Candidate Experience Feedback in Recruitment Marketing

The role of candidate feedback in recruitment marketing

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I trust everyone is working their company-wide recruitment marketing programs for 2024, but as you do so, it might be wise to consider the role of candidate experience feedback in recruitment marketing.

I have to say that I did some work for a recruitment marketing software company years back. And while I loved the mission, it was clear that most recruiting organizations we engaged were completely unprepared to utilize the capabilities of the tool. No knock on the companies or the software. It was early days and we were asking recruiting departments to behave like sales and marketing departments.

I hope times have changed and organizations have either enlisted support from other departments or have evolved to be able to staff such operations organically.

Recruitment marketing is basically the Swiss Army Knife of recruiting. It’s employment branding, it’s account based marketing, it’s digital marketing, it’s database marketing,  it’s website management, it’s sourcing, it’s relationship sales – the list goes on.

The one thing that ties this all together is, in addition to a fair amount of hype, the candidate. All of your recruitment marketing efforts are pointed at the candidate and the candidate is receiving an experience from each touchpoint. When a list has been developed and an invitation to apply goes out, it arrives in the candidate’s email. When they read the pitch and click the link to the job, an experience will unfold. One they will have some opinion of.

When a candidate opts into a talent network, they have thoughts about the process of opting in  and about what happens (or doesn’t happen) afterwards.

The role of candidate feedback in recruitment marketingWhen a job seeker gets that ultra personalized career site experience that your slick platform promises, they’re gonna feel some kinda way about it. They are going to find what they are looking for, or not. They are going to resonate with your brand, or not. They are going to think your brand is either stronger or weaker than the competitor you’re trying to hire away from. 

They are going to have some or all the demographics, motivators, desires and characteristics that your candidate personas would predict. 

I could go on, but the bottom line is that candidate experience touches every aspect of recruitment marketing. And if you don’t know how satisfied your candidates are with everything I have listed above, then you could be leaving A LOT of value on the table. And if you aren’t asking candidates what you are doing well and what you could be doing better, you can’t manage a proper recruitment marketing effort.

Managing Candidate Experience Feedback in Recruitment Marketing

When it comes to implementing a feedback program to optimize the people, processes and technologies used in recruitment marketing, it’s best to start with the biggest topic: Employer brand. Organizations can embed pulse feedback surveys into their career sites and gather data about what visitors think of their brand, what’s important to them and how they view your company vs. other companies they are considering. This can help focus messaging and inform future brand decisions. These embedded surveys can also gather feedback about how easy it is to find relevant jobs and other navigation and personalization feedback for optimizing the site.

It’s also smart to gather feedback after a job seeker applies or joins a talent network. This can uncover problems with the application, the handoff from external ads to career pages and applications and any problems with sourcing outreach. You can configure questions to target areas you are concerned about and you can discover valuable insights you never would have thought about by including an open ended question like “What are we doing well and what could we do better.”

It’s also smart to include a link to a pulse survey with every invitation to apply, whether it’s a mass campaign or one to one sourcing outreach. These can be segmented by sourcer, or by campaign to provide highly specific feedback that is actionable.

Finally, run ad hoc surveys to your entire talent pool regularly. You’ve invested a lot of money in both time and technology to build this talent pool. Your response rates can tell you how engaged this pool is, but they don’t tell how you could better serve that pool and get even more value. 

Questions about how often they would like to hear from you, how relevant are the communications they get from you, and what they expect from you as a talent pool member are important. The answers can uncover great ideas to better engage the candidates you invested so heavily to acquire when you include open ended questions. And a candidate NPS question can help you measure the overall health of your talent pool today and over time.

Taking advantage of candidate experience feedback in recruitment marketing can unlock a tremendous amount of value. And, if somewhere in the back of your mind you are wondering if your recruitment marketing investment is providing enough ROI, feedback will answer a large piece of that question for you.

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