Seize Their Moment: Candidate Journey Through the Eyes of Job Seekers

Seize Their Moment: Candidate Journey Through the Eyes of Job Seekers

Mike Roberts

The process of looking for a new job is very personal. It often starts with a moment—the realization it’s time to move on, a supervisor pushing someone’s buttons, a life-changing event. At that time, the first instinct of today’s mobile-first, digitally-savvy workforce is to pull out their device and start the search. Is your organization ready to seize that moment? Most aren’t, and there’s a growing disconnect between how candidates find and connect with companies online.

Career sites represent the largest source of hire, and yet too many recruiting leaders overlook that. To truly understand what drives candidate behavior on the Web, you need to see the experience through the eyes of job seekers. That’s why we created two fictional characters, Nick and Zoey, who you’ll be able to follow from their “moment” through the job search process—the new candidate journey. Their stories were built to show diversity of the workforce from a gender, race, and employment perspective.

Follow along Nick and Zoey’s story to learn how to “Seize Their Moment.” What you’ll read in the coming weeks will revolutionize the way your company thinks about talent acquisition.

Chapter 1: Nick and Zoey’s Moments


Nick the Purple SquirrelSome people are just “born with it.” At least, that’s what they’d say about Nick as he breezed through high school. And then when he graduated from UCLA in just two and a half years. It wasn’t until his first taste of the professional world—a part-time internship he took on during his “senior” year—that he actually felt challenged. Little did he know, his time as a credit risk intern at Rapid Financial would pave the road to his future.

After overhearing his supervisor complain about the company’s outdated tools one day, he nearly got an A- on his Theoretical Mathematics midterm because he immersed himself in a self-assigned project to visually display a person’s propensity to pay her credit card bills on time. This would lay the foundation for Rapid Financials’ first consumer-facing analytics application, and the company didn’t hesitate to hire Nick to lead the team that would build it.

In case you haven’t picked up on it, Nick is the proverbial “Purple Squirrel”—that impossibly perfect candidate you’re always looking for but can never find. Considering how he practically engineered the entire infrastructure responsible for Rapid Financials’ unprecedented growth in the past few years, it’s safe to say he’s got more job security than the company’s CEO. The last thing they’d want was to lose him—not that he’d been planning to go anywhere—that is, until a few months ago.

Following its acquisition of a quickly growing data processing startup called DataGator in late 2014, Rapid Financial went through a series of leadership changes—one being the replacement of its old Director of Product with DataGator’s Vance Jones. Vance had gotten to his position via a combination of good fortune, an unrelenting work ethic, and an Adderall addiction. He knew how to get things done, and he wasn’t one to let anything, or anyone’s ideas, get in his way.

wecome candidate experience acquisitionNot surprisingly, it didn’t take long for Vance and his new direct report, Nick, to start butting heads. Vance saw Nick as a threat, while Nick saw Vance as a major roadblock to his vision for the company’s major analytics update. Channeling his proclivity to solve problems, however, Nick tried to approach his new relationship with diplomacy. But that worked to no avail. Within a few months, Vance micromanaged Nick into the ground, forcing him and his team to rework their next update numerous times until it was starting to become something entirely different. It really started to wear on Nick.

And then one morning before work as Nick laid there in bed, trying to get himself to stand up so he could start what had become a monotonous 8:30-7p.m. routine, he checked the inbox on his iPhone and saw it. He saw the last email he would ever take seriously from Vance, with the subject line “Analytics dashboard changes needed ASAP!!!” Frustrated, Nick walked into his kitchen and poured himself a bowl of Cheerios. He opened up the browser on his MacBook, and at that moment, leaning over the counter, he decided it was time to start looking for a new job.


zoey the reail candidateSaying she wanted to move back to Queens would be a bit of an overstatement. But what else was Zoey supposed to do? In the past eight years, she had managed to transplant to Florida with her sister, graduate with her Associate’s degree from Fort Lauderdale Community College, and work her way up to Assistant Department Manager at a major retail store. Everything was moving in the right direction until she got the call. Aside from the seasons, not much seemed to have changed in her Queens neighborhood over the years. She loved living in Florida, but moving back to take care of her mother after the accident was the right thing to do. So with the best smile she could wield, Zoey quickly captured a Retail Sales Associate position at a store in Manhattan. It was a step down, but if the past was any indication of the future, she’d be back to where she was in the no time—or so she thought. Working retail in New York was a whole different beast than Fort Lauderdale. It was more difficult to stand out by simply working hard and having a positive attitude. Seeing other workers come and go in her department seemed to humble her. And meeting her mother three times a week for physical therapy, coupled with the bus-train-bus combo required to get there, made the days as long as they were tiring. The work-life balance she’d become accustomed to in Florida didn’t seem to exist in Manhattan. working hard candidate Zoey liked her supervisor, Jenny Falcone, just fine. She was a fast-moving and even faster talking New Yorker who always seemed to be under immense amounts of stress. The turnover rate at the store was astronomical. And Jenny once confided in Zoey that she wished she could offer higher wages or benefits or anything to keep employees longer. Upon her request, Zoey agreed to start picking up shifts to help Jenny smooth over the erratic headcount for a short time. As “a few months” morphed into almost a year, Zoey grew increasingly agitated. It became clear that she—and just about everyone working at the store—was being exploited, and there was nothing that could be done about it. Not only was it becoming more common that she missed appointments with her mother, almost everything else that was important to her seemed to be eclipsed by work.

Sensing how difficult life was for Zoey, her mother suggested she move back to Florida. But Zoey wasn’t one to walk away from a challenging situation. The next day she went into work, pulled Jenny aside, and told he she either needed a reprieve from working so many hours or at the very least a bump in pay. As apologetically as possible, Jenny said “I really wish I could, but unfortunately it’s not up to me.” An hour later, when Zoey was on her lunch break, she was standing in line waiting for her latte at Dunkin’ Donuts and took out her phone. It was time to find a job that would allow her to be there for her mother, and, more importantly, to live her life.

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