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6 Tips to Elevate the Candidate Experience in Your Marketing Automation Strategy

Your raving fans and most successful placements all seem to have one thing in common: a great experience with their recruiter – from the top of the funnel, all the way down to becoming an alumni advocate for their agency.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the talented candidates who fell through the cracks had the opposite experience. We’ve all heard stories about how recruiters never got back to them or let too much time pass between points of contact. Steps in their job search process were unclear and value was not added by your agency. 

Leveraging marketing automation to create a positive candidate experience is imperative to the future success of your agency.

If you are using automation but are worried it’s not providing your candidates the best experience, read these key tips to creating a legendary candidate experience based on understanding your candidate and delivering killer content.

Balancing Marketing Automation With an Unbeatable Candidate Experience

Anyone can relate with job seekers whose less desirable experiences led them to either give up working with your recruiters, or to look elsewhere for their next career opportunity. 

Staffing and recruiting agencies have heard the feedback from their talent. They’re on board with providing a positive candidate experience and want to know more about creating the positive recruiting experiences that are getting big results in attracting and hiring the industry’s top talent.

At ASA’s Staffing World 2021 Conference, it was the single hottest topic of conversation. While attending the conference, we heard from many attendees about their struggles to create a marketing automation strategy that provides an unbeatable candidate experience.

We called on Parqa’s Toby Hoskins to help us out with this one.

Toby is Parqa’s Director of Technology & Automation. He’s the brilliant mastermind behind the automation workflows that are delivering quantifiable results for our clients. We tapped Toby to help us understand how staffing and recruiting agencies can leverage the key journey impact points of automation to create a better candidate journey. 

Here are some of Toby’s top tips:

1) Develop an Ideal Candidate Profile

Who are you selling to? If you could choose your ideal candidate what would they look like? Think of the candidates you’ve enjoyed working with in the past. Take into consideration everything from their personality to their overall skill set that made such a winning partnership. 

All these details create your ideal candidate profile (ICP). You can develop your ICP a number of ways, either in a multi-hour workshop or as an inclusive part of an overall marketing automation solution.

For staffing and recruiting agencies, developing your ICP on the front end will save you from creating a disjointed candidate experience on the back end. That’s because, without a thorough ICP, you’ll have a difficult time delivering the right message, to the right candidate, at the right time. 

But with a great ICP, you can effectively communicate to a candidate that was just placed with valuable content like, “5 tips for success on your first day as a consultant,” or a consultant that is 15 days from the end of their contract should be sent content such as, “Hot jobs at Company ABC, Apply Now!”

2) Create a user journey workflow that fits in the larger automation program

To some, it may seem that taking the time to create an infographic of your journey workflow could be busywork. But creating a great visual representation of your candidate journey is especially important when your goal is to use automation to create a great candidate experience. 

That’s because mapping out and displaying your journey workflow:

  • Keeps your strategy organized.
  • Gets everyone on your team on the same page.
  • Makes the “why” of your automation strategy more visible.
  • Your content team has a visual reference when writing copy, or preparing visual assets for each of the key journey impact points.
  • Allows internal recruiters who may only see things in their silo, to see the journey as a whole.

One of the most important reasons you’ll want a good visual representation of your journey workflow is creating content that is relevant and timely for your audience. 

3) Create A Focused User Experience

Content is good. But when we put some logic and thought behind our content, it can become great. The best way to create a focused user experience is to write content that speaks to their specific place in your nurturing journey. 

Sending an email that ends with an urgent CTA to contact their recruiter might be useful for a candidate whose current contract is about to expire. But for a mid-contract employee, that same email might seem spammy and annoying because the sender hadn’t taken into consideration their readiness for re-engagement on that level.

Being more thoughtful to how your content will land at the specific point in a candidate journey is the first step in delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time – an essential recipe for success in your automation strategy.

It also supports this next great tip…

4) Let the End-User Dictate What the Campaign is About

A/B testing is a great example of letting the end-user dictate what your campaign is about. If email A gets a lower bounce rate than email B, your end-user is sending you a clear message. We can logically assume email A was more valuable for the end-user because they spent more time reading it’s contents.

This is great news, even if the end-user didn’t click on the CTA button. 

But what if email B had a more aggressive drive to make a conversion? Maybe it was designed to really hit that CTA and motivate the end-user to take action. That’s only natural. As business owners and marketers, we’d prefer to get leads and conversions sooner rather than later. 

But a critical mistake many companies are making with their candidates is a failure to allow them to guide the conversation. Even if that might mean sending an email with a more nurturing CTA – “Check out this blog post,” for example. Or, “Get our salary guide here.”

It can be difficult for a company who is eager for leads and conversions to spend more time and resources nurturing their target audience further down the funnel. But when you let the end-user direct the conversation, ultimately, that will create a much better user experience.

5) Model the Journey After the Business Needs

Many companies have a cart-before-the-horse marketing strategy. They’ve heard of how successful social media can be, and they want that. They’ve heard about how successful blogs can be, and they want in on the action. 

But, instead of “we need to send more emails,” try modeling the journey after the needs of the business. Your business may have several needs. So you might have three or four automation campaigns depending on your end goal. 

But emails are not the end point. The ultimate goal is to drive internal efficiency with a positive candidate experience. Having a hyper focus on the business goal of the marketing automation campaign can help you create emails that can drive towards your ultimate goal.

Just imagine: what if you didn’t have to hire more recruiters because your automation strategy allows your current recruiters to take on 10 more consultants? What if your recruiters don’t have to send 50 emails every day congratulating consultants on their first day at work, or wishing them a happy birthday? What if your recruiters didn’t have to constantly send blogs or articles to keep your pool of candidates engaged?

At Parqa, modeling your candidate journey after your specific needs helps us drive your actual business goals of profitability, ROI, efficiency, and of working with a trusted partner.

6) Set Goals for Accountability, Scalability, and Predictability

Before you measure the results, you’ll need to have set goals for your automation campaign. What do you want to accomplish? How will you accomplish it? What defines success or opportunities?

When you set clear goals, your emails can be more intentional in driving content to meet those goals. More importantly, when those goals aren’t being met, you can change course to get better results.

Additionally, when you create emails that hit those goals, you can use those as a benchmark that, when replicated, we can estimate will get similar or better results. Additionally, creating goals in marketing automation allows you to re-reiterate to continue to see results you are looking for.

It All Begins With A Positive Candidate Experience

Providing a positive candidate experience is important at all times, but it is especially urgent in a candidate-driven market. If you want to attract the best job-seekers, you need a candidate experience that is attentive, timely, relevant, and better than your competitors. 

Parqa can help. Get in touch with Parqa to learn about how you can successfully nurture candidates with great automated marketing. Contact us today.

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