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Candidate experience report reveals 4 tactics for improving your career site

If you read our recently released candidate experience report, which looked at what it’s like to apply for a job with Europe’s biggest companies, you know how important it is to offer job candidates an engaging experience.  

Many considerations go into making an incredible candidate experience, including how you showcase your company culture, your corporate values, and open positions. A genuinely standout career site, which almost every company surveyed has in one form or another, not only highlights those important features but makes the application process a breeze.  

Here’s a quick overview of the report. If you’d like to dig deeper and learn more about what it’s like to apply to Fortune 500 companies based in Europe, you can download the full report here 

Candidate Experience Report: Lessons learned 

We learned from the report, which looked at the job application process at all 133 European companies surveyed, that candidates agreed on the following key topics:  

  • The design of most of the companies’ career site interfaces kept them engaged 
  • Having to create an account to apply for a position was time-consuming and “painful” 
  • The application process is still too time-consuming and arguably discourages many applicants.  

Career websites were evaluated and rated on design, number of clicks required to find a relevant job, application complexity, and quality of applicant tracking. Results show that many companies are still not giving candidates a 21st century experience fit for virtual hiring needs, despite innovative technologies and process advancements that are available.  

How do you bring your own career site up to 2021 standards? Here are four tactics for optimizing the candidate experience on your career site. 

Tip # 1: Make a great first impression  

Career sites are often the first impression that companies can make on candidates. Companies can showcase brand image, values, and culture and promote all positions and career paths. However, our research reveals that not all companies may understand the importance of a dedicated career site to meet candidates’ needs and modern recruiting goals. 

Innovative and forward-thinking brands are adopting consumer-driven trends in designing career sites and revamping recruitment and talent engagement efforts. Many HR leaders and talent teams are adopting technologies used on social media by influencer marketers to engage with candidates and employees via user-generated video content 

According to iCIMS data, employers that use video can see up to a 75% increase in SEO traffic to their career sites. Additionally, job seekers spend up to 37% more time on career sites when video testimonials are present, and applications increase up to 34% when video testimonials are present on job descriptions. 

Tip # 2: Meet applicants where they communicate most  

As more and more candidates apply from their phone, check that your career site is accessible and optimized for mobile. All the companies surveyed in our report had a mobile version of their career page (whether a dedicated career site or a tab of job listings on the company website). 

The survey looked at two components of the career site: the look and feel and general ease of use. For the most part, candidates were more critical when it came to look and feel. Candidates tended to like the overall design of the sites that used light colors, featured images and videos, and had less text.

Tip # 3: Simplify the career site journey  

Recruiting chatbots effectively improve the candidate experience and having one may indicate whether an employer is staying on top of tech trends.  

Leading employers leverage AI-powered digital assistants to recruit anytime or anywhere, at scale, keeping talent pipelines warm by engaging candidates with automatic text campaigns.  

While only 9% of the companies surveyed leverage this technology, it can improve recruiting efficiencies and positively impact the candidate experience.

Tip # 4: Make the application process easy breezy   

Whether finding a job or filling out an application, try to make the candidate journey as smooth as possible to help get prospective candidates through the process. A one-click application can make the process efficient and positions you as an employer that’s up to date on the latest tech trends.  

The technology for auto-filling forms from a CV or LinkedIn profile is increasingly sophisticated and used by top companies. However, many employers still require applicants to create an account, which many reported as an onerous and unnecessary step in the application process. 

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You can find out more about the candidate experience on career sites in our latest reportconducted in partnership with HEC Junior Conseil. 

Download the EMEA Candidate Experience Report now

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