User Experience has fast become an important aspect of business, yet most people consider it as relating to the end-user, being their experiences, interactions and emotions about using a particular product or service.
User Experience, or UX, should however be considered in every aspect of a business and be included in the company culture, not just from a customer experience perspective but also considered in the employee experience, from interviewing and onboarding right through to the general work environment and culture of the company.
It is important to remember that candidates - those people who you are wanting to attract to positions within your company - are also users, and as such you should be making sure that your recruitment user experience is a positive one.
Many candidates have a similar experience when applying for a job, after spending hours on an often laboursome application process, they wait, wait some more, and never hear any feedback. If your application process requires multiple files to be uploaded or very lengthy forms to be filled in, this could deter the best candidate from applying for the role.
There are two main users in the recruitment process - the recruiters and the candidates. The process is generally designed from the perspective of the recruiter, for example how the job ad is written to filter candidates by experience, salary or skills.
UX Collective believes that this recruiter focused approach means that potentially good candidates could get lost in the process - in other words, not offering a good UX for candidates could mean a loss of the right professionals in the future.
UX Collective also believes that in order to attract the best candidates, UX should be considered even before a job advertisement even goes out. Many of the best candidates aren’t actively seeking a new opportunity, so how would they know who you are if they aren’t looking?
You need to make your company attractive, by ensuring that you are using your marketing department and sharing on social media accounts, offering podcasts and blogs, or hosting meetups to make yourself an attractive employer, not only to your potential market, but also your potential candidates so that when a position does come up, they already know who you are and might show interest.
Then there’s the advert itself - what will draw a passive job seeker in? Steer clear of the ubiquitous “can work under pressure” or “great multitasker”. Everyone knows what is expected of them, but show them what they can expect from you. Introduce them to your company culture in the space of an ad, while still explaining what the job entails and where it could lead.
Consider changing your job posting to video format so candidates get a more authentic feel if they’d be a good culture fit, like Jobflix, the Netflix of jobs, is doing.
Make your recruitment experience interesting and simple. Communication is key. Be transparent with candidates as to both your and their expectations - when will they hear from you and what they can expect from the process.
Contact those that were unsuccessful, even if it’s a time-consuming process. Rejected candidates will appreciate feedback to help them with future applications, and keeping the lines of communication open may mean an opportunity for a future position.
The Application Process
Recruiting Daily advises that you should consider the following factors in the recruitment process from the UX perspective:
- Psychology - how much work does a candidate have to do to apply? They want it to be quick and easy, and every further page they have to click on increases the risk of them moving on. Don’t make them jump through too many hoops to start.
- Usability - even if the candidate doesn’t read every last bit of information or submit every tiny detail, will it still work? Nobody likes spending half an hour on a form only to click submit and the page throws back a bunch of red text pointing out what you missed.
- Design - do your application interfaces and information brochures reflect the culture of your company and are they user friendly and clear? Make sure that any media follows through on the theme of your culture and is easy to understand.
- Copywriting - this does not only include the job description but every bit of communication between the recruiter and the candidate. It all counts towards the user experience.
- Analysis - ask for feedback. Ask candidates who have made it through to interview status how they found the initial experience of applying so you can improve the UX going forward.
The Web Application
Many companies offer a website as the first point of contact for a job application, without actually trying the system itself. Employees need to ask themselves how easy it really is to apply for a position. Check the front end of your website application process regularly and make sure it works and is easy to use.
Frazier Heiby believes your website should be an authentic reflection of your company and as such there are some important questions that you need to consider when trying to attract good candidates:
- Do your mission statement and values come across clearly throughout the site?
- Does your website include feature videos and real employee testimonials describing what it’s like working for your company?
- Are the benefits and perks of the job clearly described? Include the details of your employee benefits provider, wellness benefits, leave policies and opportunities for skills development.
- Is your website simple, visual and in itself a good user experience that’s intuitive and easy to navigate?
- Is the application process simple - can you upload your CV and supporting documents with ease?
The Mobile Application
While job applications on desktops are still the most popular way to apply, with so many things moving mobile, it’s inevitable job applications will also need to become mobile friendly. If you’re looking to attract recent graduates from Gen Z, the need for a mobile friendly application is all the more prevalent.
This could mean that you build an open positions page into your app, calling candidates to submit video CV’s filmed on their phones or even something as simple as setting up a Google form.
Attracting the best candidates for the job is integral not only for your bottom line but also for your company culture. Make sure that your user experience takes all aspects of your company into account, including the recruitment process, onboarding and employee experience.