A candidate's journey toward joining your workforce isn't always straightforward. There are several interconnected phases. During each recruiting phase, candidates interact with your company on different levels - offline and online. These interactions, also known as candidate journey touchpoints, make up the overall candidate experience.
Understanding a candidate's journey touchpoints is crucial for creating a positive experience throughout the hiring process. But the question is:
How do you identify these candidate journey touchpoints?
That is where we come in. This article explores the different stages and touchpoints of a candidate's journey, their importance to your hiring process, and how to map them. Let's get right into it.
What Are the General Stages of a Candidate's Journey
Your candidate's journey encompasses a multi-step process. The first four phrases are centered around the candidates. Meanwhile, the last two lean more toward hiring managers. They are:
Awareness of your brand is the beginning of every candidate's journey. In this phase, candidates get acquainted with your company and the open position via a job ad, social media post, referral, or a random web search. They begin learning about the company's products, services, and culture.
Once the candidate becomes aware of your company, they consider whether they would like to work there. Candidates will dig beyond surface-level information and research your company. They want to understand your employer's brand, work culture, values, financial status, and leadership style.
In this research, candidates may follow up on external and internal company reviews. Real-life testimonies help build expectations or reservations.
In this phase, candidates weigh their findings and contemplate options. They decide whether to pursue opportunities with your company or put their effort elsewhere. They only get to this stage if your employer branding strategy is successful enough to pique their interest.
The application phase is where the fun begins. In most circumstances, this is the first point of direct contact for candidates and hiring managers. Candidates become potential employees, and hiring managers should start treating them as such.
Selection (Screening and Interviews)
Now, the ball has been swatted into the hiring manager's court. It's time for them to peruse the applications received, analyze their portfolio and ability to fit the position, and take an interest in exploring specific candidates further.
Once employers have decided, they enter into the final recruitment phase - making the offer. There's no guarantee that candidates will accept the offer. But if you navigate the previous phases fluently, you have a pool of talent you can revert to.
What Are Candidate Journey Touchpoints?
Now that we know the phases of the candidate's journey, we can discuss candidate journey touchpoints. Candidate journey touchpoints are interactions candidates have with a company when job-seeking. Every interaction, online or offline, big or small, direct or indirect, is a touchpoint. And they can vary from stage to stage across your hiring process. So, it is your responsibility to discover these touchpoints every step of the way, as it's imperative for connecting with your potential employees.
Furthermore, touchpoints determine, to a large extent, a candidate's chances of becoming an employee. That is why it is necessary to ensure candidates enjoy a positive experience during the hiring process. Other reasons for knowing these touchpoints are:
Helps you understand your candidates' needs and concerns at different points in the hiring process.
They help with decision-making, which is a vital factor in the hiring process.
Boosts candidate experience while also positioning your employer brand in a positive light.
Allows you to structure and streamline your hiring process and resources in the best possible ways.
How to Map Your Candidate Journey Touchpoints
Mapping your candidate journey touchpoints involves visualizing a candidate's job-seeking journey from start to finish. No one company has the same hiring process. So to successfully map your candidate journey touchpoints, you need a team of experienced recruiting personnel who understand your hiring system.
Here are a few steps to get started:
1. Map Out Your Hiring Process: Understanding your recruitment workflow is the first step to mapping your candidate journey touchpoints. Start by outlining the steps in your hiring process, then consider at what points the candidate interacts (directly or indirectly) with the company. You can use the general stages of a candidate's journey to help map your process.
Afterward, outline the resources utilized during each stage of your hiring process (time, money, people, technology, etc.). Having all these mapped out gives you a clearer picture of your hiring process and all it entails.
2. Identify Your Touchpoints: Each step of your hiring process may have one or more touchpoints, and it's important to note that the same touchpoint could happen more than once. Identifying these touchpoints beforehand assists in planning how and what you'd like to communicate to the candidate at different stages of their journey.
3. Identify Candidate's Needs at Each Stage: Candidates have different needs at each stage of the hiring process. Identifying and predicting these needs helps build a mode of communication that is efficient, effective, and helpful.
For example, suppose the candidate is in the selection phase of the candidate journey, and your first round of selections will come after phone interviews. Here, you can anticipate that candidates will need to know
which employee is calling and when
what the purpose of the call is
potential questions or information they should have on hand
You can manually send mass emails to candidates or use automation to meet this need.
4. Mode of Communication: After identifying candidates' touchpoints and needs, it is time to determine the best way to interact with them. Out of the three modes of communication (verbal, written, and visual) used in most recruiting processes, you must discover which is best for candidates at each stage.
Do you need to communicate directly or indirectly? Or both? Are human elements required? Will personalized messages be more effective, or will a more generic take appeal to a much larger audience? Answering these questions contributes to your ability to interact with candidates effectively at each hiring phase.
5. Generate a List of Channels: Candidates use several communication channels at different stages of their job-hunting journeys. For example, candidates may use social media, career pages, or third-party sites during the awareness stage. Meanwhile, phone calls, synchronous and asynchronous videos, and emails may come in handy during application, selection, and hiring. Your job is to identify and generate a list of these channels and the stages they are most suitable for.
Knowing the different stages of your candidates' journey and their touchpoints is key to understanding your recruitment framework from their perspective. It also helps identify which hiring metrics you can use to track your process's effectiveness. However, knowing is not enough. It is just as important that you use the information gathered to improve your hiring process, highlighting each phase and touchpoint.
Finally, the global job marketplace is becoming candidate-centric. Candidates need to feel safe, secure, and informed at every stage. So, in whatever you do, prioritize creating a positive candidate experience from the first to the last stage of your recruiting process.