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In the expanse of the Hotel Irvine grand ballroom—nestled in the heart of sunny Southern California—recruiters move from booth to booth like tourists along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They’re laughing and shaking hands and telling stories; formalities and rituals before business begins.

It isn’t long before the conversations shift from small talk to real talk. The, how have you been’s?” and so great to see you’s,” become, I need to enrich my pipeline and reach more candidates…show me your applicant tracking system…can you parse resumes with it?”

One thing you deduce at a staffing and recruiting conference is the air of excitement when recruiters talk about their career field. They want to stay current and understand how software solutions benefit them. They want to go home better than when they arrived.

And it is here where our journey ends. Not California like some Steinbeck-cliche or Manifest Destiny creed of the American West, but realizing that when recruiters gather together, their ambition is contagious.

Until now, we have dissected the candidate experience from a distance, but the candidate experience is much more than a colloquialism to toss around with no clear resolution. Improving the candidate experience is something recruiters strive for on a daily basis.

So what is the recruiter Rosetta Stone? From the application process to clear communication with the candidate or client, you can reshape the way you interact with candidates with the right applicant tracking system.

Simplify the application process

Let’s think back to our stop a few weeks ago in the land of bad candidate experiences. It was there we learned that long applications with unclear instructions and lack of communication during the hiring process are the two most commonly sited reasons for a bad candidate experience.

In a world before powerful recruiting tools like an applicant tracking system (ATS), these two issues would be difficult and time consuming to address. Fortunately for recruiters, those times are over. We are in the era of the candidate experience because we are in the era of the ATS.

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Recruiter Perceptions of Top Causes of Positive Candidate Experiences

According to a report from Software Advice—a company that reviews HR technology—over a quarter of recruiters (26 percent) said using an ATS is one of the top contributing factors for applicants having a good candidate experience (second only to excellent recruiter training.) So how does Zoho Recruit specifically address these candidate experience hindrances?

What typically makes an application process long and unappealing is requiring candidates to enter the same data multiple times for multiple job postings. Zoho Recruit eliminates this redundancy with the Candidate Login feature. After creating an account, applicants can apply to one or multiple job postings at once without re-entering his or her personal information multiple times.

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The Candidate Login feature safely saves the candidate’s personal information and resume so he or she can use it at a later date hassle-free. And by integrating this feature on your company website, applicants can find all your job openings in one centralized location.

But what about multiple job postings in the same department? Zoho Recruit addresses this with Multiple Careers Website Pages. This feature lets you classify your job postings even further so candidates can find a specific job opening with ease. Create multiple pages and target them to unique audiences based on the type of job. For example, group all sales jobs on one page to target applicants with a sales background.

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An estimated 49 percent of job applicants said extremely long applications were major deterrents to applying for the job. You can remedy this problem by utilizing the customized candidate forms in Zoho Recruit. Create custom webforms based on only the most important information you need from a candidate (name, email, phone number and resume) when he or she first applies for the job posting.

Communicate, communicate, communicate…

As someone who has applied to many jobs, I can vouch first hand for the second most common cause of a bad candidate experience: poor communication during the hiring process.

Nothing is more disheartening as spending time working on every aspect of your resume, filling out the application and never hearing from the company again. Did the email go through? Did I send it to the right person? Did I fulfill every requirement? This trend ends now.

According to Software Advice, improving communication during the hiring process begins and ends with giving the applicant a clear timeline of the hiring process and sending out personalized or automated emails after receiving the applicant’s application.

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Impact of Communication Methods on Candidate Experience

Zoho Recruit lets recruiters communicate and engage with ease. Recruiters can create and send out custom emails through every phase of the hiring process. From receiving the initial application to hiring or rejecting the candidate, you can ensure the applicant is informed and in-the-loop by creating a workflow inside Zoho Recruit that automatically sends an email when the applicant’s status changes or when a condition is triggered.

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Send Emails Automatically

All email communication between you and a candidate is especially easy to complete and view inside the Candidates portal. There you can see all correspondence with a specific applicant in one location and also view the status of a specific candidate in the hiring process to ensure you are staying on top of the timeline.

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Create Custom Email Templates

The communication doesn’t stop with email. You can also communicate with candidates and client contacts by sending SMS or text messages from inside Zoho Recruit to inform a candidate about receiving his or her application and scheduling an interview.

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Send SMS/Text Messages with Ease

Lastly, Zoho Recruit lets you communicate and view all social media interaction with a candidate through the Social Tabs feature. This features interacts with a candidate’s Facebook and Twitter profiles to log all interaction between the recruiter and candidate inside the candidate’s record so you can stay organized on all fronts.

Put your skills to use as a champion of the candidate experience

For recruiters, the applicant tracking system has become an essential part of hiring quality candidates and providing them with a god candidate experience—especially in an understaffed HR department.

From allowing candidates to save and store their personal information on your company website to sending out automated emails trough the hiring process, the right ATS can save you valuable time and money while also improving how you interact with candidates on a daily basis.

So go forth now as champions of the candidate experience. Take the lessons we’ve explored here and step into the light as a modern recruiter who values the candidate experience. Your company will thank you.

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