The role of digital in enhancing candidate experience

Written by
Capita Resourcing
Capita Resourcing

18 Apr 2019

18 Apr 2019 • by Capita Resourcing

Balancing digital with the human factor will create positive and personalised experiences for candidates during the recruitment process.

The struggle to source, attract and retain highly skilled candidates continues to undermine businesses’ strategic priorities in the UK. Experts warn that it is only likely to grow in light of Brexit and ongoing concerns around the ability of our education system to equip young people with the skills companies need for the future

This recruitment challenge is set against a backdrop of immense change, as organisations transition from a predominantly human-based workforce to a new world of work, in which humans will work in a hybrid, technologically optimised environment, alongside robots. The shift, over the next five years, will dramatically alter the skills and competencies required to fulfil many roles across all industries – adding further layers of complexity for organisations to manage and boosting the demand for specialist digital skills. 

With commercial success increasingly dependent on the speed and agility with which organisations can bring in world-class people, the stakes have never been higher for leaders HR, talent acquisition and management.  

Winning through candidate experience

In response to this challenge, organisations are putting candidate experience at the heart of their talent-acquisition strategies, recognising the advantages of providing prospective employees with seamless, flexible and personalised experiences throughout the recruitment process. 

Research from Capita Resourcing found that 65% of recruitment professionals expect candidate experience to become a key differentiator within business over the next five years. Perhaps more tellingly, it also highlighted the fact candidates now expect this experience to match the level of service they receive as consumers, when dealing with a global, consumer-facing brands outside of work. They simply won’t put up with sub-optimal experiences, in any context.

This is where digital is so critical: it enables organisations to provide candidates with an intuitive, seamless user journey, real-time responsiveness, compelling content across channels, and engaging communication, all tailored to the individual’s specific preferences, circumstances and behaviours. 

The need for digital balance

However, if your organisation is set to invest heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning over the next two years, in line with current trends, it is worth considering how few recruiters are fully satisfied with their current level of digitisation.

Too many digital programmes come unstuck on the back of integration and inter-operability issues between technology platforms, difficulties finding suitable technology partners, and a lack of employees with the requisite digital skills to get the best out of these systems.

Rather than rushing into one-off purchases, it is critical to consider where and how technology can help your organisation to deliver its workforce strategy.

The research suggests that candidates will continue to demand and value human input at various stages of the recruitment process. Digital is no silver bullet for enhancing employee experience and ‘over-digitisation’ can be off-putting to many. Get the balance right or risk alienating many promising candidates along the way.

HR professionals should therefore regard digital as a tool for achieving increased personalisation in recruitment rather than as a solution in itself, viewing all decisions through the lens of candidate experience.

Ultimately, those organisations that use technology effectively to provide people with a positive and personalised recruitment experience will establish genuine differentiation and put themselves in the best possible position to attract and retain the very best talent.

Further reading

Download The Digital Difference: Delivering better candidate experiences in the shift to a hybrid workforce 

Capita Resourcing