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What is the ‘candidate experience’ and how do you improve it?

Your candidate experience matters when you are recruiting. A great candidate experience encourages talented people to apply for your jobs. So, what does ‘candidate experience’ mean and how can you improve it?

The candidate experience is simply the series of touchpoints a person has with your organisation during the entire recruitment process. This starts with your advert and ends with onboarding. It includes all systems, communication, media and people in the recruiting process, so it’s time to check:

  • Your employer branding
  • Website
  • Presence on jobsites
  • Any recruitment agents that you use
  • Your job advert
  • Any recruitment technology you use
  • Your application form (either online or offline)
  • All personalised communication
  • Your people

Employer branding and your candidate experience

Employer branding is slightly different from company branding. Company branding speaks to customers and prospects. It may describe your products and services and enthuse buyers. Employer branding speaks to jobseekers. It tells them why your organisation is a great place to work.

Organisations that excel at employer branding include Google, Salesforce and Starbucks. They use a mix of strategies to let jobseekers know how great they are as employers. Each year Google receives approximately 3m applications and it hires approximately 7,000 people. That is almost 430 applications for each person hired.

It pays to improve employer branding. So how do you you start?

  • Try building a page on your website devoted to the benefits of working for you.
    If you don’t tell people, they won’t know.
  • Perhaps create a video that introduces jobseekers to your people, facilities and career opportunities.
    Help people to visualise their own career with you.
  • Think about scheduling some open days to introduce people to your organisation and it culture.
    The more people who talk highly of you, the easier it is to attract talent.
  • Try publishing employee successes stories on Social Media platforms like Facebook.
    Presenting success helps people believe they can be successful too.

The options are endless when it comes to employer branding. The trick is to start somewhere.

Your website

Candidates expect to find your jobs on your website. For some people the candidate experience starts right here. Are your jobs easy to find? Are they up to date? Can they see how long each job has been open? Is there an online application form?

Some simple things to check:

  • Make sure that you have a top level navigation link to the careers section of your website.
    Navigation links like ‘Careers’, ‘Jobs’ or ‘Working for us’ reduces search time for candidates.
  • Check your jobs listing to ensure that job titles, expiry dates, salary & location info is clear.
    People like to apply for jobs that are genuinely open and pay plus location matters to them.
  • Be sure that it’s easy to find the Apply option for each job.
    If you have a jobseeker’s attention, now is the time to capitalise on that.

Tip: An Applicant Tracking System or Recruitment System like CVMinder ATS can post jobs onto your website automatically. Only live jobs are online and it comes with online application forms built in.

Expert tip: Try optimising your careers page(s) to make it more discoverable by search engines like Google. Let’s say that somebody is looking for a new carer job in Cambridge. They generally start by searching for “care jobs in Cambridge” on Google, Bing or another search engine. Using SEO techniques, a local care provider could draw more applicants by optimising its careers page for care jobs in Cambridge.

Job Boards and your candidate experience

Jobseekers often use job boards or jobsites. If you advertise your vacancies on job boards you should review the candidate experience there too.

Some job boards support branding options. That could include your logo and some images for instance. Some jobsites offer video uploads plus other styling options. More branding may come at some cost. It helps, but what you are able to do will depend on your budget.

The candidate experience includes the application process on the jobsites you use. Jobsites such as Indeed support 3 application options:

  1. Apply on the jobsite and deliver their application to you via email.
  2. Apply on the jobsite and deliver their application to your recruitment system.
  3. Redirect the applicant to your own website so that they can apply for the vacancy there.

Options 1 and 2 feel the same for the candidate. However, option 3 redirects candidates to apply for your vacancy elsewhere. That could be a web form on your website or other option on your recruitment system / Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Redirection helps you take control of the candidate experience. However, jobsites will say that redirection may cause loss of interest, reducing the number of applications. This can be true, but evidence also suggests that redirection deters fewer genuinely interested applicants. Instead, more of the less qualified applicants may drop out.

Tip: If job boards support branding, use the available options to improve the candidate experience.

Expert tip: Find a way to redirect the applicant to the specific job they are interested in, not the careers page of your website. If you redirect to your careers page the candidate may have to search for the job again.

Recruitment Agents

How does an external recruitment company or agent represent you? It may seem like a silly question, but the candidate experience is in another party’s hands. The agent commonly advertises your vacancy and speaks with applicants on your behalf. Have you ever asked a candidate how they rated their experience? Perhaps you could ask applicants the following:

  • How were they contacted by the recruitment agent and was it professional?
  • If responding to an agent advert, did that advert read well and describe the role accurately?
  • What did they learn about your organisation via the agent?
  • Did the agent encourage the applicant to consider roles with other employers?
  • Did the agent meet all of its commitments?
  • Was the applicant coached prior to an interview by the agent and, if so, how?

The agent’s role in the overall applicant experience is easily overlooked.

Tip: Ask your candidates about their experience with the recruitment agent. Identify any negatives and discuss those with the agent.

Your recruitment technology

You may have an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) already. An ATS is a recruitment system for employers. If you don’t have an ATS, should you buy one? The decision is yours, but your key goal is to ensure that your chosen technology doesn’t degrade the candidate experience.

A good ATS will post your jobs on job boards and website(s) then remove adverts automatically upon expiry. That is important for candidates because consistency between your adverts across different advertising platforms is essential. Differences between jobs on a jobsite and your website can be confusing and deter potential applicants.

Make sure that your recruitment technology is easy to use for all applicants and that you don’t introduce unnecessary technology bias. Your recruitment system should work on any device and any browser, not just the latest tech or some browsers.

The best Applicant Tracking System will ensure:

  • Anybody can use it regardless of technology choice.
  • Applications are technically easy to complete.

Your application form

Employers find themselves in regulated and non regulated industries. Regulated employers must request a lot off candidate information. That is to satisfy safeguarding and other obligations. Others can accept a CV with an optional personal statement or note of introduction.

If you do request a lot of information, you can improve the candidate experience by requesting it in stages. Ask for less information at the early stages and additional information from shortlisted candidates. That can feels less intrusive to candidates, thereby increasing the number of applications an employer receives.

Personalised communication

What is the biggest bugbear for most applicants? Never hearing back from the employer! It’s an answer we all hear across all markets.

If you don’t already, it’s maybe time to communicate with your applicants at each stage of the process. Poor communication can adversely affect the candidate experience and your employer brand.

When you do update candidates they prefer to receive personalised communication. How do you personalise your candidate communication? Rather than having one standard message for progress updates for each stage, have several variations. Think of the reasons that applicants are unsuccessful at each stage of your recruiting cycle and write a template for each of those reasons. Reasons could include:

  • Overseas applicant and you don’t sponsor them.
  • Underqualified for the role.
  • Great candidate, but not for this vacancy.
  • No relevant industry experience.
  • Stronger candidates.

A good Applicant Tracking System or Recruitment System will support as many templates as you require. Templates should automatically populate the applicant name plus other information so each message feels personalised. That saves time but really helps to improve your employer brand. You just never know who your unsuccessful applicants know and who they can influence.

CVMinder ATS and your Candidate experience

What is CVMinder ATS?

It’s an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) / Recruitment System for employers. It helps employers to manage the whole recruiting lifecycle from advertising vacancies to managing applicants. That helps employers recruit for themselves and save lots of time whilst reducing overall costs.

When applying for jobs, CVMinder ATS helps any employer to manage and improve their candidate experience. It supports applications via jobsites, organisation website(s) and other places. The applicant journey is flexible but consistent for each applicant on a job by job basis.

Applicants also gain access to the CVMinder Applicant Console so that they can update their personal information and application details. Employers benefit from controls over what information to collect and at what stage(s) of the recruitment cycle.

What is the CVMinder Candidate Console?

The CVMinder Candidate Console helps candidates to update job applications, review historical applications, accept interview requests, complete self-assessments, apply for new jobs with the employer and more. Candidates can pre-prepare key sections an application to make the process faster and more convenient.

We made some changes to improve the candidate experience

Our candidate console requires universal access. Candidates use lots of different technologies to apply for jobs and manage their applications. Using a specific smart phone, desktop computer or other device should not introduce a hidden bias or discrimination when applying for jobs. Introducing an App could require the latest Operating System. That is an issue we wanted to avoid.

The improved CVMinder Candidate Console works on any browser on any device. General improvements have also made it more mobile friendly. General layout and candidate instructions are now clearer, as is the contact information given for the employer. Eliminating unintended technology bias has helped to improve the candidate experience for everyone.

If you want to know more about improving your candidate experience or how to improve recruiting with with CVMinder ATS then contact us to find out more.

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Control your applicant journey

Manage the applicant information you receive and when you receive it. A recent CVMinder ATS update now makes it even easier to control your applicant journey.

Most of the time you collect the same information from each job applicant, regardless of the role being advertised. The information you need could be just some personal details and a CV. It could be more extensive with criminal conviction declarations, referees and much more. Information you collect is mostly the same, but it can change depending upon the role you are hiring for.

The applicant journey isn’t only about the information you collect, but also when you collect it. You may prefer the applicant to give less detail at the start of the process then more detail over time. With CVMinder ATS, you choose when information is requested and received.

Why collect information in stages? Some believe a lighter start can increase the number of people who apply. Numbers are definitely important, but others believe that making the start too easy increases the number of junk applicants. That can create unnecessary work. Whichever you prefer, CVMinder ATS makes it easy.

CVMinder ATS has always given its customers great control over the applicant journey. Simply publish a vacancy and CVMinder ATS controls what information is requested and when, according t your configuration. That’s all groovy, but now CVMinder ATS brings you another option and it wouldn’t be the best Applicant Tracking System if there weren’t options, right?

Changing the applicant journey

CVMinder ATS now gives you some controls within each advert. That’s right. You can now override the applicant journey on an advert by advert basis.

Why would you want to do this? Take a school with 3 Job Frames; Teaching, Leadership and Support. The school configures a different applicant journey for each of those Job Frames. However, for one or two support vacancies it needs to trim down the applicant journey. It can now do that with CVMinder’s new applicant journey override feature.

Go to Advertisements, select an advert and scroll to the bottom to override the applicant journey. There you can select the information you wish to receive and the stage you wish to receive it. So, if you just want a CV and statement for that vacancy, you can select only that. Set up the override options and publish your advert. It’s that simple!

We’re just a phone call away if you would you would like to discuss your applicant journey settings or anything else.

If you don’t have a recruitment system, now is the time to start making recruitment savings with CVMinder ATS. Contact us to find out how to make recruiting easy.

Easy employment checks

Stay on top of your Pre-Employment Checks with some fabulous new CVMinder ATS features. HR Heads with safeguarding concerns know that employment checks are critical. How do you ensure that employment checks are thorough and completed successfully before new employees start work?

CVMinder ATS now allow you to:

  • Create your own employment checklists
  • Monitor overall check completion by starter
  • Monitor critical checks for those required ahead of start date
  • Identify check completion by category of checks, like disclosures or referencing
  • Quickly spot non-compliance when checks fail
  • Log start and end dates of checks to measure how long they take
  • Audit who completed each check and when
  • Upload any check evidence

Multiple employment checklists

Some employers apply the same checks to every starter. Others use a different checklist for different types of role. In a school, a parent Governor might be required to undergo checks that are lighter than a teacher. That depends upon the setting of course. A Care Provider office worker may never come into contact with vulnerable service users, so safeguarding checks may be considered unnecessary.

Using more than one checklist is therefore important for some employers whilst others may require the same checklist for every starter.

Sharing checks and evidence

Key to successful check management is to enable easy sharing. Easily access and navigate the employment check status for each new starter. HR Administrators and compliance officers need a list of outstanding checks and a quick audit of who completed each check so far. With a distributed workforce or remote working, secure online sharing of evidence for each check is also valuable. That evidence could be passport image or proof of residency for example.

Critical checks

Some checks must be completed before start date and others can, on occasion, be left until after an employee’s start date. Checks to complete before start date are considered to be critical checks and understanding whether they are completed in time is a must.

Pre-employment check categories

Individual checks relate to referencing, others to personal details, others to disclosures / barring and so on. Understanding how individual checks relate to each category helps HR Heads and Officers answer questions like:

  • Which checks categories are incomplete for each starter?
  • Which categories are taking the longest?
  • What does my workload look like today?

Verification and audit

Only double checking confirms the successful completion of employment checks. HR Heads require a checklist to support senior oversight and verification of all completed checks. They may want verification of each individual check, just a few checks or none at all, depending on each type of starter. There is a balance to strike with safety versus workload, but the option to verify checks by approved verifiers is mandatory.

Identifying outstanding verification is also important. A verifier probably wants to avoid hunting for things to verify. Instead they most likely prefer rapid identification of all outstanding points of verification across all checks for all starters.

Check compliance

Completing a set of employment checks is one thing. Understanding whether they were completed to the employer’s satisfaction is another. What do we mean by that? Take a simple example; checking whether somebody successfully passed a risk assessment. If the prospective employee failed a risk assessment, the check response would be “No”. Expressing “No” completes the check, but it is not what is required and not compliant. Identifying non-compliant checks is essential to avoid on-boarding mistakes.

Checks as part of an ATS

Integrating employment checks into your Applicant Tracing System (ATS) is almost mandatory these days. Most of the information required to support each check can be supplied during the job application process. If it is already available in an ATS, it’s time to make use of it.

CVMinder ATS is one Applicant Tracking System that has a flexible employment check option. Employers can create one or more checklists with many options to support critical checks, categories and so on. It also helps HR Heads set appropriate permissions for check completion and verification.

In some circumstances employment checks may start prior to interview. In others they only commence only after an offer of employment. Embedding employment check management in your ATS should offer the flexibility to track and complete checks as the requirement dictates.

CVMinder ATS updates its Pre Employment Checks (PEC) module

On 1st August 2022 we released the new CVMinder ATS PEC module. To prepare for this development we discussed requirements with a number of our Ambassador customers. They are the key HR representatives of Care and Education providers. Each customer has different work styles and requirements when it comes to employment checking. By taking the best of all of the ideas we hope to satisfy everyone. So, what does our PEC module allow you to do?

  • Create different employment checklists for different types of employee.
  • Specify whether checks are critical.
  • Track overall checklist completion and critical check completion.
  • Attach checks to pre-defined categories or add your own.
  • Track checks completed by category.
  • Identify which checklists have outstanding verification in a new PEC page.
  • Specify compliant responses and indicate non-compliant checklists.
  • Alter permissions for staff so that they can access, edit or verify checks.
  • Upload and share evidence related to checks.
  • Automatically delete evidence after nominated period in line with data protection policies.
  • New reports

We hope that our customers enjoy the changes.

Want to know more about CVMinder? Just select the best ATS for Care or the best ATS for education. For any other industry please give us a call on 01634 202 101 as we would love to hear more about the way you recruit and what you would like to improve. You can ask for a free demonstration as new industries to us benefit from great incentives.

Best ATS Support

Capterra Awards CVMinder Best Value ATS

This week, Capterra awarded CVMinder Best Value Applicant Tracking System and Best Support, 2017.

Capterra makes only four awards in the Applicant Tracking System category. There are over 270 products, so receiving just one Capterra award is a fantastic achievement. As you can imagine, we are thrilled to receive two.

Capterra is part of Gartner, a global Group with products and services to help executives make informed technology decisions. Capterra reviews business and operational software solutions, from Applicant Tracking to HR, Payroll and many more.

We want to thank our CVMinder ATS customers who wrote a review in the Applicant Tracking System category. Your reviews really helped with their decision, so we are very grateful.

Capterra Best Value Applicant Tracking System 2017

We work with our Ambassador customers to make sure that the best Applicant Tracking System for Care Providers, Education, Not-for-Profit and Hospitality is also the best value ATS. It has lots of great recruiting features because HR professionals in your markets have helped us to build them.

CVMinder ATS combines easy recruitment management with great safer recruitment compliance. Receiving the award for Best Value Applicant Tracking System 2017 feels great.

Capterra Best Value Applicant Tracking System 2017 Badge

CVMinder’s average rating for value is higher than 98% of products in Applicant Tracking” – Capterra

Capterra Best Applicant Tracking System Support 2017

Our customers tell us that CVMinder support is second to none. That’s because we combine product expertise with a deep knowledge of Care, Education, Hospitality and Not for Profit. It feels great to have our commitment recognised by Capterra.

Capterra customer support badge

CVMinder Support is impressively responsive, and they have created a dynamic and vital product which they are not afraid to adapt to ensure that it remains the best product available.” – a daily user

Where do we go from here?

Our customers recruit smarter and faster with CVMinder ATS, the Best Value Applicant Tracking System 2017. Our Ambassador work with us on the future of CVMinder ATS so that you can recruit more easily. Future plans are ambitious so we’ll keep you posted with great new recruiting features as we deliver them.

Please feel free to write a Capterra review of your own. We’ll be over the moon if we receive the Capterra badge for Best Value Applicant Tracking System 2018!

Learn more about CVMinder

We have great customers in Care, Education, Hospitality and Not for Profit. Check out our summary pages:

If you’re a Care Provider, large or small, try Best ATS for Care

For Schools and Colleges, try Best ATS for Education

For Catering and Hospitality companies, go to Best ATS for Hospitality

Contact us to find out why CVMinder ATS is best value Applicant Tracking System with the best support. We’re here to answer your questions and demonstrate CVMinder in action.