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Beyond Mobile Recruiting: Optimizing the Applicant Experience

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By Jay Barnett, Founder
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

Looking Beyond Mobile Recruiting

If you believe the current buzz, we all better have a mobile recruiting strategy or we will lose the talent war. There is some truth to that, but mobile recruiting is just part of the bigger picture. You can have the best mobile recruiting platform in the business and still fall flat in attracting and engaging top talent. At Decision Toolbox (DT) we have been refining the applicant experience on behalf of our clients for over two decades. I want to share some of the insights we have learned along the way.

In this piece I’m focusing on a specific portion of the larger onboarding process: how candidates perceive an open position and the employer, in the employer’s recruitment portal or applicant tracking system (ATS), from the time they see the job posting to the time they submit their résumés and other materials.

A Ring No Hat Can Resist

This is a pivotal phase, with two main goals. First, you want to increase the likelihood that top talent will toss their hat into the ring. Second, you want to lay the groundwork for a positive relationship with each candidate. ALL candidates should come away impressed and feeling good about your company, whether hired or not. Every candidate has the potential to be a customer, candidate for a different position, referral source, and more.

There are three tools at your disposal to achieve these goals: content, layout, and process. The checklist, below, addresses layout and process, but the first priority is to make sure your content is engaging and compelling. Top quality candidates should perceive the content as adding value. According to the Talent Board’s Candidate Experience 2014 report, 77.3% of candidates stated that job descriptions are the most useful job content.

Caring Through Content

I am amazed at how many companies’ job postings comprise no more than lists of  “Duties and Responsibilities” and “Required Qualifications” in the same career portal where they state things like, “We engage your unique talents and perspectives. We welcome your ideas on how to do things differently and better.” A creative position description is an excellent chance to start the relationship off on the right foot by showing that you care enough to take a little time to paint an insightful picture of the opportunity being offered. Just as you appreciate when an employee goes the extra mile, selective job seekers appreciate this.

Your recruitment posting doesn’t have to be the same as your job description. In fact, it shouldn’t be the same. See my recent blog on Tips to Create Better Job Descriptions for more on this important point.

10 Quality Checks for your Layout and Process

Now put yourself in the candidate’s shoes, take a look at your company’s career portal, and ask:

  1. Is the layout appealing and easy to navigate?
  2. Does the job posting include embedded images and videos?
  3. Is the job posting interactive? For example, DT’s Jobinfo Writeups include embedded questions to encourage candidates to picture themselves in the role.
  4. Is it mobile optimized, using responsive design?
  5. Does it leverage search engine optimization (SEO) tactics?
  6. Does the application process start with uploading a résumé in order to minimize data entry on the candidate’s part?
  7. Is there a friendly interface to enable applicants to make themselves stand out by answering specific questions about their relevant experience?
  8. Does it allow applicants to upload video clips to enhance their résumé?
  9. Does it include progression bookmarks so applicants can see their progress, thus decreasing abandonment rates?
  10. Does it offer job seekers a flexible way to indicate that they would like to be notified of other opportunities of interest?

If you do some things well, you get some of the results you want. If you do everything possible well, you get the best possible results.

To wrap up, imagine a candidate showed up to an interview disheveled, with an outdated tattered resume. He might have great qualifications, but he likely will not be your top candidate. On the other hand, another candidate might walk in “dressed for success.” But if she doesn’t have the qualifications, no Armani suit is going to get her hired. Now apply this to your recruitment portal: not only should it be dressed to impress, but it also should bring the goods in terms of value-added content. That’s how to optimize the candidate experience and, therefore, your talent pool.


To learn more about Decision Toolbox, please Contact Us – we’d love to hear from you!

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One Response to “Beyond Mobile Recruiting: Optimizing the Applicant Experience”

  1. November 14, 2015 at 3:54 pm, Bogdan said:

    on to say that mobile is the most eiefctfve and direct medium we have right now. However, if youra0mobile recruitment strategies are not based on audience behavior, you could be missing out on a huge pool of


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