2021 CandE Research Takeaway #4: Make Researching Your Company Content-Rich for Candidates

This is part four of Talent Board’s new 10-post series on Key Takeaways from our 2021 benchmark research report. All previous posts in the series are available on our Articles page.

Here are two facts from Talent Board’s newest candidate experience benchmark research highlighting the importance of the Research stage of your company’s candidate experience:

Fact #1: Nearly 70% of the 83,000+ candidates we surveyed globally last year conducted their own research on potential employers.

Fact #2: Companies with higher-than-average NPS ratings at the Research stage also have the highest-rated candidate experiences overall.

This close association between the Research stage and the quality and success of your candidate experience as a whole is no coincidence. The Research stage marks the beginning of the journey for a vast number of your candidates. It is essential to their ability to determine whether your company and open jobs align with their own interests, goals, and ambitions. The Research stage “seals the deal” on whether they should take the next step (Application) or self-select out of your process.

This is why it’s so important that you make researching your company super easy for candidates. It’s just as important to make this research content-rich.

What Content Matters Most?

As we point out in our new research report, candidates want three things at the Research stage: 1) an understanding of your company’s culture; 2) insight into the employee experience, and 3) a sense of whether they connect with your overall brand. In other words, candidates want your content to go beyond simply describing the type of work they’ll be doing in a particular role. They want to get a feel for the environment they’ll be working in, the people they’ll be working with, and the organization they’ll be working for.

That’s a pretty rich array of content, and the types and channels of your content need to be equally rich. As we discovered during our research, there are four content types/channels that deserve your special attention:

  1. Your Careers site—Despite the many other ways candidates can learn about your company and jobs, your Careers site remains the top channel for effectively engaging them during the initial stages of your recruiting process. CandE-winning organizations (i.e., those with the highest-rated candidate experience) consider their Careers sites to be essential to their recruiting success. Yet, nearly one-third of the employers we surveyed still don’t consider their Careers site to be crucial. (Additional fact: 30% of North American candidates said they wanted Careers sites in multiple languages.)
  2. Insights into your company’s culture—In 2021, 35% of candidates said they wanted even more information about company culture. More specifically, 29% wanted more information on why employees want to work for their employer, and 26% wanted more information about diversity and inclusion initiatives. Not coincidentally, CandE winners provide more of this culture-related content than the average company. Among the most compelling types of culture-related content you can provide is candid employee testimonials—not just from your executives but from people at every level of the organization. Nothing beats hearing employees speak their minds and tell their stories in their own words.
  3. Video, which can be a strong differentiator—If you want to outshine your competitors, create more video-based content. The use of video increased 19% last year but it has yet to be leveraged effectively by nearly two-thirds of employers. Videos are a natural for social sharing but they really help to liven up and differentiate a Careers site.
  4. Newsletters, which are making a comeback—CandE-winning organizations such as Deluxe and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian are using newsletters once again to engage with potential candidates, and they’re doing so 40% more frequently than the average company. Again, this is a clear point of differentiation in a crowded and competitive talent market—one that can work for your company as well.

If you’d like more insights into the types of content you should consider creating, download our 2021 research report. There are several tables covering the top candidate research channels, candidates’ preferred content types, the critical ways employers are engaging with candidates online before the Application stage, and more.

Be sure to check back soon for our article on Key Takeaway #5, “Let Candidates Know What’s Up.”

And be safe and well.

Kevin W. Grossman, Talent Board President

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