Create a More Positive Experience for Candidates

If you are experiencing a shortage of qualified workers for your job openings, your business is like many others. Employers in the Twin Cities Metro Area reported 82,071 job vacancies in the second quarter of 2018, which was an increase of over 8,200 additional openings compared with the previous year, and the most job vacancies ever reported in the region.

“Creating a more positive experience for career seekers can help your business draw more qualified workers,” said Mike Lang, who oversees CareerForce staff in Anoka, Suburban Hennepin County, Ramsey and Washington County. “With skills shortages and low unemployment, paying attention to the way you engage with potential job applicants is crucial.”

Tom Reese, who manages special projects at CareerForce in Bloomington, provides his advice for improving candidate experiences:

Write thoughtful job posts. Consider flexibility when writing minimum and preferred qualifications. Can some of the minimum qualifications use substitutions or be considered preferred requirements?  Are you paying attention to transferrable skills? Employers might use language that encourages diverse candidates to apply. Also list company benefits, including flexible hours and other workplace options.

Meet face-to-face with career seekers.  Look for opportunities to reach out to them at career fairs, on-site hiring events and other venues. Educate career seekers about jobs and careers, culture and professional development at your workplace. Bring potential candidates to your business for informational discussions or interviews and stay connected through LinkedIn and other social media.

Enhance Your Job Application. Do candidates have to jump through hurdles to apply? Update your application to make it more user friendly, by removing the likelihood for applications to time out, and omitting any questions asking for sensitive information (such as social security numbers). Ask other team members to test its clarity, ease of use and length.  Consider allowing candidates to apply for jobs with a printed format of your application.

Improve communications with applicants. After receiving an application, have you notified the candidate that it has been received and is being reviewed? Keep candidates informed about the status of their application, so they know if they will be moving forward in the hiring process.

Register and post job openings on  Post your job openings on Minnesota’s largest job bank. Candidates can post multiple resumes, search from thousands of job openings and test their resumes against job posts.

For additional information about creating a more positive experience for candidates or other best practices in hiring, contact

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