As a consumer, when you're about to make a big purchase, there are stages of reflection that build into your decision-making. A similar process occurs in a job seeker concerning a potential job opportunity. Candidate's journey is the term used to describe the sequence of events.
The candidate journey is the general experience that job seekers cycle through on their way to getting hired. It might not register on a fully conscious level. Still, companies recognize this journey and brand their employment status and jobs to take advantage of it. In other words, when you think you are applying to a position, you've been sold the concept of applying. It isn't obvious, but companies must optimize the candidate journey to increase their chances of bagging ideal candidates.
The candidate journey doesn't simply begin when a job seeker applies for a role; it starts from the initial contact with a company's brand. As such, everything that has moved an individual from ignorance about a brand through application to being hired is part of the candidate journey. With that in mind, here are the widely recognized stages of the candidate journey:
The last stage is not frequently included, but considering the employer turnover rate within the first three months of hiring a candidate makes it a valid addition.
A poor candidate journey damages an employer's brand in the modern hyper-connected world. So, companies map out the journey as best as possible to make it more pleasant for job seekers. They achieve this with the use of touchpoints. Common candidate journey touchpoints are:
Interaction with your brand as a customer
Viewing a job ad
Viewing a company's social media pages
Viewing a company's career blog
Interaction with other employees of the company
Pre/post application contact
A candidate journey map can have extra touchpoints according to the strategy and nature of the brand. However, the goal should be to attract the right candidates, communicate with them in the right way, appreciate their consideration, and leave them feeling positive even when they are not hired.