Ensuring a great candidate experience is crucial to consistently recruiting top talent.

First off, if the application process at your company makes for a lousy candidate experience, much of the great talent in your applicant pool is going to drop out in the middle or take other offers – generally with competitors – leaving you with the rest. Secondly, if word spreads that applying for a job at your company is a pain, less and less people are going to apply, and the reverse is true as well.

The fundamental problem though is companies are getting overwhelmed with applicants these days. Most jobs posted on job boards garner more than 100 applicants, with Google reporting that it gets 75,000 resumes a week alone! The only way to deal with that massive influx is to use technology to optimize the process.

But, as always, technology can be used incorrectly. Here are four keys to using technology the right way to create a great candidate experience:

1.Don’t Make Applying For A Job A Trip To The DMV

This is a side-effect of a lot of ATSs and a huge turnoff to potential job applicants: a burdensome amount of forms. All you want to do is just apply for a job, and yet you have to fill out web form after web form describing your work and education history, when you already submitted your resume that already has all that information.

Yes, we get it, it organizes your information for you, but it also is a huge disincentive for people – particularly people with jobs, who often are the best employees – to apply. Technology should improve the candidate experience, not hurt it, and there are better solutions out there then the “DMV” approach.

2.Don’t Ask For A Cover Letter

This is along the same lines as the first point, although perhaps more controversial.

Cover letters have been around for a long time and they certainly have some benefit: they show the person is at least somewhat interested in your company, has done at least some research and it shows off some of their communications skills. Or does it really?

A lot of people – smartly – get help with their cover letters, either professionally or from friends, so it isn’t really a good indication of their own communication skills. Also, a person who is working and just sees a job they are really interested in – which is likely a better hirer – is not going to have as good of a cover letter as someone who is unemployed and has time to craft a great one.

So again, requiring a cover letter just disincentives the people you want to apply the most from applying and we question if they provide accurate insight into the applicant. There are far better solutions out there.

3.Do Give Everyone An Automated Screening Interview

Now this is a much better solution than a cover letter and gives everyone a voice.

Take VoiceGlance, for example. Here, you can create one interview and send it out to all your candidates and then their answers are recorded and transcribed for you. First off, it is better for the candidates, because taking a 10-minute phone interview at a time of their choosing is much less of an ask than filling out form after form or writing a cover letter.

It also is better for you, because now you have some real insight into each candidate, and can make screening decisions based off of more than just work and education history.

4.Automate Candidate Engagement

The most important thing candidates want to know when they apply for a job is where they stand, as in have they been eliminated already or is their application still being reviewed, will they be given an interview, etc. However, there is no HR team in the world that can be sending updates to a 250-person applicant pool.

Most screening and ATS software out there automates this process, letting people know exactly what’s going on (of course, some do it better than others). Keeping people in-the-loop is an essential part of a great candidate experience and the best solution is to use technology, so everyone is reached.

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