Crafting the ideal candidate experience to recruit top talent

Thomas Dorynek ,   Manager People Advisory Services @EY

Thomas Dorynek, Manager People Advisory Services @EY


Today, talent acquisition uses the same techniques as a sales department. There are not only targets - hiring quotas - but also intensive communications campaigns using various channels, including social media. The communications behind recruitment is more important today than ever before. On a market at war for the best talent, social recruiting is one way to connect with and attract potential candidates.

Take high-tech companies who scoop up young graduates at the start of their careers. These companies are looking to attract top talent.

In order to map the perfect candidate experience, let’s put ourselves in the shoes of a young grad.

Brad is about to finish his degree from a top university and he is seeking an entry-level position. But where should he be applying? He already knows which type of environment he would like to work in. The dream would be to join a high-tech company. Brad starts by making an extensive list of the “best ranked” high-tech companies in the locations he is interested in. Once he has narrowed it down to a shortlist of 10 companies, he decides to take the leap and prepare his applications.

Let’s take a step back. What is most important here for a high-tech company? To be present on that short list.
Next question: how to make this happens?

In this particular example, there are many factors that can enter into consideration for Brad, ranging from product/service offerings, employees advantages, company values, etc. Nonetheless, to make it to this list, organisations need to spark the interest of a candidate and to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Crafting the ideal candidate experience requires a customer mindset, supported by technology.
Here are the four areas that companies can further explore:

  1. User Interface - The company’s website and the career page are key. This is the first impression that will stick in a candidate’s mind. An old-fashioned company page that doesn’t fit today’s standard (i.e. flat design, mobile responsive) will automatically have a negative impact on potential candidates perception. Every website visitor could one day convert into either a client or an employee. From a company’s perspective, the challenge lies here: the first impression, how to turn potential curious talents into candidates.
  2. Communication - Besides the website, social media plays a vital role. Today, it’s not about being present on social media, but it’s about breathing social media. It’s about getting under the skin of your future workforce by being present on the same platforms as they are. If we look at recruiting millennials, Snapchat is a great example.
  3. Technology - Many technologies on the market can enhance the candidate experience. Next to typical HR systems, there are numerous high-tech offerings that can be blended. The HR tech market is disrupting the HR delivery model. For instance, chatbots (on the condition that they have been well tested!) can interact with potential candidates. Some applications also allow candidates to check if they would be a good fit for the company based on their culture and values.
  4. Human Capital - Last but not least, employees! Company brand ambassadors are only the beginning. Organisations need to deeply involve their current employees in their candidate experience strategy. For example, offering candidates the opportunity to have an informal chat with a current employee before entering the recruitment process can help them get to know the company from the inside.

Bottom line - it’s about finding your right formula: leveraging existing technologies, but also capitalising on your current employees.

More to read