How to Use Candidate Journey Mapping in Recruitment

Candidate journey mapping helps you streamline your hiring process and create a great candidate experience. By walking through the application and hiring process from the candidate’s point of view, you optimize your company’s ability to attract top talent.

The candidate journey begins before job seekers apply to your job listing and continues through onboarding.

Read on for a closer look at candidate journey mapping, how you can implement it, and how it elevates your hiring process!

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What Is Candidate Journey Mapping?

A journey map in recruiting is a visual representation of the candidate experience from the moment they become aware of your company. It helps you identify and understand the key touchpoints your company has with applicants throughout the hiring process so you can streamline and improve the experience.

How to Create a Journey Map for Your Hiring Process

Before mapping the journey, you want to know who will be taking the journey. A candidate persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal candidate.

This persona will guide your mapping process and help you tailor the experience to attract the right talent.

Creating a Candidate Persona

Creating job candidate personas is similar to building customer personas. You want to understand your ideal candidate’s skills, experience, goals, preferences, and motivation. You may have more than one persona for each position.

Candidate personas allow you to understand and empathize with potential hires so your recruitment plan aligns with their needs and aspirations. By tailoring the candidate journey to your ideal hire, you enhance the candidate experience and increase your chances of attracting the best talent for the position and your organization.

Here’s a quick rundown on how to create a candidate persona:

  • Research to identify common traits of successful hires. Get information from current employees, especially top performers.
  • List characteristics like education, location, work experience, skills, qualifications and certifications, and career goals.
  • Consider how they might look for a job. Do they notify their network, browse social media, or search through job boards?
  • Consider what they hope to find in a new position.
  • Think about what motivates your ideal hire. For example, someone new to the workforce might prioritize learning opportunities, while a senior executive might value a company’s vision and leadership style.
  • Give each persona a name. This makes them more relatable and easier to reference during strategy discussions.
  • Lastly, you should revisit and update your personas periodically. The job market, candidate expectations, and your company’s needs can evolve. Your personas should reflect these changes.

If you’ve answered most of these questions, you have a strong sense of the ideal candidate, how they approach the job search process, and what matters to them.

Seven Stages of a Job Seeker’s Journey

Most of your new hires go through seven stages. They include the following:

  1. Awareness: They see the job posting or learn about your company.
  2. Consideration: They research your company, the position, and other openings.
  3. Interest: They decide they would like the job.
  4. Application: They submit their application.
  5. Selection: The interview process, including any aptitude or personality tests or other requirements.
  6. Hire or Not: They receive a job offer or don’t. If they are offered the job, they accept it or they don’t.
  7. Onboarding: How do I get started, and who are my new coworkers?

While all job seekers go through these stages, the touchpoints at each stage change depending on the persona and the position. This creates a unique candidate experience.

Understanding Touchpoints

You have tremendous power to improve your candidates’ experience by understanding the touchpoints from their point of view. In essence, the touchpoints are all the interactions a job seeker has with your company.

A candidate may have multiple touchpoints with your company during each stage of the journey. The better you understand how a candidate interacts with your company during the hiring process, the more control you have over your employer brand, and the more tailored you can make the experience.

Touchpoints include things like:

  • Seeing your job posting
  • Googling your company and reviewing employer ratings
  • Reviewing your website and career site
  • Looking at your LinkedIn page
  • Applying for the position online
  • Receiving a confirmation email
  • Receiving an invitation to interview
  • Having a virtual interview
  • Having a second, in-person interview
  • Receiving a job offer
  • Accepting the offer

Identify and Customize Your Touchpoints

You’re ready to put it all together and walk through the candidate journey in the job seeker’s shoes. While it’s a daunting task to identify all the possible touchpoints, you can vastly improve the candidate experience by understanding the job seeker’s needs as they engage and interact with your company.

To customize your touchpoints and map the candidate’s journey, step into your persona’s shoes. Look at each stage of their process and answer the following questions from their perspective.

  • Awareness: Where would I first learn about this company and the position?
  • Consideration: What steps would I take to research the company? Where would I look, and who would I talk to?
  • Interest: What platforms or personal resources would I use to compare and contrast different potential employers?
  • Application: How would I apply to an open position?
  • Selection: What are my concerns during the selection process? What questions do I need answered? What is important to me, and what red flags would I look out for?
  • Hiring: What matters to me the most about how I receive the offer, and what is included?
  • Onboarding: What do I need to know to get started? What will make it easy for me to become part of the team?

FREE DOWNLOAD: Onboarding Checklist For Managers & HR Teams

Create a Visual Representation of Your Map

Once you’ve identified the touchpoints for your candidate person through each stage of the recruitment journey, you’re ready to map it out. You can create the visual representation in any way that works for you.

Analyze and Improve

Your journey map gives you everything you need to analyze and improve the candidate experience. Walk through each touchpoint as if you were a job seeker. You’ll experience pain points, identify gaps, and notice areas that can be improved.

The result is a comprehensive upgrade to your hiring process that not only accounts for your interactions with a candidate but includes many of the other ways they interact with your employer brand.

The Benefits of Candidate Journey Mapping

Just as businesses map out the customer’s journey to refine their marketing strategies, candidate journey mapping offers a holistic view of the hiring process from the job seeker’s perspective.

At the same time, the mapping process is involved and time-consuming. Is it worth it? Here is why it’s worth your time and effort:

  • You understand candidates’ experiences from their perspective.
  • It helps you uncover and address any pain points in the hiring process.
  • It can transform the overall candidate experience.
  • It can revolutionize your employer brand by creating a seamless and positive experience for potential hires.
  • You are better positioned to attract and retain top talent.
  • You can streamline your hiring process and find qualified candidates more quickly.

Step into the Candidate’s Shoes

Companies that prioritize and optimize the candidate’s journey set themselves apart. Walking through the recruitment process from the perspective of your ideal hire offers transformative insights that develop and expand your positive employer brand and attract top talent.

At Insight Global, we are a people-first recruiting agency. We help our clients hire exceptional candidates by understanding these unique aspirations and aligning them with the right opportunities.

If you need expert recruiting help to find the right people, we have the expertise and resources to make it happen. Connect with us today and get started.

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