Part 1: Perfecting the candidate experience for building a successful Talent Community

Our three-part series explores the importance of a positive candidate experience in talent acquisition, specifically focusing on how to build a successful talent community as a key part of a strong Direct Sourcing strategy. In this first installment, we dive into the candidate’s role in this process.

The candidate experience is a crucial part of creating an effective hiring pipeline. One bad experience or negative candidate review can set a company back months in the hiring process. Successful hiring means understanding what candidates are looking for and creating a smooth, respectful process that meets their needs. 

What is a talent community?

A talent community is a candidate-management structure that allows companies, managers, curators and applicants to connect with each other in order to build a pipeline of potential hires. This allows companies to fill positions when needed. A key part of building a successful community is creating a positive candidate experience. 

Why the candidate experience matters

The hiring landscape has changed drastically in the last five years. As more employees embrace quiet quitting and companies struggle to find talent during a growing shortage, candidates aren’t willing to settle for lackluster experiences and stressful hiring practices. Not treating candidates with respect is short-sighted. Those who aren’t a good fit for one position can be perfect for another in the future. Applicants who went through a positive experience are also more likely to recommend others for the opening, therefore building your talent pool.

Candidates aren’t looking for an impersonal, cattle call process when applying for a position, and they won’t hesitate to share negative experiences on websites like GlassDoor or talk about you on Fishbowl. To avoid gaining an unfavorable reputation, keep these 3 considerations in mind:

  1. Personalize the hiring process. Create an open dialogue and personalize your communication process. Candidates don’t want to talk to a robot. They want real people who can answer their questions and represent your company. The stats support this. 89% of potential hires admitted that being contacted by their recruiter affects how quickly they accept a job offer. 
  2. Responsiveness matters. Candidates are looking for effective communication. Tech platforms with AI capabilities, like TalentNet, can help automate the engagement process and connect with candidates where they live through SMS capabilities and effective candidate communication support. Treat candidates like they are already hired workers. Tell them what they’re doing right or wrong. After all, candidates are 4 times more likely to think of a company for future openings if you offer constructive feedback. 
  3. Make sure your application process is quick and simple. This is not the time to test their grit. Candidates have too many options to spend hours on a single application. TalentNet’s TalentCommunity allows members to apply for a job in less than 60 seconds.

Make your career page work for you

Part of creating an effective talent community is attracting the right candidates. Your career page is a great starting point. While social media outreach is powerful, all successful social campaigns lead to your career page. 

Creating a seamless user experience with updated openings isn’t enough. Your site should connect with your audience. Your page is where talent is given the opportunity to “opt in” to your community. Give them a reason to do so. 

Successful branding is key when building a career page. Candidates should already have a degree of brand loyalty and a solid understanding of your company’s values when applying for a position. 

Career pages should be highly personalized. It’s important to focus on your company’s values and brand story. Avoid HR jargon and cheesy hyperboles. Using current employee stories to sell your company is a powerful tool. AI platforms that allow for candidates to quickly apply from the career page is also a vital way to stand out. 

Finding the right tech platform for your company

Talent acquisition software is key to building a competent talent community that properly engages and connects candidates with companies and curators. When choosing which platform works best for you, look for the following features:

  • Pipeline tracker. This allows curators and hiring managers to organize their talent pool.
  • Ability to quickly connect with candidates. Time matters when finding top talent. Make sure your platform allows for quick communication through several methods, including emails and text messages.
  • Templates. Writing notes, emails and SMS messages is made infinitely easier with existing templates. 
  • DEI Surveys. Diversity in the workplace has become a key metric for many hiring managers. Look for platforms that include anonymous, voluntary surveys for candidates to give companies a better idea of who makes up their talent community. 

Talent acquisition at its best

Building a talent community takes time, commitment, and a genuine desire to create a positive candidate experience. TalentNet’s talent acquisition software provides curators and hiring managers with the support they need to find, organize and engage top talent quickly and efficiently. Our AI-powered solution allows applicants to apply to any position in as little as 60 seconds, which enhances the candidate experience. Book a demo here.