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Candidate Experience – Make It Engaging and Interactive, Part 6 of 6

by Joseph Murphy

This is part of a series connected to the Candidate Experience Monograph

We asked job seekers to clarify their outlook for an interactive application experience two ways.  In general, we wanted to know if there was a strong preference for engaging activities and if there was an expectation for interactive activities over text only experiences.  The large number of neutral responses to a preference for interactive experience might indicate that candidates do not have enough exposure to job applications with this feature to have a strong opinion one way or another.   However, the majority of job seekers have expectations that they will find a more engaging candidate experience than just reading about the job.

Click Here to Play

Most careers pages have not kept pace with delivering the type of robust interaction that can be found so easily just about anywhere else online.  Why?

Maybe you have noticed the web has become a fascinating place, combining qualities of a playground, a maze, an entertainment center and a shopping mall,  just to name a few.  Contrast that diversity of experiences with your job application.  How ya feeling about that?

John Sullivan suggested our careers web sites are boring our candidates.  Go and apply for one of your jobs and rate the experience from dreary (1) to dynamic (10).  A little bit of interaction can take your candidate experience up a notch.  And 37.6% of candidates want it.  53.4 % of candidates are Neutral about it.  But only 9% are sure they don’t want it.  My recommendation would be to satisfy the preference in the group that want it and convert the majority who are on the fence, but could be fans.

Inspect What They Expect

When 46.9% of your candidates expect to find engaging activities in your online job application, what should you do?  Deliver.

Similar to the response pattern on a preference for engaging activities, a large group, 32.5% of job seekers, state a neutral position on their expectations for interaction.  My position remains the same: candidates have a poor frame of reference.  I do submit though that time spent on other web sites is highly correlated to the degree of interaction found on the page.  This might be reinforced by the small number who disagree and have little or no expectation to find interactive tasks and activities when applying.

Candidate Reactions to Interaction

We ask every candidate completing the Virtual Job Tryout for feedback about their experience.  Some candidates continue to sell themselves, yet others share a comparative view of how this form of application is different.  Here are a few poignant examples.

“Not your ‘typical’ online job application. I actually really enjoyed the process and I feel as though I have a better understanding of the job and its requirements and thatwill have a better understanding of me as an individual and not just what is on my resume. “

“This was the most interactive experience I have ever had while applying for a job!  I enjoyed how this puts the applicant in real life situations and tests how well you can meet the challenges.  The team of people who designed this program are very creative and intuitive to the needs ofas an employer.

“I am very impressed with how well this was set up.  It’s the first ‘pre-screening’ application I've encountered that really challenged the way I think. It’s creative, easy to use, and works exceptionally well at describing the job role.  Thank you for the perspective. “

“The Virtual Job Tryout is exactly what potential employees need to do, so that they can see what they may be faced with. I never knew until doing the tryout, that there was so much that a Representative has to accomplish during a phone call. “

In 2006 about 6% of companies stated they were using simulations in their candidate evaluation process.  In 2010 that had risen to 12%.  That trend can be expected to continue.  So, watch it, or become part of it.  Take some decisive action to improve the interactive nature of your candidate experience.

Part OnePart TwoPart Three, Part Four, Part Five