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The candidate experience should be a high priority to companies today with the increasingly competitive labor market. The candidate experience constitutes every interaction that a company has with a candidate during the entire recruiting marketing and hiring process.

According to CareerArc “Nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, and 72% of those candidates shared that experience online or with someone directly.” Therefore, it is important that companies keep the candidate experience top of mind at all times and keep yourself in the job seekers shoes with every step of the recruiting and hiring process.

In November 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the national unemployment rate declined to 4.6%. With the lower unemployment rate this puts the candidate back in the driver’s seat which gives the candidate a wide variety of career opportunities to choose from when seeking a new job. One bad candidate experience with your company can make a top candidate not apply for any open positions with your company in the future.

Here are some important areas to focus on during the recruiting and hiring process.


Communication is probably the single most important aspect of the entire candidate experience throughout the recruiting and hiring process. Good communication throughout the entire recruiting and hiring process is key from the recruiting marketing to the final interview to the last step of making an offer or rejection is essential for the candidate to walk away with a positive experience. It is essential that your top candidates know where they are at in the recruiting process therefore a Hiring Manager needs to be consistent with their  communications. Once candidates have been phone screened let them know if they are moving on in the recruiting process to the next step of an in-person interview. If you have decided not to move forward with a candidate, politely send them an email letting them know that they are no longer being considered for the role and thank them for their interest in the company. Some companies will have multiple rounds of in-person interviews which will take weeks to facilitate the interview process so communicate the next steps after each interview if the candidate will be passed along to the next interview. One big mistake that many companies will make is not to follow-up with a candidate once they have reached the stage to the final interviews. This lack of communication will definitely leave a bad impression on the candidate in which they may no longer have an interest in working for your organization in the future. Remember that candidates are heavily invested once they get to the interview phase and the candidate’s time is valuable in which some candidates are taking time off of work to pursue this new career opportunity.

Positive candidate experienceOnce the candidate has been considered qualified for the role and is seriously being pursued by the organization you should make sure that you send the candidates customized emails. Communicate clearly as to what stage in the recruiting process they are in and always personalize the message.

Candidate Interactions

Each interaction that the company has with a candidate is very important and one bad interaction can leave a lasting negative impression. In the age of social media bad reviews spread faster than good reviews. Each candidate interaction over the phone and in-person is key to a positive candidate experience. Some candidates may have negative experiences if they are not greeted warmly by the receptionists, or if they are left waiting in the lobby too long before the interview, or if the Manager was distracted and not very attentive during the interview. Therefore, every company should think about these small things during the candidate recruiting process and ensure that every touch with the candidate is professional, timely and positive.

Candidate Drop Off

Every company has their unique recruiting process. Some companies recruiting process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to several months depending upon how many interviews, assessments, skill tests and background checks the candidate must withstand. Typically the candidate drop off can be anywhere from 60% to 90%. This will depend largely on how long the recruiting process takes, timely communication during the recruiting process and the number of people in your candidate pool. Also keep in mind that top candidates are in huge demand so they will not stay on the job market for long. If you have a large candidate pool expect that the drop off rate will be fairly significant. It is imperative that your company implements a streamlined recruiting process that takes a candidate seamlessly through the process in a reasonable amount of time.

Companies will invest a lot of time and resources recruiting throughout the year to meet the goals and objectives of the company. Lastly, here are a few recruiting statistics from that your company should consider when developing and streamlining the recruiting process. On average it will take 27 working days for a company to make a new hire. Keeping this in mind will help you plan accordingly for each role that you may need to hire for. When it comes to candidate experience 66% of candidates believe that all interactions with current employees are the best way to get insight into a company. Therefore, every touch that the candidate has with a potential employee should be positive because it will leave a lasting impression and will affect your employer brand and reputation.

Technology has drastically changed every aspect of recruiting in today’s job market.The social media revolution has bought many changes to the job search process of today. In the past the resume was the single focus for hiring managers in the recruiting process from the screening, to the phone interview, to the face to face interview.  Today social recruiting has become very prevalent among recruiters and human resource professionals alike.

LinkedIn and your resume both highlight you as a person and tell the world who you are but in very different ways. LinkedIn is used for multiple purposes but a resume can be used for one single purpose. So let’s examine how LinkedIn can be used more effectively in a job search over a resume.

Linkedin v resumes

Broader Audience for Your LinkedIn Profile vs. Your Resume

A resume is distinctly used for people who are looking for a new job. Normally a candidate will submit a resume to apply for a job and chances are your resume may never be viewed by the hiring manager if you are not selected as a viable candidate for the open position. However, LinkedIn is used for multiple reasons such as job searching, networking, connecting with new contacts, publishing articles, posting information, sales people communicating with potential prospects, recruiters reaching out to passive candidates, gathering information from industry leaders and many other uses.

According to the Pew Research Center 25% of adults use LinkedIn which is 22% of the entire adult population. LinkedIn is the only major social media platform in which usage rates are highest among the age group of 30 – 49 years old. With this social media platform 32% of users are employed compared to 14% of users who are not employed.  Therefore, the reach of LinkedIn users are vastly greater than the number of people a job seeker will send a resume to and who may view your resume posted online. LinkedIn will give you greater exposure than a resume ever will.

Professional vs. Social

A resume is a formal document that is professionally written to highlight a person’s employment history and past accomplishments. Your resume is a simple text document that is tightly formatted to highlight STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) bulleted points. However, LinkedIn is considered a business social site which allows a person to highlight more than just your skills and work experience. This format is less formal and more personable. On LinkedIn a person may highlight their accomplishments and skills by including media links on both your profile and positions. A person might include a portfolio, a professional presentation, a PDF e-book, pictures, links and videos to highlight your talent and work product.

Past vs. Present

A resume is a one to two page document of your professional history, skills, experience and career highlights. A resume shows your job history and past accomplishments. By comparison a LinkedIn profile is a person’s present and future professional life.  A LinkedIn profile consists of many more sections such as your career summary, experience, education, skills & endorsements, recommendations, honors & awards, groups, volunteer work and more. Status updates are part of your profile and a person can update their profile daily which will organically grow your profile each time you add a new skill, a new job, receive an endorsement, share information, and engage in a discussion and other activities on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Profile Builds Relationships and Continuously Grows

By using LinkedIn regularly you are able to build relationships with people through your daily interactions and discussions. LinkedIn allows you to connect with people in your industry of business and also connects you with group members who share the same interests or profession. A resume just sits on a desk or the inbox of a hiring professionals email. However, with your LinkedIn profile each time you post an update it is shared with all of your first-degree connections. These updates will put you in front of an audience repeatedly which is what candidates need when looking for a new career opportunity. Your status updates can now appear on your Twitter feed which is one more avenue for exposure when looking for a new job. In addition, to these updates you can include links to articles, videos, websites as well as pictures.

Recruiters and human resource professionals now practice using LinkedIn once they receive your resume and may be interested in pursuing you as a potential candidate. They venture onto the social site to gain more information about a candidate’s personality to determine if they would like to initiate a phone screen with you. Lastly, with LinkedIn a person can separate themselves from the competition better than using a resume. The LinkedIn profile will allow a person to demonstrate and articulate what value you can bring to an organization and why you can become a valuable addition to the team.

broadcast drawingWant to know more about the changing world of recruiting and hiring? Check out our Webinar series, where you will learn to take complete control of the 6-Step Hiring process that defines who fills that next open seat. 

Social recruiting is becoming increasingly prevalent with companies, surpassing the use of traditional recruiting. Social recruiting is defined as recruiting candidates by using social media platforms. Popular social media sites that are used for recruiting include LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Branchout, Viadeo and XING. These social sites can be used to effectively source out candidates.

So the big question is why should recruiters use social recruiting in addition to traditional recruiting? One of the biggest reasons is the enormous reach that social media has today. According to Statista Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the top three social media platforms today. Facebook has 936 million daily users, Twitter has 300 million monthly active users and LinkedIn has 364 million members.

According to a study done by Jobvite here is the breakdown of the number of jobseekers using social media platforms for their job search activities.


Other important reasons to use social recruiting along with  traditional recruiting is social recruiting can focus on multiple goals at one time as traditional recruiting has only a single focus. In addition, there are multiple benefits that social recruiting will provide for an organization that traditional recruiting will not.

Social Recruiting Benefits:

1.       Find Quality Candidates

Social recruiting will allow you to connect with the potential candidate and get to know them better through social media. For example the type of content and tweets that the potential candidate posts will give you a glimpse of the candidates personality, interests, industry knowledge, etc. This will give the recruiter some foresight to see if the candidate may be a good fit with the company culture.

2.       Build a Great Company Brand

Social recruiting can build your company brand and foster a great reputation.  Twitter will allow you to boost your brand visibility by engaging with jobseekers through tweets and post positive information about the company which will promote a good reputation.  On Twitter your company can share links from your company blog which will provide great insight to the jobseeker on your company culture and industry news. Facebook can provide the candidate the opportunity to see how you interact with customers regarding your products and services. LinkedIn can provide the potential candidate the opportunity to actively participate in industry group discussions which will give them great visibility to recruiters.  A person who is social media savvy can be an attractive candidate to a company which the company can envision the potential candidate helping the company brand by contributing to sharing posts and spreading the word about the company’s philanthropy and company initiatives that affect the industries they work in and communities they serve.

3.       Help Establish The Company Mission / Promote Company Culture

Social recruiting can bring additional benefits to your organization by helping establish the company mission and promote your company culture. Experienced and educated job seekers tend to place a high importance on a company’s mission. Therefore, if you want to attract the best talent your company mission must be attractive and compelling for a job seeker to want to join your team. The job seeker also must feel like they will fit in well with your company culture. The potential employee will want to feel comfortable in an environment in which they are able to thrive in and successfully contribute to fulfilling the company goals.

What is the future of social recruiting? With social networking being increasingly prevalent users have become both consumers and content producers which will create a higher level of engagement between users and companies. With this higher level of engagement companies and recruiters will need to provide more robust company profiles along with employment opportunities online. To be successful with this new form of recruiting companies and recruiters will have to increase their online presence. This will change your recruiting strategy tremendously. Recruiters will need to switch to an ongoing commitment to recruiting instead of sporadic recruiting practices. This will catapult many recruiters into an entirely new era of recruiting which will change the way you approach recruiting forever.