image of spotlight on text on article published 2015-07-07

What does it take to reach that next-gen candidate? It all boils down to keeping up with candidates’ digital expectations.

By Ivan Casanova, SVP of Product and Marketing, Jibe

What a drag…

Recently, The Wall Street Journal’s Josh Zumbrun dove into an unsettling trend: the growing length in time-to-fill open job positions. His article frequently cited a staggering statistic published in the DHI Hiring Indicators report which showed that as of April this year, it takes almost double the length of time to fill an open position as it did just several years ago—with the average job left in vacancy for around 27.3 days before it is filled. Another concerning statistic, this one coming from Glassdoor, is showing that the average interview process time in the U.S. is also increasing, with interview processes taking 22.9 days in 2014, nearly double just a few years prior.

While these numbers attest to the fact that the talent war is heating up, they’re a bit disconcerting for recruiters, employers, and job seekers alike. This wait period and high number of vacancies could eventually have crippling effects, damaging both business and economic performance. As disappointing as these statistics may be, there is no reason the hiring process has to continue to take so long. Best to toss aside the traditional methods of recruiting talent (as they are evidently failing us) and turn to a more modern approach.

Finding the right HVAC contractors to work with when you are having a problem with your air conditioning is essential to make sure that you experience the best service. When you are feeling uncomfortable and hot, you might be more prone to make a poor decision on whom to hire because you are in a hurry. When you are in a hurry, we recommend slowing down a little and taking the time to make sure the company you work with meets the following criteria.

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It’s quite an exciting time in the recruiting industry. As more candidates than ever are conducting their search on the Internet, today’s leading companies are starting to pour resources into the candidate experience on their careers site. Candidate experience is a crucial but often neglected element of the hiring process. Optimizing that experience for job seekers will not only increase candidate conversions, but it will also speed up the time it takes to fill those positions. This is what will set companies apart in the level of success they achieve in talent acquisition.

But what does it take to reach that next-gen candidate? It all boils down to keeping up with candidates’ digital expectations. Traditional Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are systems of record—not engagement. However, there are a number of elements to weave into existing ATS frameworks to achieve successful candidate engagement, meet digital expectations, and get professionals through the apply flow faster.

First, one the career site, it helps for talent acquisition teams to think of job seekers as consumers: make it easy and enjoyable for them so they want to “buy.” A major key to this is having a responsive design that can adapt to any device platform or screen size. This gives a candidate the ability to apply and search for jobs on the go, or however best suits him or her. Buyers need options—so do candidates. Additionally, optimizing design of the site goes hand in hand with optimizing the actual apply flow. Just like a consumer purchase on a retail website, delivering a consumer-quality experience means getting the candidate from the initial site visit through the apply flow without frustration.

Another element of superior candidate engagement is to work in the social element. Options for job seekers to connect to an actual social network will cast a wider net to the number candidates who become aware of the job openings. It also encourages referrals, allowing others to see if they share social connections to people who either work in the same company with the open job or people who work in the industry in general and apply. An integrated talent network also serves to keep passive job seekers in the loop, so when they are looking for a new job, they are already aware of what options they have and which directions to move toward. This serves to develop a strong talent pipeline.

Finally, just like a consumer, the candidate also needs some encouragement and reengagement during the process. That’s why if a candidate is provided with the ability to list elements of what types of work and positions they seek, recruiters can use that data to send personalized email notifications or job alerts when relevant openings become available.

It’s important for these elements to be fully and strategically worked into the recruitment approach and process. Each element helps to speed up the time it takes to sell a candidate on a job. Streamlined processes, social integration, and personalization work on every level to get someone from start to finish faster—preventing the job application process from dragging on and being such a drag.

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