Amazon, Netflix…applying for a role? What candidates now demand from your recruitment journey

A candidate’s journey when seeking and applying for roles has changed dramatically over the last decade. Once seen as the norm to ring fence vacancies seen in the newspaper and physically go into businesses to hand in your CV, is now an almost alien concept. Employers were used to being the ones in control when it came to hiring candidates and it was job seekers who had to prove why they should be hired - but the tables have turned. Candidates are at the centre of recruitment and employers must vie for their attention if they are to attract, hire and retain the skills their competitors are after too. 

The candidate now reigns supreme
There is a multitude of factors that are revealed within our white paper, The digital opportunity, as to why candidates are now in control when it comes to recruitment; increasing skills shortages, competition in the market for talent and poor quality candidates to name a few. But namely, the considerable factor is the way technology has transformed people’s everyday lives. What we now take for granted from consumer brands is what employees expect from all businesses, including the recruitment process. 

Take two of our most popular and digitally innovative consumer brands, Netflix and Amazon. The customer’s experience is personalised for each user based on the data gathered from their engagement and actions. Through the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, a user can amend their preferences and communicate to a faceless chatbot when necessary without it interfering with their experience and blocking them from doing what they wanted. This seamless, quick and individualised digitised process is something that 69% of HR professionals believe candidates want. If they are to outshine competitors in the market through their candidate experience, which 65% of HR professionals believe will be the key differentiator in recruitment within the next five years, then HR must begin to invest and implement. But is that what your candidates want?

What your candidates want – and what they don’t
On the whole it seems that HR professionals believe that candidates expect a seamless, digitised experience (67%) when it comes to recruitment. However the balance between human touchpoints and machinery is debatable amongst businesses with 58% forecasting that candidates will be recruited without ever meeting people in the organisation and 60% going as far to say that they would hire someone on the recommendation of an advanced algorithim or AI, even if it goes against their own human judgement upon meeting them. 
Businesses are not wrong in the assumption that candidates want a more digitised and seamless experience. Employees do expect automation to be implemented within the nurturing stages of the recruitment journey, with the most favourable (86%) being proactively timed job alerts and reminders. However quite contrastingly to employer’s preference of AI-led hiring, employees actually want to experience high-level human interaction in the latter stages of recruitment, with interviewing (75%) and inductions (86%) coming out on top. 

Technology. It’s a facilitator in candidate experience not a dictator
Technology has clearly transformed employees’ expectations of an employer. Businesses must keep up with the consumer brands that provide candidates with the same seamless, digitised and personalised journey every day. But in order to create a successful candidate journey, they must first listen to the candidates themselves. Even though investment in automation and AI is pivotal to the candidate journey and capturing engagement in the first stages, human interaction will simply never be replaced and will continue to play a pivotal role in delivering an enhanced candidate experience. 

To learn more about the role digital has to play in enhancing your candidate experience and how to strike the right balance between machine and human, read our report The digital opportunity: Delivering a better candidate experience in the shift to a hybrid workforce.