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Social Media Can’t Fix Your Broken Candidate Experience

Fix Broken Candidate Experience | Haley Marketing Group
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The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page 
[InSights] Social Media Can’t Fix Your Candidate Experience


Brad Bialy: Matt, this topic has been on my mind for a while now, so much so that I’m actually thinking about turning it into my next speaking pillar here at Haley Marketing Group.

Note: Join Brad Bialy at the Colorado Staffing Association’s Annual Conference for his presentation on “The Foundation: 7 Ways Digital Marketing Can Fix Your Broken Candidate Experience”

Brad Bialy: For two years, I’ve spoken for about 15 staffing associations and organizations sharing The Road Map: A Step-by-Step Guide to Social Media Success. And what I’ve come to learn is social media isn’t a silver bullet. It’s not a perfect solution, and more importantly, social media is a tactic. It’s part of a bigger marketing mix.

Brad Bialy: Ultimately, it’s a tool that can lead to more applications, but if your candidate experience is subpar then the best social media strategy will prove to be ineffective. Matt, I want to turn it to you. From a recruitment marketing standpoint, let’s break down the candidate experience and what we’re talking about when we say the candidate experience.

Matt Lozar: It’s a big question, Brad.

Brad Bialy: I expect a big answer.

Defining the Candidate Experience

Matt Lozar: Let’s just think about from social media, so you post a job, you post a piece of content. Prospect, candidate, clicks on it … or candidate, we’re focusing on the recruitment side, heads over to your website and then really ends up to your application. I think that’s the candidate experience where we really want to focus on. And we talk about some of the peripheries a little bit, but when they get to that application, what’s it like? Is it easy? Is it not easy? Does it take a long time to fill out the application? Is it easy to find the application? I guess would even be the first part is, how easy is it for someone to go to your website and find that application?

Brad Bialy: I think it starts with you, the listener, going through and trying to apply to one of your jobs, both on desktop and mobile, and physically timing yourself on how long it takes to complete that application and whether or not you even can get through the entire application on mobile and desktop.

Brad Bialy: For me, a candidate experience comes through exactly as Matt’s saying, can a candidate apply to your job how they want to apply? Not how you want to make them apply, but how they want to apply. So if you’re getting them to apply on desktop, but all that they have is an iPhone or an Android device, is it a challenging process? Do you require an application that also attaches a resume and a cover letter? Well, if an individual is on their mobile device, do they have their resume on their phone? If not, how does that process change? Does the candidate get frustrated?

Brad Bialy: You know, Matt, I was talking to Matt Swistak from our team a couple of weeks ago here. We were discussing a client and we were going through their candidate experience and going through how an applicant would actually apply to one of the jobs on their job board. And the desktop experience was great, very, very easy to apply, but then I tried on my phone. Physically could not apply on my mobile device. What we found is that 57% of job board traffic was coming from mobile devices.

Matt Lozar: That’s a problem.

Brad Bialy: 57% of their possible candidates could not apply to the job that they wanted to apply for. Where do you think those candidates went, Matt?

Matt Lozar: The guy down the street or the gal down the street.

Brad Bialy: Absolutely. They found another staffing firm where they could apply on their terms. Candidate experience is everything. Social media is a critical tactic to drive more traffic back to your jobs, back to your content, back to your homeland and your website. But if the candidate experience is lacking, then the greatest social media strategy can’t fix that.

Matt Lozar: And let’s take this to that next step.

Brad Bialy: Please do, Matt.

The Mobile-First Approach to Social Media

Matt Lozar: Most people are viewing social media on mobile devices. So to kind of loop in the beginning of that segment, I mean, I don’t have the number off the top of my head, but I feel like 90% probably of social is consumed on a mobile device. Where if they’re then going to your website to apply for a job, you want to make it as easy as possible. And it’s very interesting, looking at this from the recruitment marketing world in staffing, that application is very short and sweet.

Brad Bialy: MarketingLand says about 80% of social media is done on a mobile. (source)

Matt Lozar: Close enough. It’s what’s the process to get them to apply quickly? They could be at the bus stop, they could be in line at the grocery store, they could be anywhere. What can you do to grab that information quickly? And one candidate process that was very interesting was, one of the clients we’re actually running programmatic advertising for, they’re using Indeed Apply. So just to explain quickly, if your job is on Indeed, your application could be two different ways. It can be Indeed Apply, where somebody just clicks on it and it simply fills in their information from their Indeed application or their Indeed profile. Or it could send them back to your company’s website.

Matt Lozar: So for this company, they’re using Indeed Apply. The recruiter would receive that email of Matt Lozar, Buffalo, New York, interested in a warehouse job. It’s then on the recruiter to follow up with that interested candidate to fill out the full application. And in a really challenging market, right? Unemployment, lowest it’s been in 50 years, we have to make it simple in that capture process. What can you do to get that information quickly? And then it’s a challenge. I understand there’s a lot of people that are no shows, ghosting interviews, ghosting applications, ghosting day one on the job. But what can you do just to get that candidate experience quickly and then let your recruiters go to work?

Brad Bialy: I know we’re going kind of long here, Matt. We try to keep our segments, you know on that seven, eight-minute mark, but I do want to mention one more thing. Candidate experience doesn’t end when the candidate clicks submit an application. In a lot of ways, that’s just the beginning, right? Now the recruiter has to onboard that individual, hopefully, follow up. Think about what your team does as a process when they receive an application. Do they respond to every single application? Are they physically emailing every applicant? How long does it take for that to happen? Are they texting individuals? What is the process like after somebody submits an application and says, “Hey, I want to work for you in this role.”? What is their experience like? Is it positive or negative?

Brad Bialy: Really think through that and, again, be honest with yourself so that you can identify where you can improve, where you can create a better candidate experience so that you can stand out from the noise and you can become the best staffing firm in your local market.

Matt Lozar: And maybe even use a secret shopper technique. It’s easy if you’re an owner of a staffing firm and say, “Hey recruiter, what are you doing today? What’s your process?” Of course, they’re going to give you the answer you want to hear. We’ve been conditioned since we were five-year-old to tell mom and dad what they want to hear. But can it be you? Can it be a friend, can be a family member? Maybe there’s a service out there that actually provides this, but what can you do to secret shop that entire process to get actual interaction and data and candidate experience for someone going through your staffing agency’s candidate experience and candidate application process?

Brad Bialy: Matt, I want to close out this segment just with two takeaways here, because we went at length on the topic of candidate experience.

Brad Bialy: For me, thinking through candidate experience comes through first actually applying to the job on your job board right now, on desktop and mobile. Physically set up a timer and try to apply to one of your jobs and see how long it takes. Do you get frustrated at any part of that process? And if so, what can you do to improve that?

Brad Bialy: And then to Matt’s point, consider secret shopping your process and your application process. Go through and have a friend or a family member apply to a job, and document what happens from that point forward in very objective light. Document what happens, and document also how they feel about every step in the process so you can continue to improve and stand out.


The following transcript was taken from InSights, a staffing podcast from Haley Marketing Group dedicated to providing quick-hitting takeaways on Social Recruiting, Content Marketing and Employer Branding. To listen to the episode, click play on the player above or visit the episode page 
[InSights] Social Media Can’t Fix Your Candidate Experience


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