Job Descriptions vs Job Advertisements: Moving Beyond the Buzzwords to Entice Top Talent

The average job description is about as inspiring as a television user manual. Look, I get it. You want to get the job posted ASAP. Yet, job descriptions are often a candidate’s first introduction to your company, so you’ve got to give them what they’re looking for. You’ve got to make each word count.

There are over 58 million companies listed on LinkedIn and 90 job applications are submitted on the platform every second. Then there’s Indeed, Glassdoor, industry job boards, company career sites, social media, word of mouth, and all the myriad of other ways candidates find work. If you’re not treating your job postings like a critical part of the candidate experience, you’re already missing an opportunity to win over top talent.

So, how do you write job descriptions that stand out?

Job Descriptions vs Job Advertisements: Why It’s Time to Change Your Approach

A job description outlines the duties, responsibilities and requirements for a particular job position. It typically includes:

  • Job title
  • Essential job tasks
  • Qualifications
  • Required skills and experience
  • Reporting structure
  • Salary
  • Other relevant details

While this information is important for finding qualified talent, most organizations over-index their requirements and don’t tell the candidates what they’ll get in return. It’s all about what organizations want and not what they offer, which won’t fly in today’s candidate-led market.

At PeopleScout, we encourage our clients to think about their job postings as job advertisements. In other words, you’ve got to sell the position and your employer brand.

Essentially, put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and think about what the ideal candidate wants to know. Win them over with your employer value proposition (EVP)—that “give and get” between your organization and employees.

What Candidates Want to See in a Job Description

Job Descriptions

Our most recent research revealed the top five considerations that candidates look for when deciding to apply to a company:

  1. Flexible working and work/life balance
  2. Mission/purpose
  3. Rewards and benefits
  4. Career development/mobility
  5. Company values

Not surprisingly, flexibility and work/life balance are top of mind for candidates around the world, particularly for women as they juggle work and family. Our findings also confirmed a post-pandemic shift in candidate expectations, with a greater emphasis on purpose. In fact, 50% of candidates say the mission and purpose of an organization have a significant impact on their decision to apply. Men are more likely to rate organizational philosophy as extremely important when compared to other considerations.

While job requirements will always feature in job listings, to keep up with candidate expectations, it’s time to revamp your job descriptions to advertise your unique offerings as an employer.

6 Best Practices for Crafting Job Postings into Job Advertisements that Stand Out

Here are six best practices to help your job ad stand out on any online job listing site.

1. Rearrange the Structure

Structure your job ads in the order of importance according to your candidate. Before you list your requirements, you’ve got to give the candidates what they want. Think about how you would “sell” the position. Include information about your organization’s mission and purpose, what the role has to offer the candidate, what environment they’ll work in, perks and benefits, and more.

We suggest the following order:

  • Job title
  • Salary information plus any relevant bonus schemes, retirement benefits, etc.
  • Location including relevant information on the work environment and remote or hybrid work arrangements
  • Hours especially information on flexibility (part-time, job share, flexible shifts, etc.)
  • Elevator pitch. This is not your “About us” marketing boilerplate, it’s your “so what?” moment. Show why a candidate should apply for this job and why they should work for you, including your mission, purpose, values, etc.
  • Job summary including the day-to-day responsibilities of this role and the impact the role has on the business
  • Required skills and experience
  • About the recruitment process
  • How to request reasonable adjustments

Also, the call-to-action to apply for the role should be featured prominently so it’s always visible as one scrolls through the ad.

Pro tip: Use relevant sub-headings to help the reader scan the content and choose which parts to read first.

2. Keep Them Short and Sweet

When re-envisioning your job descriptions as job advertisements, consider the time it takes to read and review the job posting, the content’s scannability and clarity, and the overall user experience. Of course, you’ll want to help the candidate determine if they’re qualified for the role by including requirements like education, certifications, previous experience, and technical skills required for the role. You may even want to include soft skills, but don’t go overboard. According to an analysis by LinkedIn, shorter job descriptions get more applications.

Plus, more job requirements can have a negative impact on your diversity recruitment goals. While you may be familiar with the research that shows women are less likely to apply when they don’t meet 100% of the criteria. Interestingly, further research shows that this isn’t because women don’t feel as though they can’t do the job; rather, they don’t want to waste their time or energy on an application if it will be automatically rejected. 

The more requirements you have, the more likely you are to discourage candidates from applying. Plus, as the list of criteria on a job posting gets longer, the applicant pool for that job will likely become less diverse.

Pro tip: Focus on behaviors rather than character traits. So rather than, “You have excellent communication skills,” try, “You have presented to executive leadership or at client meetings.”

3. Make the Content Relevant

Make sure the content of the job posting is specific to the role and that it provides value to the candidate for their decision-making process. Include details about location, hours and shifts, and weed out extraneous or trite verbiage. For example, everyone thinks they’re a team player. Do you really need to say that’s what you’re looking for?

Instead, consider including realistic job previews. These video job advertisements give candidates a feel for the job by showing them a snapshot of the real-life day-to-day tasks and environment. We find it to be an effective screening tool and can reduce attrition by setting the right expectations.

Video job ads receive 70% more applications than written ones.

Pro tip: Try featuring existing employees as brand ambassadors in your job listings and candidate attraction material. Job seekers trust employees three times more than the company to provide credible information on what it’s like to work there. Plus, it will help candidates see themselves in the role.

4. Include the Salary in Job Postings

If your job postings mention a “competitive salary,” I can guarantee a lot of your potential applicants are thinking, “If your salary is so competitive, why won’t you say what it is?”

Salary transparency is a tough topic and one that is evolving quickly. Publishing salaries is increasingly a legal requirement in some countries and states. More than that, pay transparency in job descriptions earns your candidates’ trust. In this day and age, when information is readily available, candidates are more likely to apply when the job ad includes a salary or a salary range, because they feel more confident about what they’re getting into. Plus, by offering this information up front, your recruiters and hiring managers can avoid awkward conversations, and you won’t waste anyone’s time.

Pro tip: Consult your legal team on legislation in your area regarding pay transparency, especially as it applies to remote work.

5. Use Plain Language

Effective job advertisements are 3 things: concise, bold and clear. Keep the verbiage in your job listings simple. Use short words and short sentences. Avoid jargon where possible. There are a number of free online tools that can help identify biased language as well as opportunities to improve readability. The readability score of a job posting should be appropriate to the role you’re advertising.

Plain language is especially important for job titles. Use verbiage that your candidate would use rather than your internal terminology. A candidate looking for a hotel job is more likely to search for “housekeeper” rather than “environmental services engineer.” If a job is for a more experienced employee, use “senior” rather than your internal seniority categories like “level II.”

While you’re at it, assess your job ad for biased language. Does it contain verbiage like “ambitious” or “expert” that are stereotypically masculine? Job postings with gender-neutral wording get 42% more applications. There are a variety of online tools that can highlight biased language.

Pro tip: Skip the cutesy language like “rockstar” or “ninja.” Candidates are over it.

Job Search

6. Optimize Your Job Postings for Search Engines

Search engines, like Google, are the top job search tools used by candidates across the world, with 66% of candidates using a search engine to find job openings. Typically, we see employers rank well for search terms related to their brand name. However, nearly a quarter of organizations (22%) don’t appear in Google for job listings when searching by location and job title, such as “IT jobs in Cincinnati.”

Increase your chances of being found on search engines by rolling out some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices for your job postings. SEO is the practice of optimizing a webpage to rank higher in search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing to drive more traffic to your page. Optimizing your job posting with the right set of keywords can help the right talent find your roles.

Modify your job ad titles and copy to increase the chances of your listing appearing in more searches. Put yourself in your candidate’s shoes and think about what terms they would use to find that type of role. This is what your job posting title should be. Plus, you’ll want to sprinkle it in throughout the job description. Be sure to include locations (even if it’s remote or virtual) and shift times prominently so you show up for candidates looking for those things.

Pro tip: Check out part 2 of “Leveraging Recruitment Marketing Strategies to Supercharge Talent Acquisition for a crash course in SEO for recruiters. Download PeopleScout’s latest report to get more practical tips on creating a better candidate experience.

Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report

5 Career Site Must-Haves to Improve the Candidate Experience

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory Consulting

Your career site is a one-stop shop where candidates can learn about your organization, evaluate your employer value proposition (EVP), and find opportunities. It’s not enough to simply list your job openings. Candidates are savvier than ever and want to be informed about your organization before they apply.

Your career site is a crucial resource for candidates as they research your organization and roles, playing a pivotal role in the candidate experience. For our recent research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we audited the candidate journey—including the career sites—of 217 organizations across sectors. When we compared the findings with candidate survey data, we found that many career sites were lacking when it comes to providing the experience candidates expected.

In our Talent Advisory work with companies around the world, we often find that organizations seem to be under the impression that candidates visit the career site just once—to submit an application. In reality, we see candidates come back again and again throughout the recruitment process—usually before an interview and again when they receive an offer. Modern candidates, who are used to social media and e-commerce experiences, think of your career site as a content hub rather than a brochure—and you should too.

Here are five career site must-haves to create a positive candidate experience:

1. Intuitive Career Site Search Functionality

The first rule of career sites is to ensure that job openings are easy to find. That means ensuring your job descriptions can be found via Google and that your career site is easy to access from your corporate website. But it goes further—are your job openings searchable on your career site? Can your job listings be accessed from everywhere on your career site?

Candidate expectations are increasingly fueled by consumer experiences. So, employers should take a page from the e-commerce book and streamline career site experiences by offering relevant job searches. This means candidates can navigate quickly and easily to the types of roles that interest them. We’ve helped our clients up-level their job postings by featuring relevant content for certain jobs, including employee spotlights for someone who’s currently in the role and even recommending similar positions that the candidate may be interested in.

Search doesn’t just apply to your job openings. Does your site have a universal search accessible from every page? To satisfy today’s informed candidates, you must make it as easy as possible for candidates to find the content that matters to them—whether it’s information on your benefits, your sustainability statement, or your DE&I efforts.

Careers Sites

2. Information About Your Organizations’ Mission and Purpose

Historically, candidates have given rewards and benefits priority when it comes to their career decisions. However, our study confirms a change in candidate expectations following the pandemic, with more value placed on flexibility and organizational philosophy.

The top things candidates look for when evaluating a company are:

  1. Flexible working and work/life balance
  2. Mission/purpose
  3. Rewards and benefits
  4. Career development and mobility
  5. Company values

Half (50%) of candidates say an organization’s mission and purpose are key influences on their decision to apply. This is true across generations not, just for Gen Z.

Top Considerations by Generation

With mission/purpose in the top five considerations for job seekers, it’s concerning how few organizations have this information on their career websites. We found an organization’s mission and purpose less than half (48%) of the time on the sites we evaluated. This means that half of employers are missing an opportunity to make an emotional connection with their talent audiences and help candidates understand how the role they have applied for fits into that mission. If candidates can’t find your mission on your careers site, they won’t even look at the roles you’ve got.

You might be thinking, we’ve got that on our corporate website. Can’t we just link to it there? As soon as you send a candidate away from your career site, they’re less likely to come back to apply. Streamline the candidate experience by giving candidates the information they want in the same place where they can submit an application.

3. Content Featuring Real Employees

During our diagnostic, we evaluated career sites to see if a diverse group of real employees was represented. We found that 35% of organizations don’t feature real employees on their career site. In addition, 60% of career sites don’t contain any video content in which employees share their personal journeys and stories.

Yet, when asked how hearing from actual employees would affect their job search, 86% of respondents said they value hearing employee stories. This is especially important to Baby Boomers with 92% saying it would influence their decision to join an organization. Plus, one in three women also believe it’s critical.

Videos that show a diverse range of employees in their real work environment help candidates see themselves in the role and at your organization. The number one obstacle for candidates when it comes to applying is not knowing what it’s like to work at an organization. So, brands that can show candidates what their day-to-day tasks will look like in a role will see more applications and higher-quality candidates.

4. Information on the Recruitment Process

Setting expectations and giving advice on the recruitment process after you’ve piqued a candidate’s interest is an often-overlooked way of improving the number and quality of applications you receive. If candidates are unsure of what they’re getting themselves into from the start, they will likely pass over your position entirely.

In our candidate experience diagnostic, we found that information about the recruitment process was lacking. Only 13% of employers offer candidates the opportunity to speak to a recruiter or current employee before applying. Just a third of career sites (34%) featured frequently asked questions (FAQs) or advice to support candidates throughout the process (31%).

Less than a third (28%) of the career sites we assessed gave an overview of the key stages of the recruiting process. This information can help set realistic expectations for candidates, reduce their anxiety during the recruitment process and reduce drop-off. Plus, outlining the steps of the candidate journey has the added benefit of making your recruitment process more accessible to hard-to-reach talent groups, supporting your brand’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Careers Sites, Application

5. An Opportunity to Join Your Talent Community

As consumers, we’re accustomed to subscribing to offers and news from our favorite brands. Sharing tailored content via marketing automation tools is a simple, yet effective way companies build engagement with prospective customers until they’re ready to buy. Talent acquisition leaders can use a similar approach in their recruitment efforts.

Concerningly, only half of organizations (53%) give candidates an opportunity to register their interest or to sign up for job alerts. Even fewer (39%) encouraged candidates to join a talent community. So, you could be unknowingly turning away talented candidates if you don’t provide a channel for staying in contact with your company. When new roles come up, your talent pool of qualified candidates should be your first port of call.

Candidates wait an average of nine months between joining a talent community and applying for a job. So, maintaining talent pools and communicating with them regularly allows you to demonstrate to candidates what they are missing by keeping them warm until the right job becomes available. These communications should go beyond the standard job updates in order to showcase the value of your employer brand and what they’ll gain by joining your team. Organizations that can successfully implement this strategy will outperform the competition in securing top talent.

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INSIDE THE CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE 2023

Talking Talent: Celebrating our Differences and Hiring People with Disabilities

In this episode of Talking Talent with PeopleScout, we’re focusing on the importance of hiring people with disabilities and how you can create and execute an effective program that serves candidates of all abilities.

The week of March 13 is Neurodiversity Celebration Week, challenging stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences in transforming how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported. It’s a week to recognize the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent while creating more inclusive and equitable cultures, and employers have a role. While not all people with disabilities are neurodivergent and not all neurodivergent people have disabilities, it is essential for employers to understand how to best support these candidates and employees.

Joining to discuss this topic is Tim Powell, PeopleScout managing director of APAC.


Where does your passion for hiring people with disabilities come from?

I’m very invested in the broader issue of equality and diversity, both from a societal perspective and as it specifically relates to the organizational environment. My father worked for the United Nations supporting the disadvantaged, and my interest in this area was a part of my nurturing. I became much more active in the disability sector through the personal experience of raising our daughter who suffers from a rare neurological disorder and is profoundly impacted by it.

The focus on how we can better support people with disabilities entering and embedding themselves in the workforce was a natural development given my professional background. Here in Australia, in our major national disability employment program, 70% of new starters with disabilities do not survive the probation period with their employer.

What do programs for hiring people with disabilities look like at most organizations today?

In my experience, for most organizations, hiring people with disabilities is more of a sporadic initiative rather than a structured program. Therein lies part of the challenge. The issue is not so much what their programs look like, it’s that their programs don’t have structure around it.

Organizations need to first understand why they want to focus on hiring people with disabilities. Is it corporate social responsibility? Is it a way of accessing an available workforce in a tight labor market? Or is it to enhance workforce efficiency and effectiveness? These are all legitimate reasons for employers to build these programs.

How can talent leaders better understand the types of attributes that candidates with disabilities possess and what types of roles would be a good match?

It starts with selecting and shaping the role or the roles that are being targeted for the program. Unfortunately, there’s no one right answer to this question. Having clarity about the goals of the program is important here, as it will influence the types of roles that are considered. Too often, organizations select existing roles in the organization without necessarily thinking through how the person with a disability may or may not be able to carry it out. In many cases, the roles need to be carved up and shaped to the capabilities of the individuals being targeted.

How can employers reach this talent pool?

Finding candidates can be really challenging for talent leaders, particularly if they’re not quite sure what they’re looking for in terms of the skill sets or the roles that they’re looking to include in the program of work. Once you understand what you’re looking for, it becomes more evident where you can find these talent pools. Then, it is best to partner with an external provider. There are organizations, like Jigsaw Australia, that can help organizations find the right people.

What are some best practices for interviewing and assessing candidates with disabilities?

It’s important to assess basic competencies, attributes, capacity, and willingness to learn rather than previous job experiences or how well someone might present. People who are in the early stages of entering the workforce will often have very limited work experience. They may not have participated in the typical structured school/work experience programs that many early careers candidates complete. In many cases, they are challenged by some of the very basics around work experience in terms of things like workplace etiquette and timeliness.

I sit on the board of directors for a progressive service provider that thoroughly prepares people with disabilities to enter the workforce. They work through a series of competency-driven programs to build the individual’s readiness and confidence to join and thrive in the workforce. This is not a short-term program. Participants can be in this stage of development for up to two years or more before being ready to venture out into the open market.

For employers looking to start a program employing people with disabilities, this means that you need to be transparent about the core competencies and take a long-term view of the development of those individuals.

How can talent leaders prepare their internal talent teams and managers so that they’re equipped to make the onboarding process as smooth as possible and ensure success for their new employees?

There’s a line of thinking that says it’s best not to draw attention to a person’s disability, so don’t make too much of a fuss about it with others in a new work environment. While I can appreciate where that thinking comes from, I don’t particularly subscribe to the approach. In my experience, it often leads to misunderstanding and alienation. I think that making sure everyone around the individual is aware of the situation, while of course respecting the sensitivity of this situation, leads to the best outcomes. So, talking to managers and other team members about the characteristics and preferences of a person is entirely appropriate if it’s done in a way that’s sensitive to that individual’s privacy and dignity.

For example, a person with autism may not be comfortable talking about themselves in a group meeting. Team members need to be aware that their colleague may not make eye contact, for instance. That’s because it’s their preference, and team members shouldn’t take that personally or stop interacting with them. This is where education and training in advance of the new colleague are really important.

What can employers do to ensure that their new hire has continued success within their organization?

Ongoing support is obviously the short answer. Make sure that the person has someone that they’re comfortable with outside of their direct manager who can check in on them. Leaders should also engage with the new hire about what support they need and how they’re finding their experience. People with disabilities generally want to be engaged with and are open to talking about what support they require. In fact, in many cases, they’re very used to it just because of the nature of their life experience.

If some elements are not working, there may be additional training or support that is required, and there may need to be additional work in managing or adjusting the expectations of all involved. Employers need to be actively thinking about what could be done differently to produce a better outcome. It’s not just about how the individual is feeling and progressing but how the manager and the team around them are feeling. Lastly, it’s important that if everything is being done to support the employee but the outcome is not meeting expectations, be prepared to act. Don’t linger on it. Sometimes I’ve noticed employers shy away from difficult decisions, but that doesn’t help anyone.

Are there any thoughts you’d like to leave us with?

This isn’t easy. If it was, more organizations would be much further down the path. But it is worthwhile, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes good business sense. Start small, build confidence, think laterally, and then see where it goes to from there. It’s a wonderful journey if you are committed to it.

Research Report

IDENTIFYING RECRUITMENT PITFALLS TO IMPROVE DE&I OUTCOMES

2022 U.S. Jobs Data and Trends Shaping Work in 2023

Exclusive Access to Jobs Data and Workforce Insights for 2023

As 2023 gets underway, hiring remains a key issue for employers across the country. The labor market is still creating jobs at a brisk pace and the number of available jobs continues to outpace the number of workers. PeopleScout is looking back at some of the trends that have shaped the job market this year — and that are likely to make an impact for next year as well.

Our newly released report, “2022 U.S. Jobs Data and Trends Shaping Work in 2023,” shares exclusive jobs data across a variety of industries plus insights on recruitment and hiring trends. Plus, we explore some of the dominant workforce trends affecting the labor market and preview the year ahead with a series of predictions.

Key information you’ll find in the report includes: 

  • National job numbers for 2022
  • Workforce and wage info for several major industries
  • Breakdown of jobs seeing the most growth 
  • Workforce trends and predictions for 2023

Get access to your report now!

How to Scale Candidate Engagement for Total Talent Acquisition 

By Mark Fita, Global Vice President of Implementation 

An extensive amount of time and energy is put into candidate engagement, as candidate-centricity continues to dominate in a labor market of inverted supply and demand. However, the engagement strategy often focuses solely on full-time hiring. But why?  

Contingent labor is critical for responding to the fluctuating supply and demand of today’s talent market. Many organizations have increased contingent labor spend to decrease costs and increase liquidity amongst our uncertain economic environment. A total talent acquisition strategy—encompassing both full-time and contingent workers—helps organizations reduce agency costs and improve fulfillment to meet the most critical business demands. 

In our recent study, Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report, we found that just two in 10 candidates rate their most recent recruitment experience as positive. Candidate ghosting, long application processes, and long delays in between hiring steps have become the norm.  Clearly, organizations must improve how they’re engaging with candidates to improve outcomes across all their hiring programs.  

Keep reading to explore the differences between the permanent and contingent candidate journey, and to learn how investing in candidate engagement as part of total talent acquisition strategy improves recruitment outcomes.

A Tale of Two Candidate Journeys: Permanent and Contingent Workers

Let’s take a look at the recruitment processes for permanent and contingent workers.

Recruitment process workflows for both permanent employers and contingent workers

The strategies for engaging with and acquiring both permanent and contingent talent are often siloed.  

Typically, Procurement leaders oversee contingent labor spend, while talent acquisition leaders look after full-time hiring. Contingent hiring is also sometimes decentralized, with hiring managers taking responsibility for their own departmental hiring. The two sides are often competing for similar talent, with each side paying a premium to get workers in the door. 

Permanent hiring typically involves thorough vetting with recruiters responsible for moving candidates manually through the process.  

The contingent hiring process includes various stages and handoffs, especially as suppliers pass along the candidate to the hiring manager. 

The Importance of a Total Talent Acquisition Strategy

We often see senior leaders go to their internal stakeholders to plead for 50 or even 100 workers in a particular job type to keep up with growth. Think of software developers, commercial drivers, nurses and more. These leaders are so desperate for talent that often they don’t care about the workers’ classification.  

This makes having a comprehensive total talent acquisition strategy that includes both full-time and contingent labor hiring even more critical. Silos between these recruitment processes result in poor candidate engagement. Full-time and contingent workers end up engaging differently with your brand, leading to ghosting and drop-off—and higher costs for the business. 

While employers understand the importance of the candidate experience, there is still room to grow. Some of the common pitfalls we see are: 

  • Delivering one directional communication to candidates 
  • Not tailoring the outreach and message to different target audiences  
  • Spreading the talent attraction budget too thinly across job boards and aggregators 
  • Not asking for feedback  

Now, let’s contrast that with what candidates want:  

  • A mobile-first experience  
  • Cultural immersion, regardless of worker classification 
  • Job flexibility, including remote work options 
  • A quick and easy application processes 
  • Fewer interviews and shorter assessments 
  • Real-time status feedback (No recruiter phone tag!) 

The Candidate Engagement Pyramid

So, how do you create an engaging candidate experience that gives both full-time hires and gig workers what they want? I like to think of the candidate engagement pyramid: the recruiting process, talent engagement technology and the worker value proposition. 

the candidate engagement pyramid

Why a pyramid? Because each level is built on the one below it. Organizations that focus on one area at the expense of others don’t have a solid foundation for their talent acquisition program.

Streamlining the Recruitment Process

At the base of the pyramid, an optimized recruiting process engages talent every step of the way. Candidates should drive the process and be able to self-progress throughout the recruiting workflow, regardless of whether they’re applying for a permanent or contingent role.

Focus on Your Candidates, Not Your Company

Start by focusing on the targeted talent personas. Your recruitment marketing campaigns and job postings must feature thoughtful messaging that resonates with this audience and highlights what’s in it for them—not just what your organization needs.

Make Your Career Site Work Harder for You

Over 90% of job seekers globally use career sites to search for opportunities. Streamlining your career site to provide more information and eliminate candidate confusion goes a long way to increasing application rates for full-time and contingent roles.

Is your career site easy to navigate? Have you eliminated job duplicity? For example, let’s say a large retailer is hiring across 20 locations in a major metropolitan area. If I apply to one location, will I be considered for all, or do I have to apply to each location separately? Do I need to apply for the part-time role if I already expressed interest in the full-time role? Consider adding FAQ content to your site that answers these types of questions and lays out the process for each job type.

Move to Mobile-First Applications

Next, a mobile-first, quick-apply process is a must-have. Over 90% of candidates have used a mobile device to apply for jobs. Yet less than half of employers are taking advantage of a one-click application tool. When a candidate can complete an application in less than three minutes, completion ratios are as high as 80%.

I recognize there are regulated jobs that require specific information. However, I’d encourage you to work with your legal teams to determine what you must know upfront and what you can move to a screening step or to the formal paperwork in the post-interview or offer phases.

Streamline Interviews

The shelf life of an engaged candidate is short. Phone tag leads to disengagement. If you can’t connect with candidates quickly, they’re gone. Technology is a great way to connect with candidates and speed up the vetting process. You could introduce pre-recorded digital interviews, screening questions delivered and answered by text message, or even automated interview scheduling tools.

The more interviews a candidate must complete the more likely they are to drop out of the process. Obviously, if you’re looking for a senior executive, they need to be thoroughly vetted. However, a panel interview for a hospitality worker wouldn’t make sense, so make sure your recruitment stages match the type of role.

Make Faster Decisions

Close the candidate. Today’s competitive market requires you to make fast decisions.

If your candidate is “the one,” make them feel special and respect their time. Candidates will not wait for you, so get the offer paperwork out quickly.

candidate engagement for contingent workers

Leveraging Technology for Total Talent Engagement

Talent engagement technology is closely tied to the recruitment process. The right tools at the right point in your process can further streamline the candidate journey and prove that you value their time.

Here are some examples of how our clients leverage technology to improve their recruitment process.

  • Full-Time Candidate Journey
    Raquel submits a three-minute application via her mobile phone and receives an automated text-based assessment. Built using natural language processing, the assessment deems her a good fit against the scoring rubric. Raquel then gets a text with a link to self-schedule an in-person interview with a hiring manager as soon as two hours later. This entire process takes about 15 minutes. Raquel has an offer by the end of the day.
  • Contingent Candidate Journey
    Mario is a contractor who has worked on an assignment at your company before. He received glowing reviews and prefers short-term assignments due to the flexibility it offers him and his family. Your company has an advanced direct-sourcing platform that manages all current and former workers. This makes it easy and fast for Mario to find and apply for jobs because his information is pre-loaded. Mario was also pre-onboarded through your organization’s preferred supplier for this labor category. Now he can sign up for a variety of shifts without going through the formal vetting process.

Invest in Your Talent Tech Stack for Candidate Engagement

Here are a few tools to consider adding to your talent tech stack to create scenarios like these that will keep your potential full-time and gig workers engaged:

  • Chatbots: Chatbots help candidates submit applications, vet passive talent and even automate some of the screening process. They also support candidates by answering common questions and can even be linked to a standby live resource to assist with queries that fall outside of pre-determined content.
  • Interview Scheduling: Self-scheduling tools help the candidate take charge of their experience by allowing them to find interview slots that suit them. It cuts the lengthy back and forth of coordinating calendars, saving time and creating a frictionless experience for candidates, hiring managers and recruiters alike.
  • Digital Interview Tools: There are many options for virtual interviews, including on-demand phone interviews, text interviews as well as live and pre-recorded video interviews. Virtual interviews are mobile-friendly. Plus, they are perfect for remote workers and those with variable work schedules as candidates can record their interview responses when convenient for them.
  • CRMs: CRMs help with regular delivery of relevant communications and content to keep candidates engaged throughout the recruitment process. You can also keep permanent and contingent talent pipelines warm and ensure they’re informed about your latest vacancies and opportunities.
  • Analytics: A talent analytics suite aggregates data to empower you to increase fulfillment, decrease costs and reduce the time it takes to put a worker on the job. There are times when it makes sense to bring on a contractor or someone with less experience who can get trained in the same amount of time it takes to find the ideal permanent candidate. Recruitment analytics provides insights to power decisions like this and increase your agility in a competitive market.

Many providers offer a broad range of capabilities or act as a middle layer that brings together the best-of-breed tools to help you stay ahead. Whether you go with a technology suite or choose to leverage integrations to connect your systems, your selection should support a consistent and compliant set of workflows.

Employer value proposition for total talent acquisition

Expanding Your EVP to Include All Job Roles

Candidates today have greater expectations when it comes to work culture, flexibility, DE&I and pay equity—regardless of their working arrangement. While these expectations carry on well past onboarding, for the purposes of this article we’re going to focus on talent acquisition.

Change Your Perspective

We often talk about the employer value proposition (EVP) and how important it is to sell workers on a company’s proposition. But does yours apply to both your gig workers and permanent employees? Have you formally defined the value proposition for contractors?

Rather than using the term EVP, which implies the value is only experienced by those you employ directly, I like to use Worker Value Proposition (WVP) to make it more inclusive. Your WVP captures the essence of your uniqueness as an employer and the “give and get” between you and your workers—regardless of worker classification.

So, how do you move from EVP to WVP?

  • Boost Your Cultural Inclusion 
    First, make sure that the workers are culturally immersed in your brand. Where applicable, do your contractors get one-on-ones with managers? Are they included in company events and celebrations? Can they join ERGs? What about access to paid time off or flexible schedules? Be mindful that a person’s worker classification doesn’t change the need to do things like dropping off the kids at school, attending doctors’ appointments or running errands.  
  • Create Growth Opportunities
    Demonstrating growth opportunities is a struggle for many employers, for both contractors and employees. Has your organization invested in creating formal career paths for all its departments? Have you mapped out how workers, regardless of labor type, impact the organization and how their skillsets can translate into long-term mobility and growth?
  • Communicate Consistently
    You may be doing some of these things already, but are you communicating it during the recruitment process for both full-time and contingent roles? It’s not enough to tuck it away at the bottom of a job description. We’re helping our clients get more creative in showing their WVP through employee spotlight videos, realistic job previews, community spotlights and more.

One final note, WVP is not just a marketing exercise. The responsibility also sits with talent acquisition. Recruiters are often the first direct point of interaction between talent and your WVP, so make sure they understand their role as brand ambassadors.

Choosing a Total Talent Partner for Better Candidate Engagement

You may find yourself in a position where you need some help from a talent partner to achieve your total talent hiring goals. Here are three key things to look for:  

  1. Look for a partner with a holistic purview of the total talent landscape coupled with demonstrated success in hiring in your required labor categories. A partner should be prepared with the right market intelligence to map your talent personas against your talent market and identify, engage with, attract, and retain the talent that you need.  
  2. Your partner should have a tech stack that brings the right balance of open web sourcing, AI, and automation. Plus, these tools should introduce more candidate engagement and recruitment optimization.  
  3. Your talent partner should create a total workforce solution unique to your business that goes well beyond the traditional means of direct sourcing. They need a track record of creative problem solving, leveraging their in-house resources to enhance your social media presence, your employer brand, your DE&I strategies, and more. 

Webinar On Demand

Boosting Candidate Engagement with a Comprehensive Talent Strategy

Rethinking Early Careers: Strategies for Graduate Recruitment in 2023

As the world changed over the past three years, college and university students had their lives transformed by the pandemic and recovery. Those experiences have changed both their expectations and behavior when it comes to the recruitment process.

So, as an employer, how can you respond to find, engage and hire the best graduate candidates?

In this episode of Talking Talent, Kate Buchanan, PeopleScout graduate program manager in our Sydney headquarters, joins to share strategies for early careers hiring in 2023.

In 2020, university students saw their entire lives move online. From college classes to job interviews, the path to their future was virtual. Now, the world has shifted again, but some changes became permanent. Technology still remains central to the process; however, the process cannot remain fully digital.

In recent years, many employers experienced increased ghosting and saw more candidates dropping out of the graduate recruitment process. While a fully virtual hiring process moves candidates quickly from application through assessments to offer, it lacks a personal touch. When the process happens completely online, graduates don’t have the opportunity to build relationships, making it easier to ghost employers.

So, how can you respond and ensure those strong candidates stay engaged through their first day on the job? The key is building a process that combines technology and the human touch—with both the speed and ease provided by technology and the relationship building that happens when recruiters work directly with top candidates.

In this interview, Kate shares best practices from recruitment marketing through onboarding that help talents leaders build connections, decrease candidate fall out and minimize ghosting. She explains how the right technology at the right points can improve the candidate experience and make graduates feel like they are already part of the team before they even start.

Quorum Software: Delivering IT Recruitment with Multi-Country RPO 

Quorum Software: Delivering IT Recruitment with Multi-Country RPO 

Quorum Software: Delivering IT Recruitment with Multi-Country RPO 

A global software company, Quorum, engaged PeopleScout for a full-cycle, multi-country RPO solution for IT recruitment to secure top technology talent and support global growth.

87 % Retention Rate
73 % of Candidates Submitted Invited to Interview
Upcoming Expansion to APAC and LATAM
Upcoming Expansion to APAC and LATAM

Situation 

Quorum, a global software company, had two North American in-house recruiters tackling all of the hiring for their operations outside of the U.S. On top of the challenging talent landscape in the IT sector due to skills shortages, they also needed help navigating recruiting across cultures. 

The client needed to streamline their international recruitment with an experienced RPO partner who could engage culturally varied candidates, support business growth and scale up their global talent acquisition program. 

Solution 

Quorum engaged PeopleScout for a full-cycle multi-country RPO solution, hiring for over 40 role categories across IT and technology, technical support and solutions consultants as well as corporate roles in HR, finance and customer success. The PeopleScout global recruitment delivery centers in Poland and India support over 20 stakeholders in Czech Republic, India, Netherlands, Norway and the UK.  

We’ve partnered closely with Quorum’s internal talent acquisition team to ensure we are compliant with company policies. Our specialist IT recruiters have also leveraged the client’s global EVP and employer brand in their candidate outreach on social media including LinkedIn. 

Our team regularly consult with the client’s TA leaders to advise on local market challenges, including a growing trend in India of candidates dropping out of the funnel between offer acceptance and start date. To counteract this, our team partnered closely with Quorum during the onboarding stage to keep candidates engaged with improved results. 

Results 

Through this focused approach to onboarding, PeopleScout has improved the dropout rate, with over two-thirds of candidates moving from the offer stage to starting their new role with Quorum. Plus, we’ve achieved an 87%+ retention rate of new employees after 90 days.  

With 73% of candidates submitted invited to interview, Quorum is so pleased with the quality of new talent brought in by PeopleScout, they have asked to expand our partnership to support client’s in-house talent acquisition team with specialist hiring across Malaysia, Australia, Spain and South America. 

AT A GLANCE

  • COMPANY: Quorum Software
  • PEOPLESCOUT SOLUTIONS: Recruitment Process Outsourcing
  • LOCATIONS: Czech Republic, India, Netherlands, Norway and the UK
  • ABOUT QUORUM: Quorum Software is a leading provider of energy software worldwide. Since 1998, Quorum has helped thousands of energy workers with business workflows that optimize profitability and growth.

5 Essential Elements of a Positive Candidate Experience

By David Macfarlane, Head of Employer Brand and Insight

Candidates have never had higher expectations. They are more well informed than ever, and today’s candidate-led market means they’re less tolerant of poor experiences. With 83% of candidates sharing their poor experiences with friends and family, and 54% taking to social media to voice their discontent, organizations who create a positive candidate experience will achieve better recruitment outcomes.

Yet, in our recent research report, Inside the Candidate Experience, we found that the gap between what candidates want and what they get still remains wide—but it can be made smaller. While there is no such thing as a perfect recruitment process, improving the candidate experience will improve your organization’s ability to attract and hire great talent.

Through our work with some of the world’s largest brands, we’ve distilled the candidate experience into these five essential elements.

Research Report

Inside the Candidate Experience

A best-in-class candidate experience:

1. Is Differentiated from Competitors

Your candidate experience should set you apart from other employers at every stage of the candidate journey. In addition to being a crucial component of the hiring process, the candidate experience serves as a sales tool that persuades top talent to join your organization.

Your candidate experience should be unique to your brand and help you stand apart from other employers hiring for similar roles or skills. For example, does your situational judgement test put the candidate in the work environment they’re applying to join? For candidates, the pre-employment experience is a test drive for what it’s like to work at your organization, so make sure you’re bringing what makes your culture exceptional to your candidate experience.

2. Elevates the Employer Brand

Your candidate experience should be distinct from your consumer experience by reflecting your employer brand—the perception and lived experience of what it’s like to work for your organization. That means all of your candidate communications should be branded—not just with your logo and brand colours, but it should be written in a way that reflects your culture.

Your tone of voice, your career site, your photography and design should all reflect what it’s like to work at your organization. For example, for our client, The AA, we created AAbot, a chatbot with expressive animations and cheeky banter that brings The AA’s playful personality to life. By seeing your employer brand reflected consistently across each interaction with your organization, candidates gain confidence in your employer value proposition.

positive candidate experience

3. Is Informative, Clear and Direct

Candidates want to know upfront what to expect during the application and recruitment process before they apply. Yet, our research found that only a third of organizations (34%) had career sites that featured frequently asked questions (FAQs) or advice to support candidates throughout the candidate journey (31%). Less than a third (28%) gave an overview of the key stages of the recruiting process.

This is about delivering the right message at the right time in the right way to help them understand where they stand and what happens next. Plus, you should express this information in plain language. Make sure you’re using verbiage that your candidate would use rather than your internal terminology. A candidate looking for a hotel job is more likely to search for “housekeeper” than “environmental services engineer.”

4. Embraces Technology

Increasingly, employers are taking a page from the consumer experiences created by e-commerce brands. Many organizations are embracing social media tools (like the one-click apply option on LinkedIn) to increase the simplicity and convenience of applications.

At the very minimum your application should be mobile optimised. But really, with over 90% of candidates using a mobile device in their job search, your candidate experience should be designed for mobile first.

A mobile-first application means the candidate doesn’t have to fill in information contained in their résumé or CV. This may seem basic, but we found that nearly 40% of organizations ask candidates to duplicate information that was already contained in their résumé or CV.

In our modern world, a great candidate experience means a candidate can submit an application while standing in a queue—with one hand, via their mobile phone—before they’ve reached the front. Can your current tech stack do this?

5. Puts Candidates in the Driver’s Seat

Something that many talent acquisition teams don’t appreciate is that candidates don’t perceive the recruitment process as a funnel. They’re the main character in their own story, and they want to be treated that way.

Candidates want to engage in their job search on their own terms. So, anytime they encounter a roadblock to getting the information they want, especially if they don’t know what to expect in the next stage, means they’re more likely to drop out of your process. By creating transparency within your recruitment stages, you empower candidates to opt in or out from recruitment process—ultimately improving your hiring outcomes.  

For more insights into create a positive candidate experience, download the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.

What Candidates Want: Key Research Findings [Infographic]

At PeopleScout, we hear a lot of talk about the candidate experience. Most organizations understand the importance of improving how they engage with job seekers. Yet, our latest research shows that less than two in 10 candidates would rate their recent recruitment experience as excellent.

We audited the candidate journeys of over 215 organizations around the world, assigning each a Candidate Experience Quotient (CandidateXQ) score based on 40 key experience indicators, 15 of which are critical to the candidate experience. Then, we analyzed these scores alongside data gathered from surveying over 2,400 job seekers globally. The results revealed a clear disparity between candidate expectations and their reality.

Check out this infographic to explore the key findings from the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.

Candidate experience infographic

For more global candidate experience insights, download the full Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.

Inside the Candidate Experience: 3 Revelations from Our 2023 Report

By Simon Wright, Global Head of Talent Advisory

When it comes to applying for and accepting new jobs, candidates have more options than ever before. Companies with poor candidate experiences will lose out on the top talent as employers battle for the best prospects.

So, how does the average candidate experience stack up against candidate expectations?

According to PeopleScout’s most recent research, less than two in 10 candidates rate their experience as excellent.

For the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report, we used our proprietary Candidate Experience Diagnostic to audit the candidate journeys of over 215 organizations worldwide. Then we compared this to data gathered via a global survey of over 2,400 job seekers.

Research report

Inside the candidate experience 2023 report

The findings reveal a significant gap between candidate expectations and the reality they face while looking for jobs, gathering information to support their decision, and applying.

Here are three surprises from our research:

1. Less than half of employers show information about the organization’s mission, purpose or values on the career site

Yet, they’re in the top considerations for applicants when deciding to apply.

Your takeaway:

Candidates want fulfilling employment and a company that upholds their values—especially Gen Z and Millennial workers. In fact, one in five Millennials state that an organization’s goals and mission are their top priority when considering a job. By not featuring this information on your career site, you’re passing up an opportunity to create an emotional connection with your candidates.

2. Just half (53%) of organizations provide an opportunity for candidates to register their interest or to sign up for job alerts

Even fewer (39%) prompted candidates to join a talent community.

Your takeaway:

Modern job seekers are more sophisticated than ever and are looking to grow a career, not just apply for jobs transactionally. In fact, on average nine months goes by between a candidate engaging with an employer and applying for a job. Maintaining a talent pipeline lets you build a relationship with your talent audience and ensures you get the best talent, not just those who are looking at the time a vacancy arises.

3. 44% of organizations did not provide an opportunity for candidates to give feedback on their experience

Plus, men are more likely than women to be aware of opportunities to provide and receive feedback during the recruitment process.

Your takeaway:

This is a major oversight for many organizations. If you’re not leveraging surveys to gather feedback from all of your candidates, you are passing up valuable insights that might help you enhance your employer brand, lower attrition and shorten your hiring cycle.

The candidate experience is a hot topic, and most talent leaders I speak with appear to recognize the value of improving the candidate journey. However, this research demonstrates that organizations still have work to do to live up to the standards of today’s job seekers. My hope is that our recent findings will mobilize talent acquisition teams to put real action behind their words and make bold moves to improve their candidate experience and speed up the pace of progress.

To get the full research and more actionable insights, download the Inside the Candidate Experience 2023 Report.