Seize Their Moment: Is Every Candidate Journey the Same?

Seize Their Moment: Is Every Candidate Journey the Same?

Mike Roberts

Just about every candidate may have the same intention on finding a new job, but how they get to their new position typically varies greatly. The process of applying for a job has evolved alongside the rise of the internet as an on-demand information resource and mobile as the medium, and that’s changed the candidate journey significantly. What were the best recruiting strategies and technologies a decade ago no longer pack the same punch.

The last chapter in our “Seize Their Moment” series takes a look at the journeys of our fictional characters, Nick and Zoey, and inspects the long series of events that lead to their interviews. From first discovering companies on Google through exploring employer branding on rating sites and then applying on a variety of devices, Nick and Zoey experienced nothing less than the typical job search grind. Make sure to read their stories with your own candidate experience in mind.

In case you missed the previous parts of this story: read them here. Also, if you’re heading to HR Tech this October, don’t forget to swing by the Jibe booth to see Nick and Zoey in action.

Chapter 5: When the hard work finally pays off

Nick

A referral from the right person at the right time could change everything about the job search process. In today’s social media-driven world, it’s now second nature for savvy candidates to reference their LinkedIn connections to see if there’s an easier way to the top of the resume stack. Nick not only exhausted all of his possible connections, he’d also run out of steam in general. One week had passed since he gave up the search.

Since the moment Vance Jones had walked through the door several months ago, Nick knew his time at Rapid Financial was limited. What he didn’t know was how difficult it would be to find the right job—especially for someone with his sought after skill set. The news said that the number of job openings was record-setting, and yet after doing his research and applying to several dozen positions Nick had heard virtually nothing.

Of course, being the analytical person that he was, Nick was monitoring his entire job search process in a Google Doc. Of the 28 jobs he applied to, he’d received automated replies from twelve. The number was far fewer of actual human interactions, and from all those submitted applications, so far he’d only set up one real phone interview. His excitement about that interview faded with a quick Google search.

The one company interested in him ended up having a Glassdoor rating lower than the Yelp rating of his neighborhood Chinese restaurant that routinely gave people food poisoning. Everything was a dead end. He’d been moping along all week, thinking about all the time he wasted recently filling out 40-50 question online resumes, applying on the bus and then getting error messages on his phone, and all that was in between. Even complaining about how horrible the job search process was on Twitter was getting old.

He sat there one day trying to think of what to do next. To Nick, it made the most sense at that moment to go back into passive mode, just doing enough to get by and keep Vance Jones off his back. It sounded like a bleak future but he didn’t feel like continuing with the job search grind. And then, just like it always seems to happen, he got a notification that would change his life—a job alert email from his favorite company.

At the beginning of his search, Nick had made a list of his dream companies to work for, and then systematically applied to each one. While the one that topped the list didn’t have any openings, it did have the option to opt-into job alerts. And just like they were supposed to, the job alerts sent an automated email when a new position was posted that matched his search criteria, “Analytics Manager Los Angeles.”

Nick immediately applied, and then, as if they’d been waiting to hear from him all along, he got an email from a recruiter. That led to a phone screening a few days later, and then an in-person not long after that. He was well on his way to a better job.

Zoey

Having to spend yet another day off inside last weekend was still irking Zoey. It wasn’t because she had to apply to more jobs, though. It was because she had to pay to use a PC at an internet café, since she was having so much trouble trying to submit applications on her smartphone. At that point in her life, she didn’t have very much extra cash to be throwing around.

The doctors recently said her mother was making progress since the accident, but would need another several years of physical therapy before she was officially back on her feet. Zoey had been trying to stay as hopeful about her mother’s recovery as she was about her job search process. Watching her mother strive through the exercises inspired her not to give up on finding a better work-life balance.

For weeks, she hadn’t heard basically anything beyond automatic replies from her application submissions. It wasn’t because she was under-qualified—in fact, with her associate’s degree in business management she would have been most managers’ dream employee for lots of the positions she was after. More likely, her resume was just sitting in virtual stack alongside others, waiting to get read.

A few days after she had been to the internet café, Zoey was folding some ruffled shirts at the department store she worked at in Manhattan, thinking about whether or not she needed to change up her job search strategy. She felt her phone vibrate in her pocket, assuming it was her mom letting her know what time to meet her at physical therapy later that night, so she didn’t check it right away.

As it turned out, she actually received an email from a recruiter about an associate management position at a department store in Queens. Zoey was elated, but that was only the beginning of her excitement. Over the course of the next few days, she heard from two more recruiters about similar positions. She recognized two companies’ names immediately, because they were places with the work-life balance she was after.

Although applying to jobs turned out to be a frustrating experience, because so many sites didn’t support mobile application submissions, Zoey tried to put that all behind her as she read up on the companies interested in her. It was time to start sharpening her interview skills.

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