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We hear a lot about the job seeker experience, but what does that mean?

To achieve business goals employers need to attract the best talent. However, as the job seeker experience is often not fully understood, a significant number of potential candidates are overlooked.


Ways to reach potential employees have vastly evolved from traditional ads to today’s state-of-the-art programmatic recruitment technology. But recruitment strategies haven’t necessarily evolved in the same way, with recruiters keep sticking to traditional, less efficient approaches to reaching job seekers.


The ‘old’ recruitment style focuses on ‘requisitions.’ This reduces job seekers to second place, with Job openings focus on lists of requirements and qualifications, and thus reducing actual job seekers to second place. Job specifications tend to neglect important aspects such as expected results, exciting challenges, and growth opportunities. As a result, recruiters end up attracting prospective employees who might not be the best fit for the position.


To attract passive job seekers, recruiters should focus on the candidate first. Drawing parallels from “human-cantered design”, recruiters can:


  • Understand the needs of the job seeker
  • Identify opportunities based on those needs
  • Generate ideas from those opportunities
  • Apply those ideas to attract the right talent toward the recruitment funnel


The process needs to be user experience centric.  Application sites should not only be easy to use, they should also respond to questions about the adequacy of the job and the applicant’s interests, keeping them at the heart of the process. 


An important concept for the modern recruiter is that of the job seeker journey, derived from the customer journey and drawing key parallels between the experiences of a company customer and a job seeker.


Recruiters can split the candidate experience into two phases: recruitment and retention. Recruitment — in this phase the journey is optimised to get the right number of qualified applicants. Careful branding and sourcing strategies drive optimal candidate experiences. The recruitment stage includes the following steps:


Awareness: job seekers find out about open positions through ads, job board postings and/or text message ads. Employer branding plays a key role.


Consideration: job seekers start to consider about applying for the position. Here they get retargeting ads, email alerts or phone calls, and get directed to landing pages to apply for the job.

Application: job seekers become applicants and receive programmatic ads to drive their advance through the application funnel.


Retention — once job seekers become new hires, the retention stage focuses on other key metrics. These include lifetime value (LTV), quality-of-hire (QoH), time to productivity, and overall retention rates, among others.

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