Employee Journey Map и Candidate Experience: what is it and why you should use it? | ITExpert

Leaving for Lunch and Not Coming Back: How the Positive Candidate Experience and Employee Journey Map Improves Employee Retention and Engagement

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Leaving for Lunch and Not Coming Back: How the Positive Candidate Experience and Employee Journey Map Improves Employee Retention and Engagement

HR specialists must analyze the recruiting process in detail as part of working with the company’s reputation and employer brand. Bottlenecks in the process can “pull down” the entire employer brand. That’s why MarHR and recruiters adapt the Customer journey map to their needs by developing a unique Candidate/Employee journey map.

Large companies’ cases indicate employee journey mapping effectiveness. When the global pizza chain Pizza Hut with more than 34 000 locations in 100 countries began to refine the employee experience map, employee turnover dropped from 60% to 35%. New vacancies were filled in 8 weeks instead of 13, and the average period of work in the company increased by 1.5 times.

We’ve discussed with Technical Recruiter at ITExpert Anastasia Osadchuk how to develop a Candidate journey map, as well as how an effective EMJ affects the company’s profit.

What is Candidate Experience and Why Does It Matter in 2023?

Candidate experience is the way job applicants perceive a company’s recruitment process. Separately, there is the concept of the employee journey. This is the way an employee feels about a company, starting when the employee applies to the organization and ending when the employee quits the organization.

The moments of interaction with the company, the channels and tools through which this interaction takes place, are called touchpoints. For instance:

  • Candidate’s communication with the recruiter = touch point + emotion/reaction.
  • The candidate read about the company on Glassdoor = touch point + emotion/reaction.

The key events along this path are “‎moments of the truth”‎. For example, in recruiting, such events can be interviews or a job offer.

What Is Employee Journey Map and Why is It Important for Recruiting and Employer Branding

The Employee Journey Map is based on touchpoints with the company including the most important features for each milestone. The purpose of the map is to become a visualization tool, a library, and a description of the process, as well as to help understand and improve the processes of hiring and interacting with a specialist.

With its help you will determine where a candidate or employee may encounter a problem, and the company may lose a skilled specialist. On the other hand it shows how processes can be improved. As a result, ROI and business profitability can increase, as there will be no need to spend additional funds on rehiring and onboarding. Finally, your employees will be more engaged in the workplace.

There are a lot of types of candidate journey mapping. There is even a virtual museum of maps where the most interesting examples are collected—both from a visual and conceptual point of view.

An example from Integrify:

An example of EJM from Integrify

For each company, the stages, points of interaction, and key points will be different, and you should not replicate them. However the map is often divided into seven stages. We will analyze them below.

1. Attracting and getting to know the candidate

At this stage, a specialist may face a large number of challenges. For example, it cannot be clear where to send a CV. A recruiter can send a bad first message on LinkedIn or bombard a candidate with spam texts. This will also cause a negative candidate experience. Or some companies want to build the processes like in Google and therefore, lose candidates because of the dozens of stages of hiring (and the lack of conditions/perks like in Google).

Understanding the problems and gaps of “‎expectation vs reality”‎ is simple. Ask those who have recently been hired to the team, or try to apply for a vacancy in your company yourself. Monitor how recruiters work, analyze how the communication with the candidate is conducted, and regularly check their feedback.

Try to identify how potential employees first encounter your company’s brand. What and where can they see, hear, and read about the firm? Involve your marketers, SMM specialists, and PR managers in the analysis.

2. Candidate pre-onboarding and onboarding

The first day, week, and month are the most important periods in a workplace. According to statistics, 91% of professionals are ready to quit a new job in the first month. Someone even goes out to dinner and doesn’t come back. There is even a special term Half-day Tony which refers to a person who leaves the company on the first day of work. A study by Glassdoor has found: companies that focus on onboarding improve employee retention rates by 82% and employee productivity by 70%.

Pre-onboarding helps to understand what a new employee should be prepared for before the first day at work. The silence after accepting the job offer won’t help to get a positive reaction. On the contrary, if you send candidates a document with answers to common questions a week before the start, you will significantly improve their experience. 

Here’s what else you can do at the pre-onboarding stage:

  • share with the candidate info about the company, features, structure, roles, and internal regulations;
  • fill all documents, applications, and other formal papers;
  • prepare a workplace, accounts, and access cards.

These steps will show the newcomers that you are waiting for them and appreciate that they’re joined your company.

Pre-onboarding and onboarding are effective starting from the first working day. A newcomer can get into an avalanche of work chaos or a conversation with toxic employees who will scold their bosses, complain about the wrong kind of coffee in the coffee machine, and so on. And vice versa: you can launch an onboarding program for a newbie or bring an employee up to date—and he/she will stay with you for a long time.

For example, the consulting company Deloitte launched an analyst onboarding app in 2018. The theme of the online game was a zombie apocalypse. The content was divided into modules. At the end of each of them, specialists received a code that allowed them to unlock the next level. The app pumped the skills of consulting and software development according to the standard methods in the company.

3. Professional development and employee training

If you doubt that training is important for retaining employees and maintaining a high level of employee engagement, here are the numbers: 40% of specialists from companies with a weak approach to training and boosting hard skills leave the employer during the first year of work. At the same time, 94% of specialists from companies that invest in staff development keep working there for a long time.

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4. Employee feedback

If you do not provide your team with feedback, employees do not know if they are doing everything right, or if something needs to be changed or improved. According to Forbes, 65% of professionals would like to receive feedback from executives more often.

It is important to implement one-on-one meetings in companies and help specialists grow by paying attention to their achievements and goals.

5. Employee career growth

Career growth is official or financial changes in the career based on an employee’s professional and personal qualities. There are three types of career development: 

  • Vertical. It is career growth within the same company. For example, an employee comes to the position of Junior-developer and grows to the level of Senior.
  • Diagonal. It is the transfer to a new company with a position higher than at the previous workplace.
  • Horizontal. It is moving to another company for a similar position with an increase in salary or deepening competencies and expanding responsibilities within one position, or moving to another position in one company (for example, from QA Engineer to DevOps Engineer).

According to business consultants from PWC, for 52% of millennials, the possibility of advancement in a career is even more important than the level of salary.

6. Employee exit

No matter how hard a company tries to keep employees, sooner or later they will want to change jobs. Offboarding is a great opportunity to get honest feedback. You can learn about justified and unmet expectations, interactions with colleagues, and the level of management.

Here are some examples of exit interview questions:

  • Did you enjoy your tasks?
  • How satisfied were you with the workplace, with the equipment/software provided by the company?
  • How satisfied were you with your interaction with management?
  • Did you like the atmosphere in the team?
  • What perks did you enjoy, did they meet your expectations?
  • Would you recommend the company to your close friends or acquaintances?

7. Communication with a specialist after his exit

If you parted with the employee on a positive note, he/she may recommend candidates for you. Moreover, there is a boomerang hiring trend in the IT sector which means an employee can return to the same company after a certain time.

In each company, CJM/EJM may be different. In most cases, companies use a CRM/HRIS system, but someone creates a visual map.

One of the tasks that CJM performs is tracking bottlenecks during hiring processes. Large product and outsourcing companies usually use a CJM to analyze specialists who already work in the company, too. They are looked at for their productivity, goals, and motivation. It helps to close vacancies at the expense of the internal pool of specialists, for example, by transferring a person from project to project without even publishing a job description on the corporate website or LinkedIn.

As for recruitment agencies, CJM helps to track at what stages candidates most often “‎stumble”‎, why they do not reach the final interviews, or do not pass the probationary period—and how to help the client to “‎fix”‎ this‎. Anastasia Osadchuk

EJM example. Source: LinkedIn

How to Create an Employee/Candidate Journey Map

Before compiling an EJM/CJM, you should understand the tasks of the HR/recruiting department and the goals for the company’s growth. In addition, you need a written corporate culture of the company, its mission, and its values. If not, you can start by plotting the most problematic areas of the map. However, the efficient Employee Journey Map is a complete map with all stages.

The map should be detailed but not confusing. Let’s see how to create a clear map:

  • Determine the specific stage of the map and what it should give you.
  • Segment potential employees: roles, seniority, and generations (X, Y, Z). Pick one person and start with it: make a list of touchpoints. For example, at the hiring stage, there will be a vacancy on the job portal, then, the first contact with a recruiter, or communication in a chatbot.

Here are three examples of what to look for in touchpoints:

  1. A senior software engineer with 8+ years of experience in backend development in banking systems reads a job posting sent to him on LinkedIn by a recruiter. He didn’t find stack requirements, just “young team, ambitious projects, and Java development” slogans. Where is the framework? Where is the domain—enterprise, mobile development? He won’t be interested in digging and learning more, there are a thousand other, more understandable job proposals. And in general, he was not going to change jobs.
  1. A UX designer read a Facebook post about your startup and its success with Y Combinator yesterday. She thought, “Hmm, interesting, it would be nice to work with them.” Therefore, having received a message today from the recruiter from this startup, she will perceive it positively and will be interested in communicating about the vacancy.
  1. The candidate was not told before the interview that the company’s office is located in the courtyard. He walks around the street with a Google map and gets angry. But he needs a job and he accepts the offer. However, even at the start of onboarding, the employee will be disappointed: he is not introduced to the team and he doesn’t know how to find a team leader to start his work.
  • For each touch point, write down “‎Expectations vs Reality”‎, flaws, and wow effects. It is critically important to write down the expected bottlenecks, something that you already know about.
  • Develop and measure metrics and performance indicators. There should not be too many of them. Otherwise, you will drown in numbers and lose the essence.
  • Constantly monitor changes, request feedback, update the map, improve employee experience, and measure results. Compilation of EJM is not a one-time action, but an eternal cycle: measured, improved, and measured again.
  • Automate the most resource-intensive data collection and feedback processes. Most of these processes can be successfully automated.

A positive impression of the hiring process and further work in the company (and this is exactly what the Candidate/Employee Experience is) significantly improves employee productivity. This was confirmed by 84% of professionals surveyed by Deloitte. But there is also bad news: only 9% of companies are ready to seriously analyze the employees’ experience.

For more tips on how to improve employee experience and hiring processes, check out the ITExpert blog!

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