How to Improve the Candidate Experience

Update: Check out this FREE white paper on how to create the perfect candidate experience!:

It’s a pain.

This is what you often hear (from both sides of the hiring equation) about applicant tracking software (ATS).

Candidates complain that ATSs are a black hole, and recruiters use ATSs mostly as a mere keyword search engine.

What started out as a solution has become part of the problem.

You know having a good, fast hiring process is crucial in landing top talent. You can’t just input everything in spreadsheets or you’ll wonder why you have so little time at the end of the day.

An ATS can come to the rescue and save you time, yet most mistake their ATS for a silver bullet. It’s easy with software to just step back and forget to add the human touch all together. You can easily approach candidates as just another piece of data to collect. But this is where your candidate experience begins to fail, hard.

The infamous chart above gets so many nods from job applicants because it’s so accurate. A negative candidate experience like the above is common but generally ignored by employers. Its cost may not be straightforward, but by no means should you underestimate it. Candidates with negative experiences are less likely to complete the application or hiring process. They will also tell their competent friends to avoid you at all costs.

And if they’re a customer or potential customer? Forget it, gaining (back) that customer-brand relationship is nearly impossible.

What you need to do to avoid this is keep a balance: use your ATS for productivity gains while also retaining the human side of your hiring process. Below, we’ll look at how to do that by examining what most often damages the candidate experience, and the tools and methods you can use to fix it.

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Originally published at Recruitee.com on June 9, 2016.

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