Every job seeker goes through a series of important application touch points with a potential employer. From initial awareness of a company or brand, through the application process and onboarding, and finally into productive employment. The job seeker journey is one of the most universally valuable frameworks in recruitment. It is used by hiring professionals to better understand the behaviors of job candidates, optimize processes and ensure that top talent is not lost somewhere along the way.
The job seeker journey framework gives recruiters helpful context for the individuals who apply to and interact with their organization. Data that comes from this framework delivers behavioral insights, which can then be used to improve and refine the hiring process.
Below are several practical steps that recruiters can follow to get the most from the job seeker journey. If recruiters already use a Unified Management platform or DSP, data from the job seeker journey is probably already being collected and analyzed. Then, it’s only a matter of applying it to improve specific areas of recruitment.
The job seeker journey: General advice for using the framework
Before hiring organizations can begin to look at individual aspects of the job seeker journey, they should first examine the overall framework as it relates to their brand. The purpose of doing this is to ensure that job seekers transition as smoothly as possible between stages.
This is achieved through consistency in branding, tone and application steps. Job seekers typically interact with an average of 6-8 touchpoints for a given company, and it is consistency that builds trust and familiarity throughout these touchpoints. Consistency also sets expectations for the user/candidate experience early on.
The job seeker journey: 3 ideas by stage
Once consistency is established, recruiters can look toward making more specific improvements in the job seeker journey.
Stage: Brand awareness
Idea: Optimize job posting
Active job seekers often begin their search on a job board, entering a keyword related to their location, skill set or ideal position. This action is a crucial first touchpoint with a potential employer, during which companies have a chance to stand out with informative and attractive job posts. Passive job seekers may not follow through with a deliberate search, but they are still reachable through various channels if presented with the right message.
Recruiters should prioritize the creation of job posts that get desired results – for both active and passive job seekers. This means researching how typical applicants might be reached, what they look for in a job ad and how other employers position themselves when advertising similar roles.
Every component of a job ad should be carefully crafted, including job title (the most important), job description, location, call to action (CTA) and destination URL landing page. It should not overwhelm with information, nor leave out crucial details. Every aspect should serve a role in funneling a candidate through to the next stage: job consideration.
Stage: Job consideration
Idea: Optimize landing/application page
After viewing an interesting and relevant job ad, a potential candidate usually clicks on the CTA and lands on an application page. This page should maintain the same branding and messaging as the initial job ad in order to avoid confusion or loss of trust among candidates. Application pages should be short, straight to the point and simple to complete. Many companies who ignore these important factors risk losing valuable talent before having a chance to meet them face-to-face.
Stage: Application process
Idea: Automate hiring steps
When a job seeker successfully applies to an open position, it’s important for the hiring company to move quickly. Ideally, a candidate would receive instructions for next steps while the application is still fresh in their mind. Improving recruitment velocity (# of applicants multiplied by the % conversion rate, divided by time period) can have a major impact on the effectiveness of post-application stages – including interviews, evaluations and negotiations.
Recruiters should consider using automation for routine tasks in the application process stage, including interview scheduling, background checks and case study administration.
Bottomline: Recruiters can use the job seeker journey framework to gain valuable insights for improving the hiring process.
At each stage of the job seeker journey, candidate behaviors produce valuable data. Over time, the insights extracted from this important framework help to inform and improve recruitment strategies. Recruiters can speed up the process, and thus increase recruitment velocity, by using data aggregation tools such as Unified Management software or DSPs.
As hiring teams increase their focus on consistency across all touch points and stages of the job seeker journey, they’ll likely notice improvements in hiring success and productivity. This gives them a key advantage in making good hires within a competitive recruitment landscape.
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