Attended a very good webinar this morning (along with nearly 300 other people) called "The candidate experience: Black hole or north star?" put on by Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler from careerxroads.com . It was good because it was short and very focused.
The subject? A candidate's perception of applying for jobs with your organization over the Internet. The presenters outlined what they believe to be the most important aspects of the candidate experience:
1. Target: Does the job seeker feel that the employer is looking for THEM? Does the bulletin/ad/etc. describe in detail the type of person they're looking for?
2. Engage: Does the job seeker understand why they should join the organization and why people stay? Does the site profile key employees?
3. Inform: Does the site provide information the candidate will want? Can they see data on, for example, the number of female engineers currently in the organization and how many are in senior management positions?
4. Respect: Does the site outline privacy policies clearly? Is the candidate respected, or treated like a piece of data?
They brought up some other very good points, such as the fact that only 2/3rds of applicants to the "100 Best Companies to Work For" received acknowledgements of their application, that many acknowledgements are canned pre-programmed versions, and that candidates rarely receive the information they're really after (i.e., did I get rejected?).
The white paper that addresses the same issues is also a good read. So rarely do we see things from "the other"'s perspective and think about the impact that perceptions and emotions have--a small but important example is the web of negativity that can result when someone has a bad application experience. Chances are they know people, who know people, who know people, and so on, and so on.
Bottom line for me: Embrace technology, but don't forget the basics of treating people with respect and fairness.