Candidate Journey Mapping - Simple Steps to Get Started

Justin Schmidt
November 27, 2023

Candidate Journey Mapping - Simple Steps to Get Started

How to Create a Candidate Journey Map

By mapping the journey, talent acquisition teams can better align their strategies with candidate expectations, leading to improved engagement and better hires. Mapping any process in business takes time and can be an exercise in managing group dynamics, planning, etc, so go into this exercise with an open mind. This article was written as a guide to get you and your team started on your journey to improving your candidate experience.

Every business is different; therefore, every process map will be different. This four-step approach is meant to be a conversation starter or a foundation upon which you can build the right map for your particular needs.

Step 1 - Establish the Stages of the Candidate's Journey

At Largely, we think of the candidate's journey as a flywheel rather than a linear path. This approach emphasizes the interconnected nature of the recruitment process, where each stage builds upon and influences the next.

Largely talent experience flywheel.

The candidate's journey, seen as a flywheel, consists of the following stages:

  • Attraction: This initial stage involves creating awareness and drawing potential job seekers to your brand.
  • Recruit: In this stage, the focus is actively engaging with candidates and encouraging them to apply.
  • Hire: This includes the various parts of the hiring process, from job offer acceptance to onboarding.
  • Employment: Once hired, this stage is about integrating the candidate into the company and ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Advocacy: In the final stage, satisfied employees become ambassadors for your brand, helping to attract new candidates and completing the cycle.

Step 2 - Define Your Candidate Personas for Your Role and Company

A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal candidate. This profile includes demographic details, professional background, skills, motivations, and behavioral traits. These personas will help you and your team better articulate the candidate's needs, what touchpoints will occur during the journey, and the potential channels to facilitate those touchpoints.

Different companies create personas in different ways, but most include some form of the following:

The Who - The Demographics and typical characteristics of your ideal candidate.

  1. What is their current role?
  2. What is their typical experience or education history?
  3. What salary range are they hoping for?
  4. What are their interests?
  5. Where do they spend time online?

The What - These are your target job seekers' motivations, pain points, and goals.

  1. The What - These are your target job seekers' motivations, pain points, and goals.
  2. What company culture are they looking for?
  3. What are their career goals?
  4. What are the common challenges they face in their field?
  5. What are they looking for when they visit a career site or job board?

We recommend interviewing current employees or gathering data from active job seekers in your pipeline.

Step 3 - Identify the Key Touchpoints at Each Stage of the Candidate's Journey

Once you have defined your personas, you must consider what they need at each stage of the journey. What questions will they have? What are they looking for in an opportunity at each stage? Align these needs with those of your organization and understand what content you'll need to answer those questions. This content can range from testimonials from key talent ambassadors to specific components of your culture on your website to preparing the hiring manager with the proper training to answer the questions.

You want to ensure your recruitment strategy is both candidate-centric and aligned with organizational goals. It is nearly impossible to be authentic when there is misalignment.

Step 4 - Map the Channels Used to Create Those Touchpoints

Various channels can be used to facilitate these touchpoints, such as Social Media, Job Boards, Targeted Job Ads, Career Sites, Company blogs, Email, SMS, Phone calls, and Meetings. Anywhere that can make potential candidates aware of or interact with your employer brand is a channel.

Choosing the right channels for each journey stage is essential to ensure effective communication. For example, social media is fantastic for showcasing your employer brand or generating interest in roles at a new location. However, it isn't suited for one-to-one communication after the application. Each channel has its strengths and weaknesses. Think about what you want to accomplish with a particular touchpoint, and then ke

Using the Candidate Journey Map in the Hiring Process

Once the candidate journey map is created, the next step is to measure its effectiveness in your recruiting process and implement improvements.

Develop Your Content

Once you align the candidate journey touchpoints and channels to each stage of the candidate journey for a candidate persona, you can start collecting or developing the content, messaging, and processes for each stage. You'll likely find you already have much of the necessary content created, and it might just need a refresh or formatted for a particular medium.

Measure the Impact

Effectiveness can be measured by analyzing the conversion rate between stages, examining ATS stage data, conducting candidate surveys, interviewing hiring managers, reviewing company site feedback, and conducting 90-day check-ins with new hires. Your candidate experience will be directly impacted by the measures you have taken in each stage, so be sure to take the time to understand how you will measure the impact.

Implement Change In Your Recruiting Process

Based on the data gathered, map your analysis to the relevant stages and touchpoints. Engage stakeholders in the review process, discuss the findings, and make informed suggestions for improvement. Remember, the hiring process is a journey, not a destination.

Ready to Get Started With Candidate Journey Mapping?

We're here to help. If you have questions about creating a better candidate journey, we'd love to answer them!

Justin Schmidt

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