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How to hang on to your ideal candidates

Paul Sandusky – VP of Talent Acquisition, Ceridian

In today’s highly competitive, mobilized and ‘Uberized’ workforce landscape, there are many shifts taking place that require HR leaders to adjust their approach to talent acquisition and management. And while organizations face a handful of challenges and changes, one thing is for certain: Modern recruitment is largely candidate-driven.

Particularly in areas experiencing talent shortages, employers can’t afford to let quality candidates pass them by. Finding and onboarding professionals who are an ideal fit for the role and company is a top priority and necessity when it comes to maintaining high retention, engagement and productivity rates. 

Evaluating and enhancing the candidate experience
To assess the effectiveness of your company’s current recruitment funnel and talent acquisition pipeline, you need to take a look at some key metrics, such as:

  • Application abandonment versus completion rates
  • Candidate dropout rates
  • Time to hire
  • Open vacancies versus positions filled
  • Job offer to acceptance ratio

Any of these measurements can help point to problem areas in the talent pipeline and indicate that there is something the company is doing to hamper the candidate experience. To understand exactly what improvements need to be made, put yourself in the shoes of the candidate and get a better understanding of what type of experience they are having. Taking this a step further, you want to compare their experience against how it aligns with their expectations.

According to research from SmartRecruiters, a quarter of applicants reported having a bad experience when applying for a job. This is a major issue, because a poor candidate experience doesn’t just mean missing out on the opportunity to onboard a top performer: It can also damage the reputation of your brand and prevent others from applying in the future.

Rather than exhausting yourself chasing after a certain applicant, a much more efficient approach would be to make changes to become an organization that your ideal candidate is automatically drawn to. Of course, this is easier said than done. But the good news is that there are plenty of strategies you can implement to enhance the applicant experience, thereby reducing the likelihood of applicant dropout or abandonment and increasing the odds of hanging on to your ideal candidates, such as the following:

  • Mobilize: With so many job seekers looking for employment opportunities on the go and from their smartphones, having a site, application page or anything else they may try to access that doesn’t work on their screen or fit this functionality is useless and ineffective. Your career and job site need to be accessible and optimized for mobile.
  • Condense applications: According to Recruiter, less than 6 percent of candidates finish an application if they have to answer over 50 questions. Furthermore, the top reason fueling application abandonment is the amount of time it takes to finish it. In fact, the source revealed, if more than 15 minutes are needed to finish the application, completion rates plummet by a whopping 365 percent. Clearly, it is important to make sure your application process is quick and concise – asking only the most relevant and essential pieces of information.
  • Keep lines of communication open: One of the worst HR mistakes companies can make is failing to keep applicants informed throughout the entire process. HR professionals are constantly pulled in a million different directions and sometimes interview and hiring tasks can fall to the wayside. But it is crucial to ensure the applicant always knows you haven’t just forgotten about or ghosted them. Inconsistent communication signals a lack of professionalism.

By focusing on methods to improve the candidate experience, businesses will be better positioned to not only attract but retain top performers and ideal applicants.

Paul Sandusky

As Ceridian’s Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Paul is responsible for leading a team that finds and keeps super stars for all North American business units.  Prior to joining Ceridian, Paul was Senior Vice President of Operations for Dayforce (acquired by Ceridian in 2012) and was responsible for Implementation, Support, and HR.  Before co-founding Dayforce in 2009 Paul held leadership positions at a number of enterprise software companies and System Integrators including 5 years with Arthur Andersen Business Consulting.  Paul has an Economics degree from the University of Guelph.

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