6 Candidate Journey Mapping Secrets Every Recruiter Should Know

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candidate journey mapping

The global talent crunch is no joke. The same way finding a new job can be challenging, finding the perfect candidate is challenging as well.

Your recruiting team and candidates both go through different stages and touchpoints. But the real question is…what kind of journey do you need to plan, to attract and hire the right people?

Three words: candidate journey mapping.

Simply said, candidate journey mapping can help you visualize what it’s like to go through your own hiring process. It’s a treasure trove of data.

Candidate journey mapping also helps you learn a lot about candidates. So if you find top talent slipping through your fingers and losing interest – you can always use your candidate map data to figure out what went wrong. It basically lets you slip in to the candidate’s shoes.

Here are a few great candidate journey mapping secrets that you need to know! 

Map the entire journey in advance

Think of the candidate journey like a customer stepping into a store to buy something. Before they decide to buy, they need to make sure the product is right for them. And candidate journey mapping is no different. It helps you get a bird’s eye view of the candidate’s experience and what’s right for them.

But remember, it’s not only about hiring more qualified candidates and crafting an exquisite candidate experience. It’s also about looking for data that will improve and sharpen your hiring efforts. And that’s exactly what a candidate journey can help with.

So be sure to map out the entire journey through touchpoints. It makes it easier for you to visualize. Online and offline touchpoints may include:

• Candidates viewing your job vacancies
• Candidates visiting your career page
• Candidates surfing your company’s social media pages
• Candidates talking to a representative at a job fair
• Candidates proceeding with an online job application
• Candidates engaging in pre and post-application emails
• Candidates getting feedback on their applications

Something along those lines. But here’s a pro tip: it might be useful to create candidate personas prior to mapping out the journey. After all, you want to make sure you’re mapping out the journey for the right person! A candidate journey for a sales representative is different than a software engineer’s. Simply because each candidate has different pain points and activities. Keep that in mind when mapping out your candidate journey.

Make the candidate the center of the process

recruiters using a hiring platform

Candidate journey mapping is all about being candidate-centric. Otherwise, you risk alienating the candidates. But bear in mind, it’s not only about the candidate experience. You shouldn’t neglect focusing on the candidate’s needs. When picking the ideal person for the job, it’s crucial to build sustainable and fruitful long term relationships. The point is, you want candidates to continuously interact with your company. Even when they’re not hired.

Which brings us back to our focal point: putting candidates in the heart of the process. This means that you might need to re-engineer your recruitment process, application process, interview scheduling – to put the candidates first.

Don’t forget about the pre-application stage

laptop showing an applicant tracking system

If you thought that candidate journey mapping starts with the application, then you’re mistaken.
Did you know that 3 in 4 candidates learn more about your employer brand before applying to a job? In fact, around 70% of candidates wouldn’t take the job if they heard negative things about it. So before leaping a few steps ahead – take a few steps back.

Start your focus earlier, before the candidates even apply. You can simply do that by placing more emphasis on your employer brand, and highlighting it in your career page. Show candidates that you’re not just offering them a 9-5 job. You’re giving them a job that will help them learn, develop, and grow.

But it’s not just about reflecting your employer brand in your career page. What if the candidate’s first touchpoint is something else?

This is exactly why every single one of your touchpoints should highlight your awesome employer brand and turn prospects into raving fans.

Ask better interview questions for granular insights

recruiter using a hiring platform

The interview is a pivotal point in the candidate’s journey. When you nail the interview, you’ll attract top talent with ease. No matter how awesome your career page is, candidates may still show up to the interview unsure about the job. And the way you carry out the interview, can change their mind.

Pro tip? Ask better interview questions. Standard questions don’t always cut it. Asking candidates how they found out about the position is a bit shallow. You’ll need to dig a bit deeper than that. Their responses will most likely be generic. Monster. Indeed. LinkedIn.

What you need are granular insights. And the only way to get that is by probing further.

Carefully crafted interview questions are your ticket to evaluate candidates more accurately. In fact, they’re your ultimate opportunity to determine if candidates have what it takes to excel at the job.

So ask different types of interview questions. Analytical, behavioral, cultural, leadership, personality, and critical thinking questions can help you delve deeper and crack open a treasure full of valuable insights.
And remember, by asking the right set of interview questions, you’ll secure that top talent picks you as their choice of employer.

“Mystery shop’’ your hiring process

candidate applying to a job

Take a moment to put yourself in your candidate’s shoes. How easy is it for them to sail through the hiring process? To apply to jobs?

An excellent way to improve your candidate journey mapping, is by going through the hiring process yourself.
Consider yourself a ‘’mystery shopper’’. Try to become a candidate. Apply for jobs on your career page, use your mobile, conduct the interviews, and complete all the other steps.

Did you face any troubles while uploading a document? Is the application process not mobile-friendly? Did it take you an eternity to fill out the application form?

This is where you take notes of what the candidate is experiencing on his or her end. If you felt like the application process is frustratingly long, then take the initiative to eliminate unnecessary fields that take a long time to fill out.

Is the process of scheduling an interview similar to playing phone tag? Then maybe it’s time to allow candidates to self-schedule their interviews themselves. Remember, candidates like to have some sort of control as well. And when you put them in the driver’s seat, you simultaneously boost their journey and experience.

Show what it’s like to work at your company

recruiters planning the candidate journey mapping

One of the most important parts of candidate journey mapping is showing candidates what it would be like to work at your company. The job might seem perfect through the job description, but candidates want to clearly envision themselves working at your company.

This is where it might be useful to bring a realistic job preview into light.

A realistic job preview does no sugar coating. It realistically shows candidates the good and the bad and gives them a glimpse into what a typical day at the job would look like. Think of it like peeking behind a curtain. RJPs usually come in different forms. Videos, virtual job tryouts, or interactive online simulations. And they signficantly boost the candidate journey mapping process.

Besides RSJs, your candidate journey mapping should embrace and highlight what your core values are. You can easily do that through branded career pages that clearly communicate your company culture to candidates. This will allow candidates to seamlessly imagine what it would be like to work at your company with an extensive amount of information.

Bottom line

The hiring game has changed. Gone are the days of simple interviews and scanned offers. The candidate’s needs are evolving and cannot be neglected. And the same thing goes for candidate journey mapping. Whether you’re striving to hire top performers or fill in a position fast – you won’t be able to do so without mapping out and planning the candidate journey in advance. Keep in mind that you’re not just choosing the candidates. They are choosing you too. So make it a mission to live up to their expectations in every step of the way. And what better way to do that than mapping out a spectacular candidate journey map?

If you’re looking to hire the candidates that will grow your business, then look no further. Pair your candidate journey mapping with our hiring platform, and start hiring the people you can depend on.

Become a leader in hiring today!

Join the hundreds of companies who are already hiring successfully with our award-winning hiring platform.
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