Knowing your candidate touchpoints ensures that your target audience encounters an end-to-end employer brand experience that delivers consistency of visual impact, tone of voice and audience knowledge. This article explores the various stages along the candidate journey to give you a comprehensive understanding of where you should land your employer brand.
Define employer brand touchpoints
Also known as candidate touchpoints, employer brand touch points are the various stages at which your target audience is likely to come into contact with your organisation from a career perspective. They could include:
· Seeing a job advertisement on your LinkedIn page
· Reading a blog post on your careers website
· Listening to a podcast about working for you
· Being a customer and seeing how your people are treated
· Receiving a offer letter from you
· Going to a team building weekender
· Being performance managed while working for you
That’s right—employer brand touchpoints occur at every single stage of the candidate journey—from the first time they learn you exist right through to alumni stage (when someone tenders their resignation). In other words, they are all opportunities for you to deliver a branded message that keeps your audience positively engaged and, thus, improves your reputation as an employer.
Understanding the candidate journey
Let’s start by considering the various stages along the candidate journey that your target audience might come into contact with you. Comprehensive candidate journey mapping will help you to realise all the different moments at which you can have a positive influence on their experience.
The passive candidate has never considered you as an employer. This is your chance to make a great first impression, be it with a blog post, an ad, a video, or even a podcast.
The point at which the candidate is activated, i.e., they are no longer passive. They are browsing your content to see what it’s all about.
You have impressed the candidate and they’re starting to see connections between your employer brand and the things they’re looking to get out of life. They might attend a webinar or download a white paper.
Your employer brand assets have convinced the candidate that this is the place for them. This is where they experience your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for the first time.
What is happening while your candidate is waiting for a reply? Do you let them know you’re still thinking about them? And what’s the interview process like for them?
You decide to recruit them. Exciting in and of itself, but how do you go about making that experience special to show them that you intend to deliver on your employer brand promise from DayOne?
From Learning &Development activities to performance management, the progress stage is all growing capabilities, but also about ensuring satisfaction.
The employee is leaving you. Whatever the circumstances of their leaving, make sure it’son-brand and dignified. An ex-employee is, in most cases, a potential future candidate.
How to identify specific touchpoints
The research phase of your employer branding process is the perfect opportunity to learn which touchpoints your target audience engages with most frequently.
First of all, your employer marketing agency will want access to any web analytics that reveal how your people have historically first been finding your careers pages. That will help to uncover the most popular ways of engaging people at the attraction stage.
Do more people come to you through Twitter than LinkedIn? Do more people engage with podcast content than video content? How long are they dwelling on your pages and how many pages on the site are they visiting? All this information reveals a lot about the candidate experience.
A great piece of candidate research will also uncover what people thought of your messaging at those—and all subsequent—touchpoints. So, questions around this will be built into your focus group research. Did you deliver on your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) at all of them?
Creating a candidate journey map
Candidate journey mapping is the process of putting all the information uncovered during the research phase into an infographic. Your employer marketing agency will do this for you as part of the employer branding process. It is a visual reference tool that allows you to see all the various places where you currently deliver your employer brand message and all the places you’re currently neglecting.
By building a candidate journey map, you’ll be able to start weighing your attention on the touchpoints that most need it. Those are, naturally, the touchpoints with the biggest potential impact but which are currently the most under-developed.These are ‘quick wins’ that will allow you to have immediate reputational impact.
Beware of simplified candidate journey mapping that only takes you through the broad stages discussed above. A comprehensive candidate journey map will include, for instance, all your social media channels and show how people are using them and where they go from there. It will also show the very specific aspects of your Onboarding and Learning & Development offering, what happens when you performance manage your people and how exits from the company are managed.
Having all this information within a single visual reference point allows you to understand where engagement drop-off is occurring so you can start to make adjustments to bring your audience back on message.
Candidate journey mapping vs. talent mapping
Though talent mapping and candidate journey mapping sound alike, don’t be confused by the similartitles.
A talent map is an infographic used to help employers understand their own future talent needs. It shows which skills will be needed in which divisions and when, according to fluctuations in the wider world of work, allowing employers to start to build strategies that prioritise need.
A candidate journey map, on the other hand, is a depiction of how a typical candidate experiences the recruitment, onboarding and employment lifecycle across all its various touchpoints. This is a specialist offering delivered by an employer marketing agency and draws on media, social media and internal communications expertise to deliver consistent employer brand messaging at every stage.
To find out more about developing a candidate journey map, get in touch today