Applicant Communication: Do´s and Dont´s

Today’s applicants are well informed, critical and demanding. They don’t want standard phrases in job advertisements or on company websites. Much more important is a real and honest look behind the scenes of the company. Potential new employees have clear expectations as to how an employer should present itself in online channels. Above all, applicant communication at eye level is important to you.


The most important source of information in applicant communication – the career website

Almost half of German students visit employer assessment platforms such as Kununu. Employees rate current and former employers on these platforms. These portals are an important source of information for potential applicants. They get an authentic insight from employees and other applicants. This is important because career websites often lack this authenticity and honest information. For this reason, more and more companies are creating additional transparency with short videos of individual employees on their websites and on YouTube. Specific jobs, programs for trainees and further education as well as fields of work can be presented more comprehensively.

The career website plays the most important role as a source of information in the overall context.

Applicants expect real information:

  • to the company philosophy
  • to the values of the company
  • on the development opportunities as well as
  • the reconciliation of job and private life

Communication at eye level with the potential new employer and a real insight into the corporate culture and the future working day are also important.


The dont’s of applicant communication

But most of the time the reality is different. Application tips are too general. There is little room for personal information and too little transparency. Applicants expect 08/15 phrases and beautiful stock pictures as well as standardised job advertisements on the career pages. On the other hand, you expect personality and cultural fitness from the applicant. Around 60 percent of potential applicants do not know after visiting the career website whether their profile matches the requirements of the company and whether it makes sense to apply at all. This is the result of this year’s study by potentialpark.com. A seamless communication is also important for applicants: confirmation of receipt is super, but is not sufficient on its own. If a candidate is out of the question or the process is completed, a rejection must be sent or the applicant must be informed promptly about the status of his application. Not to get in touch at all is not an option and is not welcome with applicants. That throws a bad light on the enterprise. Irrespective of this, the employer brand of the company is also damaged. Another no-go for potential employees: obsolete technology for online applications. Many companies offer forms that are around ten years old and often have the following problems:

  • Complicated and confusing input masks
  • Missing or limited possibilities to store data
  • Missing or limited options to upload documents In addition, the lack of mobile optimization is a drawback in terms of applicant communication.

And not only for online applications, but also for your own career page. Digital natives in particular are frustrated. Around 39 percent have already broken off an application process due to technical problems (source: https://www.personalwirtschaft.de/recruiting/artikel/bewerber-wollen-authentizitaet-und-moderne-technik.html/).


Applicant Communication: Do´s and Dont´s


The Do’s in applicant communication

Not only digital natives, but all applicants have special expectations and wishes when it comes to addressing applicants and application processes. Offer potential employees more personal contact and exchange. Provide concrete information on the stages of the application process. Addressing them via social media is also becoming increasingly important and promising. Make use of a relaxed language that is nevertheless suitable for the company. In addition, use real pictures from everyday working life and respond specifically to the preferences and wishes of potential employees. The best way to find out what these are is to use questionnaires and interviews with new employees and applicants.


Break new ground: Videos for authentic applicant communication

In order to adapt applicant communication to the new requirements and circumstances, processes must be newly planned and implemented. More and more companies are already breaking new ground in applicant communication. They present themselves for example on Instagram, watchadoo, Snapchat and Co. or offer the possibility for mobile video applications. These videos can be viewed by a defined group of users and evaluated according to a standardized criteria catalog. From this a ranking of the candidates can be derived, who then invite you to an on-site interview. This saves an enormous amount of time and money. Both for you as a company and for the applicants. Well-known companies such as Computa Center, Manpower or Allianz have already recognized this and are already using the video application successfully.

But not only applications via videos are an authentic and modern way to communicate with applicants. The external presentation of the company via video also brings advantages. Companies can thus present themselves as likeable employers; their employees and the working environment can be presented emotionally and comprehensively. This scores well with potential employees and has a positive effect on the employer brand. What’s more, it is barrier-free, because even poorly read applicants are addressed by videos.


Conclusion

A direct, transparent, authentic and appreciative applicant communication is essential to win in the “War for Talents”. In addition, modern applicant communication creates a lasting and positive effect for your employer brand. Initiate the necessary changes now. More and more applicants are digital natives who value authentic, honest and creative companies.

So put your money on entertaining, emotional and above all informative content. Use new ways such as social media and apps, for example to apply via video, to pick up the new generation and win them over.