Turning Job Site Platforms Into Candidate Experience Hubs

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Job candidates can sometimes feel inconsequential to the sourcing and hiring process. They’re frustrated by the veil of mystery that surrounds employers. They’re over the inequity that stems from subjecting themselves to intense scrutiny by companies that may not even disclose their name, much less communicate with candidates after they apply.

RELATED: Job Board Platform Content That Transforms the Candidate Experience 

You can’t change how employers interact with job seekers, but your job site platform can give candidates a reason to come back, whether or not they’re in the market for a new job.

Classic Job Boards Only Focus on Part of the Picture

Job boards have existed as a place where employment ads lived and candidates visited. What if you could adjust that dynamic and make it more equitable?

Sites that revolve around ads further the traditional dynamic that favors the employer, but there’s no reason to stay on the same track. In fact, there are plenty of reasons not to.

Candidate access is the primary selling point of any job board, according to Job Board Doctor. Give them something more and they’ll be more likely to stick around. Offer a better service and grow the job application platform into a vibrant community that serves candidates throughout every stage of their career.

Ironing out existing wrinkles for candidates is a good place to start, but that’s a little dream. Overly complicated, time-consuming or clunky processes frustrate anyone who uses them. Fixing them is a repair, not an upgrade. Dream bigger.

Be the inspirational job board that makes the candidate experience better. A community is more than a smooth application portal and a place to fill out a user profile. That can be everyone else’s goal. You have the power to be the next generation in candidate experience.

A Vibrant Job Board Gives Candidates a Reason to Stay

Think about walking past a row of shops. Which ones are more inviting? Are you enticed by a storefront that offers one thing, or do you want to step inside the shop that’s brimming with an array of useful, relevant products?

Job boards that serve as little more than ad space limit their own growth. Reinvent the platform as a hub or an environment that’s devoted to career support through every stage of the work life and you’ll have a more enticing product.

Many job boards have treated employment ads as the commodity when the opposite is true. Candidate access is the central value, so job boards can and should empower the people to nurture the cycle of coming back. If they view the platform as more than a place to find out who’s hiring, they’ll have a reason to rely on you.

Offer rich, original content about topics that job candidates find relevant. Develop tools that encourage equity for candidates. Reach out through social media. Host webinars. The possibilities for engaging candidates are only limited by your imagination.

Growing Beyond the Digital Bulletin Board Stage

Once you see the wealth of opportunity for growth, the greatest challenge might be choosing the right focus. There’s no single best answer except relevance.

Will you create original content for job candidates? If so, address what matters most, not just to job seekers, but for people at every point in their working life.

For example, an entry-level person might wonder if additional education could help them grow their career. Content that outlines a career path and highlights how to get there is worth the click.

Not every career is all that it’s cracked up to be. Some job seekers want to switch gears. How can a person with the education and experience for an IT job switch to another, such as marketing or graphic design? There’s another rich content topic worth exploration.

Content marketing helps drive more business to your job board. Great content makes you a thought leader.

Here are just a few of the limitless possibilities:

  • Career education
  • Polishing up interview skills
  • Writing a resume that hits all of the right points
  • Using social media to research employers
  • How to leave an employer review
  • How to ask for a raise
  • Signs that you’ve outgrown your job

Virtually anything that matters to a job candidate is a source for exploring great content. Post it regularly and you’ll keep candidates interested.

Job site platform

Does your site make it easy for candidates read content and apply for a job on their lunch break?

Mobile Optimization Isn’t Just Good, It’s Becoming Mandatory

Content is only one way to become a leader in the industry. Which tools do you employ that improve the candidate experience? According to Job Board Doctor, you should “look at your site through the eyes of a candidate at least once a year” to spot both the good and bad of it.

Mobile optimization, for example, is a growing concern. According to Pew Research, most job seekers use mobile at some stage of their career. Many rely heavily on mobile, and it’s trending up.

Here are a few highlights about job seekers that Pew found:

  • 94% have used mobile to research jobs
  • 87% have used a mobile device to call about a job
  • 74% send job inquiry emails using a mobile device
  • 50% have used mobile to fill out an application
  • 23% have built a resume on a mobile device

A smarter mobile strategy gives candidates what they need. Unfortunately, candidates report a less-than-perfect experience with mobile in the job search. According to same Pew Research study, candidates report the same snags time and again.

Where can your site outshine everyone else? Here are 5 mobile-specific job candidate pain points:

  1. Non-optimized content access
  2. Non-optimized content readability
  3. Requiring mobile job seekers to enter masses of text
  4. Attaching files
  5. Bookmarking individual jobs

Mobile optimization is no longer a bonus. It’s fast becoming a requirement for job boards that want to stay competitive and keep candidates engaged. All that it takes is one bad experience to send your core to another platform for good.

Technology That Offers Better Results

All of the best content in the world is only part of what makes a good job board great. The goal is still landing a great job. Emerging and improving job board network technology makes the experience better for both candidate and employer.

One of the brightest stars right now is intelligent, real-time job matching. Instead of simply screening out unqualified candidates for the employer’s benefit, data-based job matching brings ideal jobs and candidates together based on numerous factors, not just qualifications.

Done in real time and always evolving, job matching technology uses artificial intelligence that learns on the fly. As both jobs and candidates grow, job matching adjusts so that every match is as efficient and effective as it can be.

Technology makes everyone a winner. Job seekers get access to better and more relevant jobs. Employers get access to more qualified candidates. Both parties have fewer hassles and irrelevant hits to sort through.

Job Candidate Equity Also Benefits Employers

Through decades of experience, employers have learned to expect a supreme level of candidate transparency. That’s how the job seeking process has worked for generations, but it’s changing. Just as a new employee can help or harm a company, an employer can help or harm a candidate’s career and their life.

There’s a lot at stake for everyone, not just the employer. Candidate equity levels the playing field, but employers still benefit.

Although candidate access is the prime job board commodity, that knowledge doesn’t push employers down the ranks. The goal is still fairness and transparency across the board. A more equitable job board experience for candidates spills over to benefit employers.

When a job site platform treats candidates as an equally important part of the equation, employers can enjoy these benefits and many others:

  • Better quality of hire through better matching
  • Reduced churn with fewer surprises after onboarding
  • More referrals springing from the good experience
  • Improved employer branding and reputation

Happy job candidates spread the word. So do unhappy ones, says CareerArc. Their research revealed that a substantial 60% of job candidates have had a bad experience with employers while searching for a job.

What’s more? A stunning 72% of them shared their experience online, with friends or both. Yikes!

Where employers and the job hunt lack transparency, candidates are left to their own devices, both for employer research and reviews. Sites such as Glassdoor and CareerBliss have found the missing candidate experience link and leveraged it to crack open a new industry. It’s thriving.

By nature, candidate equity means employers lose some anonymity and control over the process. The veil of mystery is pulled back so that both parties can communicate fairly and honestly.

Companies that get the importance of the candidate experience have found their niche. Offer improved equity on the front side, and let their niche become part of your total strategy.

There’s no reason to look at candidate and employer equity as an adversarial relationship, not when equity helps both sides of the coin improve.

Historically, candidate sourcing and hiring have been a one-sided affair. Employers posted a job ad and remained at least partly shrouded in mystery. Candidates, on the other hand, submitted to days, weeks or even months of extensive scrutiny and waited by the phone for a call that might never come.

Those days are coming to an end, and it’s a good thing. The best job boards are rethinking the candidate experience. Employers place the ads that pay the bills. However, they place them with your job board because it promises access to bright talent. As in-demand candidates find avenues for a more equitable experience, you can bet they’ll go where the experience is better.

Want to learn more about improving your job board? Check out our webinar: The Emergence & Impact of Programmatic Advertising on Recruiting and see where technology is guiding the industry.

Carole Oldroyd

Carole Oldroyd is a writer and graphic artist living in East Tennessee. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, LegalZoom, and numerous other magazines, websites and blogs. When she isn’t writing, she can be found restoring her historic Victorian home piece by piece.

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About Carole Oldroyd

Carole Oldroyd is a writer and graphic artist living in East Tennessee. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, LegalZoom, and numerous other magazines, websites and blogs. When she isn’t writing, she can be found restoring her historic Victorian home piece by piece.

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