What Wholesale Grocery Shopping Can Teach You About the Candidate Journey: 5 lessons learned from buying in bulk

What Wholesale Grocery Shopping Can Teach You About the Candidate Journey: 5 lessons learned from buying in bulk

I love buying in bulk and always having what I need when I need it. What frustrates me is when a product has been moved and I have to search all over the store for its new location. Worse is when a product is discontinued without warning and I can’t find anyone in the store to answer my questions or help me find what I need. In that situation I’m forced to either hunt or abandon my purchase.

Your prospective candidates are going through this same journey when searching for a job. The good news is that you have the opportunity to make their job hunt stress-free and seamless. With 20 years in talent acquisition/management and a pro at wholesale shopping, I’ve learned a few lessons about candidate attraction. Here are four of them.

1. Time is precious

When I arrive at my favorite wholesale store I know what I want. The quicker I find my items and get through checkout, the happier I am. The same applies for your candidates. They want to quickly find what they are looking for – jobs and related content. Remember, one extra click can cost you the ideal candidate, so make sure your candidate journey is streamlined. Don’t make candidates search for your job listing and careers content.

One extra click can cost you the ideal candidate.

Action Item:

Identify one of your hard-to-fill roles. Critically go through the complete application process. Make sure you complete the full path of your candidate. What is their experience on your social assets, your career site and, of course, your ATS? Is it what you thought? How many hoops are you making them jump through to find your job and careers content?

When evaluating your candidate journey ask yourself:

  • What information is relevant?
  • What information is missing?
  • What information did you think you were communicating but were not?
  • What information do I need to remove?
  • Take a look at your competition. What is the candidate experience for that same role across the same path?
  • Finally, what recommendations do you have to improve the experience? Start small – aim big.

2. Content needs to be relevant

I will never buy a casket from my local wholesaler – mainly because I’ve decided to be cremated. While it is nice that they have this offering, it’s not relevant to me. The same applies to your content. Your jobs content needs to be relevant to the particular candidate, showcase your brand experience, and help them with his or her consideration process to apply for your job. The more they can relate to a job the better. Don’t just have content in place because you have a section on the website for it. Make it relevant and intentional. An investment in content is an investment in quality candidates.

Action Item:

As you are conducting your review of your candidate’s experience ask yourself:

  • Do I have content that is showcasing someone in this role?
  • When I go to social sites, are the reviews aligned with the internal perceptions?
  • What additional questions do you think the candidate would want answered?

3. Personalized experience is crucial

I know this would be a long shot, but I would love if my favorite wholesale store put all the items I normally buy in one aisle. That would make my experience even better. While unlikely for me, you can make this happen for your candidates. You know who your jobs-seekers are. The more tailored your content and experience the better engagement, consideration and conversion.

Action Item:

  • Search! Can candidates quickly search your job database and then refine their search with ease?
  • Is it easy for a candidate to see who in their network works at your organization?
  • If the candidate is a repeat visitor, do you show recent jobs he or she has applied to? Better yet, if they click on a job, are you showcasing relevant jobs that the candidate might not be considering?
  • Does your career site have IP detection? If a candidate arrives from Chicago are you only presenting him or her Chicago jobs?

4. Provide a High-touch experience

I have to admit I usually spend way more money than I normally expect when I check out at my wholesale store. I have a feeling I would spend even more if my experience were more personalized. What if when I picked up my Starbucks coffee, right next to the package was the heavy whipping cream and a new coffee flavor sampler? I bet I would buy it.

Action Item:

What makes your candidate experience unique? Have you thought of:

  • Live chats with people in a similar role/on-demand chat
  • Setting up informational conversations for candidates to help learn more from people in a similar role
  • Do your brand ambassadors truly emulate your brand? Do they have the tools to help market your employer brand effectively to prospective candidates?
  • What is the experience when they come to the interview/post-interview (an entirely different topic)!

From time to time a new product will catch my eye, either because of flashy packaging or – more likely – taste-testing from the sample counter. These help influence my decision to buy a product. Your candidate has the same consideration set in his or her application process.

When your candidates are ready to apply, will their experience afford them all the information they need in order to pull the trigger and apply?

5. Help your candidate make a decision (opt-in/-out)

Action Item:

Review all of your assets (creative, photos, videos, etc.):

  • First, are they updated? Do they truly align to your brand?
  • Now, where are they located on the career site? Where does the candidate interact with this content?
  • Tie relevant content to the Job Description. We know this is the most-visited part of your website. Help your candidates make an informed decision when they are ready to apply!

Today’s digital candidate wants to be treated like a consumer of your brand. The more you personalize and provide a tailored experience, the more compelled a candidate is to learn about your organization. These customizations are an added efficiency to a candidate’s consideration path. Helping improve this path will lead to a decrease in unqualified or non-fit candidates and an increase in qualified informed candidates.

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Brian Di Bartolomeo
Written by Brian Di Bartolomeo

As the Regional Vice President of Client Strategy for TMP Worldwide Chicago-Midwest, Brian collaborates with leading organizations on their employment brand, attracting qualified candidates, and providing thought leadership on their overall talent acquisition strategy. Brian’s expertise focuses on the candidate experience, providing ongoing engagement for improved experience, and leveraging SAAS based technology to drive overall efficiencies across the digital landscape. Prior to joining TMP Worldwide Brian held leadership positions at startups and Fortune 1000 companies. An industrial organizational psychologist, Di Bartolomeo has an outstanding reputation for developing, implementing, and maintaining sound measurable business practices and effective communication skills with clients, and leadership skills with internal teams.

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