Corporate Eye

Alphabetical Order: More about the Candidate Experience

Alphabet Block

As noted in the previous post about candidate experience, Peter DeVries offers some interesting suggestions about talent technology in his post on Overcomplicating the Candidate Experience.


Problem 1: “You have a compelling story to share with candidates, but based on the current paradigm with ATS (Applicant Tracking System) providers, you lose much of your ability to tell that story when, where, and how you want to tell the story.”

Solution: “Some ATS vendors have recently begun to implement APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), which enable interaction between the ATS software and other software – in this case your career website.”

Advantage:APIs allow you to control the presentation of data to candidates, while remaining true to your corporate brand.”  And you can even use APIs to “embed Employment Brand and EVP information throughout your job listings, not just on static pages in the Career website.”

Problem 2: “It is difficult to manage and update all of the information spread throughout your career site. Time passes, business moves on, but the content doesn’t – instead, it becomes old and stale, another complaint of job seekers.”

Solution: “Consider using a CMS (Content Management System) to help you take control of the information on your career website.”

Advantage:A CMS gives you the tools and flexibility to manage how and when content is updated.”  For example:  “If you have a big win at your organization, you can easily promote that on the home page of your career website – yet again strengthening your Employment Brand.”

So how can you take advantage of these technology tips?  Problem 1 is not actually all that easy to address, as it turns out.  A quick scan of Gartner’s 2009 Magic Quadrant for E-Recruiting Software (PDF) reveals not much info about this subject.  Only HRSmart is noted for its API offering, while the Swiss company netMEDIA gets plaudits for its “integration”capabilities (whatever they may be).  Taleo mentions API in promotional literature for its Business Edition, but offers no details.

On the other hand, there are a lot of candidates for solving Problem 2.  A complication arises, however.  If your company has an Enterprise Content Management system (ECM), it may have or be compatible with Web Content Management systems (WCM).  Find out more about this from the trusty Gartner MQ on ECM (PDF).  It’s the WCM part you really need for speedy updates to the Careers site, and that functionality may actually be available in the organization—for example, in use by the PR department or Marketing, just not deployed to HR—or might be easily added.  If there’s no sort of content management already in place, then the next move is to a standalone CMS/WCM offering.  For more info on this option, browse around at CMS Wire.

If it comes down to spending money on solving either Problem—you’ll need to justify the investment.  Coming soon:  a post on building the business case for a better Careers site.

(Thanks to chefranden for the excellent alphabet block.)

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Cynthia Giles has followed a serpentine career path from academia to publishing to marketing and design to information technology and corporate communications. There’s plenty of detail about this journey at, but briefly--the common theme has been ideas, and how to present them effectively. Along the way, she became an accidental expert on data warehousing and business intelligence, and for the past ten years she has combined corporate contracting with an independent consulting practice that focuses on marketing strategy for smaller businesses and non-profits. Having spent quite a bit of time looking for work, and anywhere from two weeks to two years inside a wide variety of American companies—she has given much thought to what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to creating a great employment fit.