Declining economy or not, starters with a high level of education still have their pick on the employment market. Job offers are plentiful and starters are critical. The question is how can employers lock in starters exploring the job scene. Possibilities certainly exist, but they do call for a new approach. Turn an undecided job seeker into an applicant, and do it in three steps.
By no means does every starter know precisely for which employer and in what position he/she would like to work. These ‘floating job seekers’ regularly visit potential employers’ websites without a specific plan but definitely open to a good proposal. A concrete and person-specific proposal that transforms a ‘floating job seeker’ into an applicant. Employers have to make more of an effort in creating such proposals rather than just showing an overview of the vacant positions. The employer has to act as an adviser in order to be able to establish a bond with the applicant. Internet is the ideal channel for achieving this objective.
Step 1: Who are you?
In order to be able to give relevant, personal advice, the adviser first has to collect the necessary information. In the case of a job application, this goes beyond educational background and amount of work experience. The first step is to establish a profile of the potential applicant that includes character traits, personal priorities and interests.
BP’s self-assessment test is characterized by a strong look and feel as well as the fact that questions focus specifically on BP’s activities. However, the test consists of a long series of questions, all of which are positively phrased (so that ‘I strongly agree’ is always the most frequently chosen rating).
UBS gives job seekers the opportunity to take stock of their priorities, motivations and skills by means of an attractive card-sorting test; an effective test that forces the user to reconsider previously made choices and consequently leads to clearer insights. Unfortunately, this is a general test that does not focus specifically on UBS or its branch of industry.
Practical tips for Step 1:
- Explain in advance how the test works, how much time it takes and what its objective is.
- Make it clear to the user during the test on which of the test’s component he/she is working and why this component is relevant for the entire test.
- Offer a clear overview of the results and give the user the opportunity to save his/her results or receive them by e-mail.
Step 2: Translation
An enlightening test is an excellent first step. However, it only becomes relevant when the results are translated into concrete options within your company. This makes the translation the most important step in the process and it will largely determine the success of the recruitment test.
Bank of America’s career test doesn’t beat around the bush: after ten questions have been answered, Bank of America is able to immediately select several vacancies that are compatible with the test results. The bank does point out, however, that the results are based on the answers provided. But unfortunately, it does not shed light on how this translation from test results to job opportunities came about.
Practical tips for Step 2
- Always provide the results of the test first in the form of a profile, and explain why this profile is compatible with a certain position or department. Once this is done, you can provide the candidate with a concrete proposal in the form of one or more vacancies.
- Let your own personnel take the test as a means of determining the intended profile for certain positions or departments. This will ensure a relevant translation of the results into suitable advice.
- Your test will lose all credibility if there is no link between the input provided and recommended vacancies. Don’t forget to indicate if there are currently no vacancies available for certain positions. Who knows what the future holds (see Step 3).
Step 3: Make contact
After some solid advice, the interest of job seekers will be aroused. That’s an ideal time to offer them the opportunity to stay in contact with the company. It increases the chance that they will return to the website at a later time and still apply for a position. Contact options are numerous and are being regularly applied on commercial websites.
Practical tips for Step 3
- Make it as easy as possible for job seekers and offer them various possibilities to stay in contact with your company, for example, by e-mail, SMS, RSS or Twitter.
- Make sure that the follow-up contact is also based on the test results of the candidate in question or on the profile submitted. General, non-person-specific job alerts will have a negative influence on the bond created.
Noteworthy is that each step of the aforementioned method has already been used on recruitment websites. What’s still lacking is the connection between assessment, potential positions and further contact options. As a source of inspiration, it is recommended to check out E-commerce, which frequently and successfully works with profiles. There are plenty of possibilities. It’s just a question of creating the right combinations.