According to a Glassdoor report, just one corporate job opening can garner an average of 250 prospective applicants. Of these, only a handful are selected to interview for the job and only one will be hired on. This statistic probably comes as no surprise to recruiters who are faced with the obstacle of sorting through these applicants to identify top talent candidates.

The question too few employers ask themselves, however, is what happens to the other 249 applicants who don’t make the cut. It is easy to toss those unwanted applicants aside and focus solely on talent selection, but companies that do this are wasting a huge opportunity to build brand ambassadors.

Transition from Candidate to Brand Ambassador

Whether you realize it or not, every potential candidate is building an impression of your company, not just as an employer but as a whole, from the minute they review your job posting. This impression builds, for better or worse, as the candidate moves through the recruiting process.

Employers have the option of maximizing these touchpoints by incorporating their brand extension strategies or simply letting these applicants form their own opinion about the company.

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But studies show that 42 percent of applicants who feel they had a poor candidate experience would not purchase the company’s goods or services. On the other hand, 71 percent of the applicants who had a good candidate experience would be more likely to become a customer. Add this to the fact that these applicants are likely to share their positive or negative experience with their friends, co-workers and family members.

What Do Candidates Want?

Many companies are already focusing their efforts on building a strong candidate experience as a means of attracting top talent. While this component is vital, these strategies are typically centered around creating an ideal experience for the company’s target candidates. These strategies rarely focus on the candidate pool as a whole.

To maximize your recruiting efforts and build an experience that can transform candidates into brand ambassadors, you must understand what today’s candidates want.

Communication

A recent study revealed that 81 percent of the applicants surveyed state that better communication throughout the hiring process would provide a better experience. One major complaint from applicants is that they are never notified that their application was received or that the position was already filled.

Transparent Job Description

Applicants are looking for transparency right from the start. They want job descriptions that clearly define the job duties and requirements, provide salary and benefits information and portray the company culture.

Easy Application Process

It is understandable that employers want to gather as much information as possible during the application process to make sound hiring decisions. Applicants understand this, but the application process must be user-friendly. For example, the entire application process, including filling out the application form and completing pre-employment testing must be able to be completed through a mobile device and be easy to understand.

Feedback

Feedback is also important to today’s applicants. They want to know why they didn’t get the job. They especially want constructive criticism or career advice that can help them advance their future.

The fact that the recruiting process is one of the most personal points of engagement a company can have with an individual makes it a powerful tool for building brand ambassadors. Wasting this intimate connection means that your company misses out on a great opportunity to start building customer relationships. In addition, the application process, through the collection of application and employment test data, can provide a unique insight into these potential customers.