The Applicant Experience: Happy Campers?

There's been a lot of blog chatter about Web 2.0 and talent management software recently. While I agree with the Human Capitalist, Systematic HR and Perceptive HR Technology, that HCM needs to get on the schtick for HR and the end users and go beyond UI, but no one's talking about the applicant experience.

I believe that there are those savvy recruiters and lines managers and HR who get the power of social networking tools when it comes to attracting, hiring, and retaining talent, but the majority still doesn't. In fact I've heard from ATS vendors that many companies in manufacturing, retail, hospitality and healthcare don't know what an ATS is.

I don't have hard numbers on this, so maybe it's exaggerated, but the point is that social networking tools are still far from being globally adopted. Sure Facebook may have millions of members, but how high is daily utilization for recruiting? There are companies that make it work to their employment brand benefit, though.

The applicants do get it, though. Today's jobseekers are a diverse and savvy lot, using the wealth of technology resources available to find and apply for jobs. Organizations need to be creative and compelling in their approach to woo and secure top candidates. The standard, static career site will no longer do. You need to understand the world your candidates live in, how they use technology, and why that affects how you build your siteā€”and your brand.

Applicants are used to building relationships online; they expect more than one-way communication with the organizations they'd like to work for. They also expect honest and engaging job descriptions, and a real feel for what the job would be like at your company. They may be looking for authentic blog postings from your employees or day-in-the-life video tours. But sadly many companies (and vendors) are not yet meeting these expectations.

If you're interested, there's a great Webinar tomorrow (Tuesday, June 10) titled Best Practices in Talent Acquisition and the Applicant Experience where Forrester Research will highlight how important the applicant experience is and how quality talent acquisition processes require a mix of structure and innovation.

Posted by Kevin Grossman

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