Candidates Are Doing More Research Before Applying to Jobs: How to Attract Top Talent

By Beth Kempton,
January 4, 2019

Given the record-low unemployment rate, most job candidates today have the opportunity to be highly selective when it comes to making career moves. Because of this, top talent completes extensive research before applying to open roles – and if any red flags about your company, candidate experience or employee experience come up in their research, they’ll be less interested in joining your team.

When it comes to research, job seekers are interested in employee reviews, your employment brand, and more. In fact, the average job seeker reads six reviews before applying to a role, and 69 percent of candidates would reject a job offer from a company with a bad employer brand.

With job seekers increasingly researching your company before considering your open roles, how can you ensure they’re finding compelling information and, as a result, getting excited about the possibility of joining your team? We’ve outlined some tips below.

Build a Strong Employment Brand and Career Site

Most employees are always on the lookout for new job opportunities, even if they’re already gainfully employed. A recent LinkedIn report found that 90 percent of U.S. employees would be open to new job opportunities.

In today’s highly competitive, applicant-driven economy, your team needs to sell quality talent on the opportunity working for your team presents. This goes above and beyond simply salary, as top talent today is looking for far more than an exchange of time for money and you need a compelling answer to the “What’s in it for me?” question. This can be made possible through a strong employment brand and career site.

To get job seekers excited to join your team, develop a strong employment brand that encourages job seekers to apply. Your employment brand should include strong, SEO-friendly job descriptions, a compelling career site, defined career paths across departments, employee testimonials, a comprehensive list of benefits and continuous job openings.

By building and maintaining a strong employment brand, engaged applicants will see this compelling content in their initial job research and be more interested in growing their careers with your team. Your employment brand can help your company stand out from other employers and attract top candidates in today’s competitive job market. And building your best team will ultimately lead to increased efficiency, productivity and revenue.

Support a Positive Candidate Experience

Recent Hireology data found that businesses wait 10 days on average to initially review and respond to applicants. If your business did the same with customer leads, you’d likely lose business to competitors who respond quickly – so you should take a similar approach to job applicants by responding to applicants in a timely manner. By reducing the time to review applicants, your team will have a better chance of securing quality candidates and you’ll fill roles quickly and efficiently.

Beyond connecting with applicants in a timely manner, it’s key to keep candidates engaged throughout the entire hiring process. Doing so will help keep job seekers excited about joining your team, even if they’re already employed or looking into other job opportunities. To keep candidates engaged, outline each step of the hiring process so candidates know what to expect and when – and don’t leave candidates hanging between hiring steps. And consider making the hiring process easier on candidates with such technology as text messaging, and automated reference and background checks.

By supporting a positive candidate experience, not only will you keep candidates engaged – and increase the chances of top talent accepting your job offers – but candidates will also be more likely to leave positive reviews about your hiring process. And these positive reviews will help drive additional job seekers to your open roles.

Effectively Manage Employee Reviews

Since the average job seeker reads an average of half a dozen reviews before applying to any given role, it’s important for your team to track and manage employee reviews. Your hiring or HR team should regularly read reviews on Glassdoor, Facebook and other channels, and respond to each review.

When you come across a positive review about your interview process or working on your team, you can thank the candidate or employee for taking the time to review. And when you come across a negative review, you can respond letting the reviewer know you will take their feedback into consideration to improve your hiring process or overall employee experience. As candidates read through your reviews, they’ll see that you’re engaged on Glassdoor and other channels and realize your team is invested in employee satisfaction.

In addition to tracking candidate and employee reviews, your team should also be proactive in collecting candidate and employee feedback. According to a survey from Future Workplace, 78% of job seekers indicate they’ve never been asked for feedback on the candidate experience, and only 25% of employers regularly request feedback from candidates and employees.

Collecting employee feedback and encouraging employees to leave reviews presents a variety of benefits for your team, including helping to improve your hiring process and employee experience, making employees feel valued, and boosting your positive testimonials on both review sites and your own company career site.  

A strong employment brand will continue to be critical to your recruitment marketing efforts. For additional tips on improving yours, read our resource, “The Hireology Employment Brand Playbook.”




About the Author

Beth is the content strategist on Hireology’s marketing team, responsible for creating compelling blog posts, eBooks, marketing materials and other content. Her background includes five years of experience at a B2B digital marketing agency, where she crafted content for a variety of clients, including several in the HR technology space. Before beginning her career, Beth attended Loyola University Chicago, where she studied advertising and public relations.

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