same pages allows for the teamwork to be the dreamwork in the recruiting process.