Have you ever compared the experience job seekers go through when searching for a job to the experience you go through when, say, buying a car? Believe it or not, the two experiences are more closely linked than you may realize. We have specific reasons for deciding to go through with a car purchase — or walk away from it — and the same is true for job seekers considering your company as a future employer in their job search process.
The experience you provide job seekers through your recruitment process is something they will evaluate, engage with, and accept or reject, ultimately deciding whether or not to “make a purchase.” A new CareerBuilder and Inavero study of more than 4,500 workers demonstrates that that decision can happen at any point in the job search process, from the time they first start thinking about searching for a new job to the moment they have your offer letter in front of them — and everywhere in between.
The job seeker/employer relationship: It’s complicated
Today’s job search experience looks drastically different from several years or even several months ago, and it continues to evolve. Now, although job boards still have a prominent place in the job search, the job search experience has become much more complex. When job seekers embark on a job search, they are actively using five specific methods to find their next job: Search engines; vertical sites (job boards and aggregators); social media; corporate and career sites; and user-generated content sites. They are using these five platforms in different ways and with varied intensity as they move through four distinct phases of the job search — Orientation, Consideration, Action, and Engagement.
To effectively build and manage your company’s employment brand, reach a large segment of the many job seekers you’re missing out on, and continue to position yourself as a visible and desirable place to work in today’s rapidly changing world, you must have a diversified recruitment strategy that incorporates these five platforms — and you must understand the mindset and behavior of job seekers as they move through the four stages of the job search process.
Job seekers have changed — have you?
The CareerBuilder and Inavero study takes you through a job seeker’s typical job search experience as it happens in today’s recruitment environment, a time in which job seekers are hungry for information and have a wealth of online resources at their fingertips. Long gone are the days of faxing or mailing a resume and simply waiting passively to hear back from an employer — today’s job seeker is much more hands-on.
By learning what job seekers are thinking and doing as they move through four distinct job search phases (Orientation, Consideration, Action, and Engagement) and crafting your strategy to align with those thoughts and behaviors, you’ll be equipped to reach the best candidates for your open jobs, position yourself as a strong and desirable brand, and ensure your approach is consistent from phase to phase.
The Four Phases of the Job Search
Phase I: Orientation — This phase consists of a job seeker’s self-evaluation and evaluation of the market. Ninety-seven percent of job seekers reported self-evaluation as one of the first five things they did when starting a search.
Phase II: Consideration — During this phase, the job search moves from a solitary to an interactive, social experience. Job seekers are seeking to validate the brands in their consideration set by posting on social media platforms and user-generated content sites, and collecting opinions from members of their online social and professional networks in order to narrow their focus to a handful of jobs.
Phase III: In this phase, a job seeker is going through the action of applying to jobs.
Phase IV: In this last phase, job seekers are interacting with employers and actively interviewing. Although the majority of research on a company is completed pre-interview, job seekers are conducting social research in this last phase by having personal conversations with employees of your company or close family and friends.
(Learn about the job seekers’ mindset and behavior during each of the four job search phases here.)
The importance of a great recruitment experience
Job seekers today are largely dissatisfied with the current hiring process offered by companies. Only 10 percent of respondents said companies they have reached out to have been responsive. The impact of this is immense: Nearly half (40 percent) of job seekers strongly agree that a poor application experience impacts their job decision. In fact, it might surprise you to find out that more than one in 10 people turn down a job at least once a month.
Bad experiences during and after the application process can easily negate the work and strategic investment in media you’ve made to bring the best talent onto your team.
Begin to create a more candidate-centric recruitment process by adding a human touch:
- Communicate with candidates when at all possible, and let them know where they stand as the process moves from phase to phase.
- Unplug cumbersome technology and flawed screening filters, and provide feedback and coaching.
- View all candidates as a customer or potential future customer, client or employee.
- Get the most out of the resources you’re investing by being responsive — in the long run, you will get better quality talent, protect your employment brand, and maintain a better reputation with clients (who once may have been your candidates).
Getting them to say “yes”
Job seekers are using a wide range of methods to find the right jobs, and by gaining a large presence through these methods, you will deepen your talent pool, engage and create trust with candidates early on, find more diverse candidates for your open positions, and, ultimately, improve your bottom line. Start thinking of your recruitment experience as a consumer product — and start
getting more job seekers to consider your brand, like what they see, and say “Yes.”
For details on job seeker behavior and mindset within the four job search phases and our recommended strategies for best connecting with job seekers at each point in the process, download the full report or learn more about adding the right platforms to your recruitment mix.