The internet is a fast-paced place. Attention spans come at a premium. That’s why transparency is so important, especially in your hiring process.
In 2009, there were 6.2 unemployed job seekers for every 1 opening. In 2015, there are 1.7 unemployed job seekers for every 1 opening. More than ever, applicants are in the driver’s seat. They have a huge variety of options and precious few seconds to survey each one. More than ever, your applicants are your customers. Rather than fight the trend, make it easier for them to find you.
Your Applicants are Your Customers
Treat your application in the same way you’d treat any other manifestation of your brand. Like your signage or your website layout, your application may be the first substantive contact that an applicant has with your brand. Leverage it. You can communicate a lot about yourself with how your application is designed, what kind of content it contains, and how easy or difficult it is to access. An ATS (applicant tracking system) is a great way to unify and standardize that brand presence.
Differentiate yourself. There’s a ton of competition out there. Get ahead of the herd by creating a clean, effective application that wastes no time telling the applicant who you are, what you’re looking for, and what you can offer. And don’t forget to follow up! In the Quick Service category, surveyed applicants said they were 37% more likely to patronize a business *if* they received some kind of response to their application.
Get consistent — treat your applicants like they are your customers!
Transparency Keeps You Relevant
Like all searches, the majority of job searches now begin online. Traditional job search platforms, like print ads, are on a drastic decline, while online job searches continue to grow by the millions each year.
As online searches have grown, the way people search has evolved. The model that worked in traditional platforms — push your ad as frequently and as insistently as possible — doesn’t necessarily work online. Think about roadside billboards or print ad placement: the goal is quantity and quality of placement. Get your name out there and put yourself in front of people. On the web, things work differently — it’s more about how a job seeker finds you and curating that experience as best as possible. Search engines are designed to help job seekers find the job that’s best suited for them. Your best bet is to make yourself as transparent as possible — make the most important info prominent and easy to find.
What does that mean? Less clutter. Put the most important facts at the top, and use an ATS that formats and feeds your data in an easy-to-read, easy-to-apply format. If you want to read more about how reducing effort is the most important factor in keeping customers (or applicants), this Harvard Business Review article is a great place to start.
What Does Transparency Look Like?
Once you’ve committed to transparency, start with your company and job descriptions. Make sure they’re accurate, concise, and effective. Especially in the quick service segment, keep applications as streamlined as possible. Any excess could increase your drop-off rate and you’ll lose precious applicants.
Ask yourself: what is the first thing that an applicant learns about us from this application? Do they have what they need to make an informed click? Can you do more to engage them, from the very first page of the application? What about compensation, benefits, and responsibilities? Again, using an ATS can help enormously, by standardizing and unifying your process. You want the most information at the top, and you want to be consistent across the board.
Being transparent means being easy to find and easy to access. That’s what it’s all about in the new era of hiring, where job seekers are in the driver’s seat, and you only get a few seconds to grab someone’s attention.
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