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Customer journey mapping was popularized in the ecommerce space around a decade ago. It allowed online stores to map out the key stages of a buyer’s journey, and use that knowledge to heighten the experience at each stage.

This strategy is now used across industries, including staffing. Candidate journey mapping enables recruiters to map the key stages of a candidate’s hiring journey, identify the key touch points within each stage, and focus on the moments that matter.

With this holistic yet detailed view, a firm can analyze and rate the candidate experience at each stage. If there’s room for improvement, which there inevitably is, action can then be taken.

Having previously looked at why candidate journey maps matter and what one might look like, today we’ll take the opportunity to drill down on exactly how the journey mapping process can enhance the candidate experience; specifically, what it can help to fix.

Improving on the Traditional Candidate Journey

Many staffing firms feel okay about their tried and true candidate journey — there’s a comfort in sticking with what you know — but when these traditional journeys are placed alongside the automated and ultra-streamlined versions that can be achieved today, there’s really no comparison.

Let’s take a look at four examples of how technology can streamline the candidate journey and enhance the candidate experience.

1. The candidate portal. A candidate portal should be designed to meet jobseekers where they are. For 70% of candidates, that’s on a smartphone. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to develop an app, but you do need a mobile-optimized web page.

Offer a smooth and effective mobile experience, and you’ll instantly solve half of your candidate journey issues. By making that portal universal, with all candidate tasks being driven back to it, you have the potential to remove 100% of the pain points from the journey.

Within the candidate portal, you could provide links to company content such as: benefit information, mission, vision, and values, W2 information, payroll schedule, workers compensation information, holiday schedules, time tracking, etc. If there are tasks that a candidate needs to complete, send alerts via email or text and send them back to that one source of truth: the candidate portal.

2. Intake/application process. The application touchpoint is the most important of key moments in the candidate journey. This is where you have the candidate’s active interest and undivided attention, making it a top moment that matters.

No matter whether it’s represented by a quick apply or full employment application, the intake process needs to be designed to retain the candidate’s attention and propel them forward. It should require minimal effort to complete an application, but there should also be the opportunity to elaborate at each stage if they so choose.

Gamify it with a “percentage complete” bar. Offer skills checklists. Make the application dynamic, changing in response to the job they apply for or the skills they name. Gather the maximum amount of information while ensuring that completion rates remain high.

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3. Credential requests. In many industries credentialing represents the most inefficient and time-consuming part of the hiring process. Make use of the fact that 70% of candidates are on cell phones, and allow them to take photos of documents and licenses. Use structured data to verify the licenses in real time, and to set automated reminders when credentials expire, directing the candidate to come back to the portal and resubmit the new version, without the need for human input.

4. Onboarding. Moving on to the onboarding phase, a candidate should be able to fill out forms and sign documents in an instant. The idea is to create a TurboTax-style experience, where the system tells them which fields to complete, and your ATS is instantly updated (with data validated to ensure compliance) as they go. This goes beyond traditional e-documents and e-signatures, and creates a truly responsive, unparalleled experience.

Candidate Journey Mapping and Enhancement: The Rewards

A better experience for candidates, greater efficiency, brand advocacy; we could hint at the potential benefits of candidate journey mapping and tech-driven solutions until we’re blue in the face, but what staffing firms really want are the hard numbers.

Enhancing the candidate journey through smart tech like Able results in:

  • At least a 20% increase in recruiter productivity.
  • At least 30% faster time-to-fill.
  • A 40% decrease in the need for credential support.

The truth is that the entire staffing industry is becoming ever more aware of the candidate journey it offers, and is taking steps to improve it. To ignore the need to utilize automated solutions, and to continue to be comfortable with the traditional, is to place yourself in your competitors’ rear-view mirror.

The upsides, however, are every bit as great. And there’s no time like the present to begin enjoying them.