5 Surprising Benefits of Candidate Experience Software

by Mike Tannian on June 04, 2024

With top talent in high demand and short supply, learn how candidate experience software can help you beat the competition.

Article Highlights:

Now more than ever, your agency needs to stand out from the competition. 

Today in the public sector, there are less people applying to more jobs. In 2022 there was a 20% increase in job openings and a 15% decrease in applicants per job compared to 2021. This trend has continued for most agencies across the country, resulting in lower supply and higher demand for qualified candidates.

Who are you competing against? Not just private sector companies, but also other government agencies. 

Similar to winning customers in a crowded market, the key is differentiation. By positioning your jobs as the better opportunity, you can attract more qualified candidates. 

You may not be able to compete with the private sector when it comes to salary, but how about benefits, PTO, culture, or purpose? What about the candidate experience?

Improving the candidate experience will help you compete with other government agencies, and win. The public sector hiring process is marked by outdated applications, long hiring timelines, poor communication, and inflexible job requirements – all things that create a negative experience for candidates.

Candidate experience software can help. Keep reading to learn how to differentiate your agency in the public sector and create a candidate experience that attracts top talent.

Importance of the Candidate Experience

Top talent is in high demand and short supply. So when qualified candidates do enter your hiring pipeline, you need to capitalize on it. This starts with creating a positive candidate experience. 

Candidate experience is the interactions that a job seeker has with your organization during the hiring process, from sourcing to onboarding. A positive experience will improve your reputation among other job seekers, too. It improves retention for candidates who are hired, and for those who aren’t hired, it motivates them to apply to future jobs at your organization.

Unsure how to get started? There are many ways to improve the hiring experience:

  • Simplify and shorten the application process
  • Accelerate the hiring process
  • Communicate clearly and frequently
  • Include multiple interviewers in interviews
  • Provide honest feedback to unselected candidates

Improving the hiring process for candidates starts by measuring key data points so you can make data-driven decisions, instead of implementing changes based on assumption.

How to Measure Candidate Experience

Measure the candidate experience quantitatively by breaking it down into smaller units of measurement. Examples of candidate experience metrics include: 

  • Application abandonment rate
  • Time to hire
  • Candidate churn (the rate of candidates leaving the hiring pipeline)
  • Candidate touchpoints (when and how often do you communicate)

HR staff may have knowledge of the hiring process, but this is different than experiencing it firsthand. And it’s different from objectively measuring your hiring data against best practices.

Where does your agency rank against best practices? According to a NEOGOV survey, 40% of government job seekers want faster hiring timelines. And 43% of respondents preferred a response within two weeks after submitting an application (this is perceived as a reasonable timeline for HR and hiring managers to review their application and follow up with next steps).

The easiest way to start measuring candidate experience is with candidate experience software, also known as candidate relationship management (CRM) software. Keep reading to learn how this technology can benefit your organization, in addition to helping you measure a candidate’s hiring experience.

Benefits of Candidate Experience Software

Reach More Candidates

Candidate experience software helps you source new candidates and leverage a database of past applicants. Some applicants may not be a good fit for the job they applied for, but they may be perfect for future openings. With a database of past applicants, you never have to start from zero.

Attract, a candidate experience platform, connects with other NEOGOV solutions like GovernmentJobs.com. This job board gives you access to over 2.4M public sector job seekers. Attract also integrates with Insight, an applicant tracking system, so you can easily connect with your active candidates too, not just past applicants.

Fill Positions Faster

After a conference or career fair, it’s time-consuming to send follow-up emails to every potential candidate. A candidate engagement platform automatically sends post-event emails on your behalf. It also tags and organizes all candidates (including past job applicants) in your database. So when a new job is posted, the system automatically notifies candidates with matching skills and interests.

In Attract, this feature is called Virtual Recruiter. As your time-saving assistant, it operates quietly and automatically in the background as you focus on other tasks requiring your attention. We’ve found that customers using Attract get 15% more applicants without adding to their workload.

Automate Communication

Manual processes eat away at time you don’t have. Candidate engagement platforms let you communicate with candidates clearly and consistently. For example, Attract lets you set specific parameters to automate email campaigns for all types of candidates. You can contact candidates individually with personalized messaging, or reach hundreds of candidates at once with pre-built templates and bulk communications.

Source Top Talent

In this competitive job market, it’s critical to source both active and passive candidates. While active job seekers may be more motivated and engaged throughout the recruitment process, passive candidates may have better experience for the role you’re trying to fill.

With a candidate experience platform like Attract, you can leverage new sourcing channels for both active and passive candidates. This includes promoting your employer brand on customized landing pages that highlight departments, events, and initiatives at your government agency. Take things a step further by adding forms and calls-to-action on your website, so you can quickly capture contact information for future recruitment. 

With these digital solutions, you can quickly build a talent pool with minimal manual work and data entry. The best part? Anyone can do it, no IT support needed.

Track Candidate Experience Metrics

Any candidate experience software worth its salt will let you measure the impact of your sourcing and recruitment. Without these data insights, you’re operating in the dark, hoping your recruitment efforts pay off. 

Attract by NEOGOV lets you report on key recruiting metrics such as open, click, and conversation rates for your emails and landing pages. You can also track applicant leads from events, emails, landing pages, articles, and more. 

These features let you measure your ROI and identify the recruitment sources most likely to lead to a quality hire. Use this information to inform future campaigns, focus on what’s working, and find ideal candidates faster.

How to Get Started

In today’s competitive labor market, your agency needs to differentiate itself from other public sector jobs. Most government agencies struggle to simplify their applications, communicate regularly, and hire in a timely manner. By improving each of these elements, and thereby improving the candidate experience, your agency will become more attractive to top talent.

This can be accomplished with a candidate engagement platform. Attract includes all of the features and benefits listed above, and much more. Not only that, it integrates with all of NEOGOV’s recruiting solutions to create a one-stop platform for all of your recruitment needs. 

Ready to outsmart the competition and win top talent for your agency? Schedule a no-obligation appointment now to learn how Attract can help.

Mike Tannian

Mike Tannian is the Director of Content Marketing at NEOGOV. With a talented team of writers by his side, he aims to produce content that delivers real value to public sector HR professionals at every stage in the buying journey.

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