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Why Every Moment Matters in the Candidate Experience

Sara Erickson
January 23 ․ 4 min read

boris-smokrovic-gr7ZkoZnHXU-unsplashBees have it all figured out.

There are up to 100,000 jobs to fill in each honeybee colony, and they do it innately and instantaneously — no resumes, no cumbersome applicant tracking systems, and no worry. As a recruitment marketer (and a hobbyist beekeeper, obviously), I envy the efficiency. 

See, Ecolab was facing its very own worker bee challenges about five years ago: filling 10,000 roles annually without a strong employer brand, online presence or recruitment marketing capability, and with an ATS that required over 75 clicks to submit an application (many job seekers, as you can imagine, buzzed off well before that point). And unlike our fuzzy black and yellow friends, we didn’t have the option of falling back on animal instinct to get ideal candidates swarming through our doors.

Yeah, that stings.

I come to you now out of bee puns, sadly, but full of hope and encouragement — improving your candidate experience in just a few short years can be done. We did it at Ecolab. With the right background knowledge, strategic plan, and laser-like focus, so can you.

The first step is recognizing that every moment matters. It has never been more challenging to hold a candidate’s attention and interest; the forever growing, shifting nature of the internet has caused the recruiting landscape to change and expand, leaving job seekers with more choices than ever before. 

To improve your candidate experience, it’s critical that you start adapting as well. It’s no longer enough to simply attract more candidates. You need to attract the right ones. And to attract the right ones, you need to be dedicated to change management and enhancing the candidate journey, bit by bit, touchpoint to touchpoint, moment to moment. 

For the past four years at Ecolab, we prioritized the candidate experience above almost everything else. We now have a team focused on recruitment operations, candidate experience and recruitment marketing, a well-defined employer brand, a modest budget, and a lot more buy-in and trust from the business — not to mention at least a 50% reduction in the clicks in takes to apply through our ATS.

Now, not every company is a Fortune 200 with the resources to make major improvements like we did. But no matter your company’s size or scope, I promise that you have the ability to enact change in your company’s recruitment efforts if you zero in on the moments that matter to your candidates, even if they seem small.

To close Talent Acquisition Week (if you’re attending, come say “hi!”) in San Francisco next Thursday, Jan. 30, I will be delivering the keynote that details more specifically how Ecolab was able to improve its candidate experience and more efficiently and effectively attract, nurture, hire and retain ideal candidates — and how your company can, too. 

As a complement to my keynote, there will also be a groundbreaking, experiential exhibit onsite at the Mission Bay Conference Center called — what else? — Moments That Matter, and it will give talent acquisition leaders the opportunity to physically journey through the candidate experience and all its ups, downs, promises and pitfalls. 

No, our companies will never operate quite as preternaturally as a humming colony of bees blissfully making honey. But we can create a candidate experience that’s just as sweet. 

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