Improve your candidate experience including online applications

Improve your candidate experience including online applicationsWe’re covering the candidate experience this month on the COATS blog: how to improve the service you offer to your candidates and attract stronger candidates in the process.

Of course, not all candidates have their first experience with your company in your reception area. Many of them encounter you first through your online application process, and their impression of that can strongly color their impression of your company as a whole.

Online applications are a great thing to have; they save time, energy and lobby space. We’re such fans of online applications, we offer them through our partner Haley Marketing in a value-added option that integrates with COATS. However, an online app that doesn’t serve your candidates may be worse than no online app at all.

Whether you’re just setting up an online application or you’ve had one for years, take time at least twice a year to go through the online application process as a candidate would. Make sure the technology itself works and that the “you’ve completed the app” messages are properly worded and going to your candidates automatically.

If possible, ask friends who don’t work in staffing to try the process and let you know how it works for them; lots of times, phrases and steps that make perfect sense to us in the business make no sense to a job-seeker whose primary experience is in, say, warehouses or Microsoft Word.

Also check those automatic messages to make sure that the information contained in them (your locations and phone numbers) are correct, and that they include further directions for candidates to complete the application process, if necessary.

Perhaps most importantly, make sure everyone in your company knows how the online application process is supposed to work and who to contact if it isn’t working. A candidate whose application doesn’t go through isn’t going to know to contact you; he or she is most likely to tell the receptionist or placement specialist.

What kind of experiences have you had with online applications? Let us know in the comments!

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