Recruiting in Unprecedented Times: Evolving the Candidate Experience

Recruiting in Unprecedented Times: Evolving the Candidate Experience

We are somewhere in the middle of an unparalleled event that will likely change the way with think about how we work forever. This ‘new normal’ we are living may not last forever, but it is likely that more of the workforce will expect different working options in the future. The demands of the workforce will continue to evolve, which will impact everything from how employees are managed to how new hires are recruited.

Candidates are experiencing challenges like never before. Some companies have placed a freeze on hiring and positions that are actively being recruited for are attracting massive amounts of applicants. Other companies may be faced with remote hiring in order to accommodate new projects resulting from stimulus dollars being injected into the certain parts of the economy. Now more than ever, companies must ensure they have an attractive brand and excellent candidate experience. And as we all know, once we start returning back to normal, even some of our own furloughed employees may choose to look elsewhere.

The many of us tend to overlook the ‘experience’, that is, what our candidates are going through when trying to find and apply to jobs. After they apply, what is the impression they get while wondering if their resume has been reviewed, considered, and when or if they will hear back from anyone? This lack of transparency and follow up can lead to a poor candidate experience. As Talent professionals, we need to challenge ourselves on changes we need to make to improve their experience if we stand a chance to win over the best and brightest for our business.  

The goal here is to provide you with some quick and easy wins that will help you get the advantage and fill project positions faster than ever before. But first, let’s look at a few stats that will support the best practices we will cover.

  • Gallup report indicated that 60% of candidates say that better communication throughout and after the application process would make the most positive impact. 
  • Glassdoor reported very closely to the same with 58% of candidates citing that the most important factor to a positive experience included clear and regular communication.
  • Glassdoor also reported that making an online job application even 10% easier to complete can cause a 2.3% increase in job applications from mobile users and a 1.5% increase from desktop users.

Consider what a poor or negative candidate experience can do to your business. After a Rallyfwd conference, the attendee poll summarized that 73% of companies say they have been impacted by a negative candidate experience. This could mean reduction in referrals, poor reviews on social media sites, and an overall decline in candidate applications. Another stat that ties into this as well is 50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase.

So, the question is “what can you do now to ensure your positions are viewed, applications flood in, and you have overall project success?”

Company Brand – Your Image

Think about the last time you reviewed your company’s website content.  Have you provided any new videos about company culture, what benefits or perks are offered, as well as career growth opportunities with your company? Does your website stand out from your competition? As a rule of thumb, you should review your career site at least every two to three years but once a year doesn’t hurt. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change things but keep in mind, the internet is constantly changing, software changes, and the world definitely continues to evolve. As we navigate our new normal, what candidates are looking for in a company will definitely change and we need to make sure we are keeping with the pace of our competition to keep candidates interested.

Application Process

When designing and configuring your candidate application process or workflow, be sure you are only capturing what is absolutely necessary up front. To throw another stat at you, 60% of job seekers have quit an application due to its length or complexity ( If your application is too lengthy and takes too long for candidates to complete, where they have to save and come back to it later, that may create angst and discourage the candidate from completing the process or they may forget altogether.  If you’re not seeing the application completion numbers you’d like, review your workflow. When applications are simple, quick and easy not only does it increase your application completion rates, but it gives recruiters an opportunity to follow-up with candidates and start developing a relationship.  

Additionally, are you:

  • Leveraging social apply methods? Are your candidates able to apply using existing social profiles eliminating the need to create and maintain additional accounts?
  • Screening candidates based on required skills, experience or certifications the job req requires? Be sure your screen-in and screen-out messages are clear on what the candidate’s next steps are. Even if they are screened-out, provide a message that is encouraging leaving a positive impression as the candidate may be a good fit for future project positions.
  • Keeping candidates informed by using Talent’s Candidate Status Transparency System Setting? This provides an update to your candidates on where they are with their application process without the recruiter or the candidate having to reach out.
  • Reviewing your general reply emails? What does your automated “Thank you for applying email” say about you and your company? Do not leave the candidate hanging with a simple thank you. Encourage them to check other positions they may be a good fit for, provide links to your company’s social pages like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc. where candidates can stay informed on your company. Use this opportunity to tout on all the great things your company has to offer. 
  • Taking the time to walk through your application process, start to finish, including reviewing your messaging so that you can see first-hand what your candidates have to experience? I encourage you to do this and adjust your processes as needed to improve the candidate experience.

Leverage Talent Pools and Talent Relationship Management (TRM) Campaigns

You’ve probably heard me or one of my colleagues say that Top Candidates are gone within 10 days. This stat should resonate with anyone in the project based business world knowing how critical it is to start projects on time. 

Talent Pools help you build pipelines of your runner-up candidates that are specific to your business.  You’re able to categorize and group candidates so that you can easily locate them later. This is one of the best proactive methods you can use in your recruiting strategy.

We’ve talked about Talent Relationship Management (TRM) in the past and have several resources available to you around TRM campaigns which you can find on our company website. TRM is designed to help you develop lasting relationships and build trust with your candidates. Adding drip campaigns as part of your recruiting processes will give you the upper hand when needing to fill future project positions.

Candidates are Customers too

Keep in mind, these best practices are just a few examples of ways to improve the candidate experience.  I encourage you to make it a habit to continuously review your processes and identify what is working and what isn’t. We know candidates and recruiting is an ebb and flow and we have to be flexible enough to shift and adjust as needed.

To be successful, we all need to deliver a meaningful candidate experience that keeps them coming back again and again. Without our candidates, we cannot run our business or our projects. Our candidates are our customers!


50% of candidates say they wouldn’t work for a company with a bad reputation – even for a pay increase. (Betterteam Blog 2017)


Artificial Intelligence Startup expedites the hiring process of healthcare professionals urgently needed in one of the world’s top 50 hospitals.

Artificial Intelligence Startup expedites the hiring process of healthcare professionals urgently needed in one of the world’s top 50 hospitals.

Rocketmat’s AI algorithms helped in the selection and hiring of 150 health professionals to quickly increase the workforce at world-renown healthcare provider, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein. Leveraging rocketmat’s AI technology, the hospital has taken their typical 30-day hiring cycles down to less than 5 days. 

São Paulo, April 13, 2020.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, one of the top 50 healthcare providers globally, approached rocketmat, an Artificial Intelligence company focused on talent selection and management, with a critical challenge: hiring healthcare professionals in record time. That meant building a methodology in just a few days that could analyze thousands of candidates simultaneously with high accuracy. NewsWeek as one of the 50 best hospitals in the world.

According to the startup’s CEO and co-founder Paulo Nascimento “understanding this was not an ordinary project, and its operational efficiency impact on a process that was completely manual until a few weeks ago, were fundamental to Einstein’s strategy selecting and hiring a large number of candidates in a very short time ”.

Nascimento says that the project kicked off when rocketmat received the first dataset on Friday, March 6th. “With agility and assertiveness – the hallmarks of our work – we could address the hospital’s increased hiring needs”. Rocketmat’s approach was to divide the work teams into system engineering and architecture, data science and developers who could act in synchronized layers of activities in order to start the screening of the first two groups of candidates: nurses and doctors. In less than 30 hours of uninterrupted work, rocketmat released the first test link. Before midnight on Saturday, March 7th, the first candidates were already interacting with a fully digital selection process.

 With the algorithms running, the next step was to scale and screen over six thousand applicants already registered for several job openings. The results were processed almost in real-time, so that pre-screened, qualified candidates could move forward to the next stage in the selection process: interviews, also held remotely.

In less than three days, 150 doctors, nurses and healthcare support staff were hired thanks to the speed and accuracy that rocketmat provided to Albert Einstein’s HR department, allowing recruiters to work nonstop. Nascimento also reports the feedback received from Einstein’s management: “this was undoubtedly the quickest process of mass hiring that we ever conducted, a joint effort of our teams with the invaluable support of rocketmat’s technology. We were able to carry out a process that on average took 30 days down to less than five, a total success”.

The work will continue to fill another 1,426 openings such as nurse technicians, registered nurses, physiotherapists and doctors in Albert Einstein’s own network, as well as other healthcare facilities managed or supported by the hospital.

Intelligence that builds trust

 Paulo Nascimento says that “the challenge given by Albert Einstein reveals confidence in the work of Rocketmat and in the positive impact that Artificial Intelligence has brought to our daily lives”. Paulo also comments that rocketmat’s AI solution can help many organizations in the health industry, at a time when speed and accuracy in selection processes are fundamental. “We have already implemented our AI solutions at Unimed Belo Horizonte and at Sura Seguros in Colombia, which confirms the credibility of our services and algorithms”.

 The challenges never before experienced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, require a country’s health system to take rapid action. One of the main initiatives is the maintenance and expansion of large-scale service in healthcare providers. “It was no different in one of the largest hospitals in Brazil that moved quickly to care for the population that uses the services of Hospital Albert Einstein in São Paulo. From the startup’s point of view, our goal is to contribute, through excellent work, so that families are assisted in their need for a well-advised health service ” says Nascimento.

About Rocketmat

Rocketmat is a robotic process automation startup offering solutions for Human Resources. It was founded in 2017, with its headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and R&D operations in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The company’s focus is recruitment, selection and talent management through Artificial Intelligence developed entirely in-house.

Empower Your Employees to Own Their Career with Core HR

Empower Your Employees to Own Their Career with Core HR

It takes more than administration and paperwork to attract, build and retain the people you need to consistently deliver successful projects. Empower your managers and employees to own their own careers by investing in their development and help your human resources (HR) team focus improving the employee experience. A variety of self-service features helps you engage your employees and allow them to proactively keep up with certifications, training and other employee development opportunities, while maintaining their own information without intervention from HR. Self-service models are not new, but are more important than ever given current events.

Self-service is the norm for many people now – being able to check their account balances online, sending money through online services, reviewing options for jury duty, or buying movie theater tickets are just some of the many things people can do on their own now. And employees carry this expectation over into their work environment. With this current self-service culture, it is important that you can offer your employees tools internally to empower them and provide a good employee experience. Employees may not want to have to call or email HR to update their address, they’d rather just go and do it themselves.

Not only do employees expect this, but with the current trend to work from home, giving employees this ability is important. And when considered in the face of our current environment where many more employees are working from their home than normal, this is even more crucial. Having the tools at hand to get help on something they are doing when their colleague isn’t in the desk next to them or to make sure they are keeping track of meetings with their manager can help make the transition period easier for everyone.

Another added benefit for you is that enabling employees to access and maintain their own information and development can free up HR from those types of requests and exercises to focus on other things.

Having access to their information is one piece, but making this easy is another. According to Datis, 44% of organizations rely on three or more internal systems to handle their workforce management process. This complicates matters for employees, because it isn’t clear what should be done and where. With Deltek Talent Management, there are many options to keep things together.

Personal Data

By putting the management of personal data in the hands on the employee, you enable them to make updates on their own (while reducing your workload at the same time).

Within Employee Self-Service, or ESS, employees are able to initiate changes to information on their profile based on the permissions you establish. For example, they can submit a change to their address, but not necessarily all pieces of data are visible or editable by the employee. These changes can trigger notifications and/or approvals before the changes go into effect.


Resumes & Job Openings

Employees also have the ability to maintain their resume within the system, making sure you always have up-to-date details for them available if you need resumes as a part of your proposal process. They can also use their resume to apply to internal job opportunities, if something that comes up that is of interest to them.

Gartner research indicates that companies need to shift from external hiring strategies towards training their current workforces and applying risk mitigation strategies for critical talent shortages, and our tools can help support this shift.

Employees can view their resume at any time, and if changes are needed, they can make updates to their resume. They also have access to an internal career portal, where they can apply to job posting if they find something of interest to them. Or, if they know someone else who would be a good fit for a job posting, they can refer a friend to that job. Once they’ve referred somewhere, they can check on the status of their referrals at any time.


Training, Certifications and History

According to Better Buys, 7/10 people say that professional development opportunities affect their decision to stay at a company, and LinkedIn indicates that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career. With this in mind, offering opportunities for employees to access, take, and track learning activities can greatly benefit your company.

The solution supports instructor-led, elearning, and read and sign courses, and makes these available to employees in the course catalog. Employees can easily see course details, including prerequisites, competencies/skills gained, and classes offered. From the class listing, they can easily enroll in courses available to them.

As employees take training within the system, it automatically builds their history as a part of their profile. They can download certificates and see the education units gained, aiding in reporting for maintaining certifications.

Certifications can also be tracked in the system. Certificates can be downloaded, and reminders can be sent for expiration dates. Employees have the ability to see these and update at any point in time.


Continuous Feedback

The Deltek Talent Performance solution aids in the scheduling and tracking of continuous feedback. Employees can easily access feedback sessions, including both currently active sessions, as well as past completed sessions.

Employees can setup continuous feedback sessions with a proposed date, purpose, and notes, which their manager can then accept. Comments from both parties can be tracked, including signatures with notes once the session has been held. All recorded sessions are tracked.

Employees are notified of updates to their continuous feedback sessions and can make notes, create new sessions, or review past completed sessions.

Continuous feedback is visible within appraisals as well, giving employees the ability to easily see any sessions that occurred during that appraisal cycle and take comments and feedback into consideration as a part of the performance review as is needed.



Employees have the tools available to set goals for themselves. This is done with a simple one-step process. They can choose goals from the library, past appraisals, or other employees as a starting point, or create their own goals. This include SMART goal instructions to help make the goal Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. Goals can be based on a scale, numerical target, percentage complete, complete/incomplete, or with no score for informational purposes.

Employees can access their goals, both those set within the appraisal and those from continuous goal management, from the My Goals link under Performance. Here, they see current goal statuses and provide updates when needed.


Employee Recognition

Employees can recognize others within the organization that exemplify company values. This lets them enter in details about the recognition, and sends notifications to the recognized employee and their manager. Recognition received by employees also shows up in their performance review.