Use the Candidate's Recruiting Experience to Find the Best Talent Think like the applicant. It will open your eyes to a new way of promoting jobs, interviewing and follow-up.

By Kes Thygesen

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


The war for talent is an ongoing battle as companies struggle to fill their open roles with qualified candidates. In face, 38 percent of the more than 41,000 hiring managers surveyed by ManPowerGroup in 2015 said they are finding it difficult to fill jobs. But maybe it's not a lack of qualified candidates in the job market that's causing this issue. Perhaps companies are failing to attract the right people. The only way to know is to step into their shoes. What do they want?

Let's take a look at how the candidate experience can be used to refine recruiting processes to give job seekers what they're looking for.

Develop a branding strategy.

The best place to start is to create an employer brand strategy, which begins with a targeted message. To get messaging right, look inward. How does the staff perceive the company as a whole? What do they think about their immediate management? Are they passionate about the product or service being provided to the customer base?

Related: How Employer Branding Can Help Your Company Be Perceived As A Great Place to Work

Conduct internal surveys to get input on working conditions, benefits, culture and leadership. Use this data as promotional material. For example, if 75 percent of the staff report being satisfied with their work and current position, share that in relevant outlets to attract top talent. After all, candidates want to work in a happy workplace.

Develop a credible brand message that accurately conveys the ins and outs. It's important to be transparent. That means sharing the strengths as well as the realities of the day-to-day. Not everything runs smoothly, and the staff isn't always beaming with smiles and excitement. Authenticity always wins over skewed promotional content.

Consider the candidate experience. When they are given a realistic preview about what the job entails and what it's like to work at the organization, they will trust the employer before applying. In fact, they may even be enthusiastic about actively searching the company regularly for an open role that best fits them.

Identify the best channels to use to spread this authentic message. For example, Facebook, LinkedIn, the company career site and job boards are some of the best bets. Use visual media, like videos and photos, to give a detailed glimpse behind the curtain.

Candidates like to read or watch stories that further the employer brand's message. Keep the theme consistent between media. For example, produce a series of short testimonial videos that showcase how higher level staff members first started with the company to demonstrate the organization's emphasis on talent mobility.

Start social recruiting.

Social recruiting is a must nowadays, and a large amount of companies agree about its effectiveness. The Global Recruiting Trends 2016 report found 47 percent of the 3,894 hiring managers surveyed say social media is the most effective employer branding tool. However, job seekers are often avid social media users and know what they like and what they hate. Refrain from spamming followers with too many job openings and repeated blog posts. Instead, focus on diversifying the content being shared. What do job seekers want to read about? What do they need to know before they pursue working at an organization?

Related: These Social Media Tips Will Make You Rethink Recruiting

A 2016 LinkedIn study found that 66 percent of job seekers want to know about a company's culture and values, and 50 percent want to know the mission and vision. Produce content that addresses these main concerns. Don't leave people guessing if they fit well in the culture or the role. Job postings and employer brand content must be clear in what is expected of new hires and how they can thrive in the organization.

Cater to repeat candidates.

Candidates may want to apply for another role down the line that better fits them. However, a bad application and interview process will turn them away. Focus on treating candidates with respect. How do job seekers want to be treated during their application and interview process? Get into that mindset and ask what a good experience looks like.

To start, communication is key. After applying for a position, candidates like to know what the next steps are. Provide them with timeframes and a clear breakdown of what they can expect to do. Also, explain in detail what the company expects from them so they know how to prepare.

Related: 3 Important Things to Know to Improve Your Candidates' Experience

If they interview and don't get the position, provide constructive feedback. What sets them apart from the new hire? What are they lacking? Could they do something better? By offering specific insights into why they weren't right for the role, companies show that they are grateful for applicants and respect the time and energy they put into pursuing a job opening.

Candidates who receive this kind of treatment are bound to submit an application in the future. Keep them in mind, and target them specifically when something opens up that fits them well. How are you using the candidate experience to attract the talent you want?

Kes Thygesen

Co-founder and head of product at RolePoint

Kes Thygesen is the co-founder and head of product at RolePoint, a complete social recruiting suite that provides unrivaled access and reach to quality job candidates.

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