Candidate Journey: Dream trip or hell trip to the new employer?

Now and then I refer a little bit about employers, how they deal with applicants, and I sometimes ask myself: Maybe I hear more suffering from frustrated people because of my job Applicants as positive experiences? Applicants who are angry about meaningless job postings, unfair job interviews, or disrespectful rejections. Does the world look much better out there after all? Employers who set up expensive sailing trips for the next generation of consultants, conduct modern interviews via Skype and make it easy for job changers thanks to digitization with the one-click application. Yes, there is all of this and a lot is going on in companies. What makes the application process not a hell of a trip, but a good “candidate journey” to the dream job and what experiences have you had?

Employer branding for more employer attractiveness

Companies have been working diligently on polishing their brands as employers for several years. The XING search spits out over 2,100 employer branding managers. A position nobody thought of 15 years ago. Many new positions have been created, and some companies only employ their own experts for university collaborations to catch the best of the year immediately before they even get the idea to look for positions – in the worst case with a competitor. They invest in modern, new recruiting platforms, hang around on social media and write blogs, no longer operate internally as administrators under HR or Human Resources, but as designers under HR Business Partners or Human Relations and promise on their career Portals: We focus on people!

But what relevance do the more than 80 comments under my article on the most disrespectful job rejections have? People who tell their story there, how badly they were treated, often with noticeable anger in their stomachs. What relevance do the results of the current applicant study that we reported on here in an interview have? After that, employers get worse and worse as the application process progresses. Are the many investments in employer branding just wasted or wrongly invested the money? Or would companies have to invest a lot more against the background of demographic developments and a shortage of skilled workers to achieve a really good effect? And where is the small, medium-sized company around the corner of the nursing service that can no longer find any volunteer applicants? I have the impression that things are not going really optimally yet.

Must and probably also cannot, because large companies, in particular, are not in a position to turn their HR processes upside down overnight, not even simply to air their heads with the old authoritarian HR thinking let alone establish a clearly visible and, above all, credible brand. This is also a mammoth task for medium-sized companies without endangering operational business. This takes a while. Years. If not a whole generation of bosses and employees. Anyone who has a look at change issues in companies knows how clumsy corporate tankers, in particular, are moving and what efforts are necessary to implement even the smallest course correction with the existing crew.

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Facade and dazzling on both sides

Perhaps employers, because of the now noticeable tightness in the applicant market, are too much of a pretense to applicants that everything is already in order with the up-to-date application process and thus too high expectations. Because only a chic applicant portal does not trigger cheers from applicants today. Especially not if they are then again squeezed as usual in personal contact with their potential employer according to their strengths and weaknesses, their vision in 10 years, and the reasons for changing jobs.

Perhaps the crux of the application process is not on the employer’s side? Also, at the risk of making myself unpopular with applicants:

Could it be you who are not in the mood or are not ready to jump on the new developments in the recruiting market? They moan when they have to upload their CVs for the umpteenth time as a PDF and beautifully designed paper cover letters are transferred to an unformattable text field. Applicants who continue to send boring, run-of-the-mill applications and do everything in their power not to stand out from the crowd. Those who learn their weaknesses into strengths for job interviews by heart and soak up the tips of the outdated application guides. Applicants who do not know what is really important to them in their job, run through life without goals and do not dare to ask what really interests them in job interviews, but instead continue to try to find the perfect actor in the attitude of the supplicant submit. Yes, even on this site, not everything is as cool and relaxed as the younger generation is said to be. On the contrary, I often notice many of these points today, especially with career starters.

I’m not sure which side can resolve this knot in the application process. Is it the employers who have to show applicants less colorful facades and instead more genuine interest at eye level? Or is it the applicants who have to find a new attitude that corresponds more to the changed situation on the applicant market? The two are probably somehow closely related and both sides are asked less as opponents but rather as equal parties to continue working on a better application process.

Candidate Journey: Have a good trip, dear applicant!

Many employers have now recognized that just approaching applicants well is no longer sufficient for successful recruiting. You are therefore increasingly scrutinizing the application process as a whole. Under the term Candidate Journey, you consider all contact points between companies and applicants. From the website to job advertisements, emails, trade fair appearances, lectures, interviews, assessments, to the employment contract and later the first day of work: Every single point of contact is important and decides whether an applicant is for or against his new employer at the end of the process decides.

The Candidate Experience is what the companies describe as the applicants’ feelings and experiences in this process. Applicants should be excited regardless of the outcome of the process. Even after rejection, a C should recommend the company to his friends as an attractive employer or rate it positively online.

Visionary wishful thinking or already a reality? How do you experience application processes today?

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