How to Build the Perfect Applicant Funnel [Created by Experts]

The sales funnel is one of the best tried and tested success mantras for almost every company, therefore it is natural that HR and staffing agencies will come up with an applicant funnel.

A perfect sales funnel ensures that each step is fully gauged and optimized so that every prospect stays interested in the company and eventually pays off.

So, why wouldn’t you use this same process to create the perfect applicant funnel?

On similar lines, the millennial recruiters today are also using applicant funnels to hire stalwart employees. But the funnel has turned more complex over time. Today the recruiters need something more than traditional marketing campaigns.

This article will share insights on hiring the best employees using the applicant funnel and how an ATS can help recruiters and the hiring managers cherry-pick the employees without cobbling up the things.

In detail, we will discuss:

  • Employment branding
  • Sourcing
  • Applicant generation
  • Assessing the candidates
  • Creating the perfect onboarding experience
  • How an ATS can help to improve hiring processes and candidate experience.

But first, let’s go over some of the typical applicant and marketing funnels.

AIDA Model

AIDA is often used in marketing to describe the steps a customer goes through in the process of conversion, and it stands for: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

However, AIDA is used across various industries. It can be applied to recruiting to illustrate and describe the processes an applicant has to go through before being hired.

Awareness represents the top of the funnel. At this stage, potential candidates are aware of a company and the job position. They may either be actively looking for a job and ready to apply or a passive job seeker.

In the interest phase, the candidate is looking more into the company and job description. This is where your employment branding and company image have to shine in order to pull the candidate into the next phase.

In the consideration phase, the candidate has seen your employee value proposition and is aware of your company culture. They are thinking about sending the application, and you have to give them the final nudge to enter the next phase, action.

Action is the bottom of the funnel, traditionally. The applicant has sent their application. However, this is nowhere near the end. After this come screenings, interviews, and candidate onboarding.

This is the most stressful part for recruiters, as this is the phase where candidate experience makes the whole difference.

Let’s talk about all those steps involved in the applicant funnel and how it helps the companies hire the most allegiant and talented employees.

#1 Employment Branding

The candidates are far smarter and intelligent than they used to be. Offering lucrative compensation or an attractive job ad won’t suffice. The candidates need more.

As per the survey conducted by Glassdoor, 76% of the candidates seek information on what all the company has to offer. It is essential to define and promulgate the company profile and brand value if recruiters and hiring managers want great candidates to apply for the job.

Ensure that the company’s website or blogs, or social media pages, include career advancement opportunities, work-life balance, benefits offered by the company, and everything else that explains every single reason to join the company.

Apart from content, try to cover up the stories by including photos, videos, and testimonials.

#2 Applicant Generation and Sourcing

The recruiter needs to specify what they are looking for in a candidate and the expectations. Your perfect applicant funnel is only as good as your specifications.

Also, it’s best when the job application process is kept short and crisp. Most of the applicants leave the lengthy application processes in the middle. So, it’s better to grasp more from less, as the hiring managers cannot afford to lose out on quality candidates.

After building a great company image, it’s time to drive the potential candidates into your perfect candidate funnel. Different ways can be used to source the candidates. Some of them are:

  1. Job Boards – Almost all job seekers, whether active or passive, have their profile registered on one or more job boards. So, having a good presence on job boards helps convert many candidates into potential applicants.
  2. Employee Referrals – It is always a great idea to go for employee referrals. The reason is simple. All the candidates who would be applying to the company would be genuinely interested in the company.
  3. Social Media – Having a great and updated social media profile is another way to engage and attract candidates. The recruiters can share pictures, videos, and other content about the work culture of the company.
  4. Past Applicants – If recruiters and hiring managers possess records of the past applicants or other talented employees who have worked for the company at some point in time, the connection can be maintained with them by sending regular updates regarding new job roles and other opportunities. You never know when a passive employee turns into a potential one. An ATS plays a vital role here. Check out the advantages in the next section.

#3 Assessing the Candidates

Now, at this point, the recruiters and the hiring managers have reached the middle of the funnel. Only 20-25% of the candidates make it to the interview round. Therefore, the interviewers need to quickly assess the candidates of their experience, skills, and attitude.

The candidates may have a lesser skill, but the attitude should be correct, and they should be ready to work in a multi-cultural environment. One thing the recruiters can’t fail in doing is taking every measure possible to offer the best candidate experience to the candidates.

An ATS is exceptional software that automates the entire recruitment procedure and boosts the candidate experience.

#4 Perfect Onboarding Experience

It has been seen that hardly one-third of the finalized candidates join the organization.

Instead, they opt out due to more lucrative offers from other companies they don’t want to refuse. So, the HR Manager has to be very convincing while deciding on the remuneration and other perks.

Let’s dive into how an ATS helps the recruiters to build a perfect applicant funnel.

An Applicant Tracking System, ATS or often known as recruiting software, can do wonders when integrated with the company’s existing HR suite.

1. Sourcing from the Past Applicants

Whenever a job is posted, it is greeted by hundreds of applicants. The job becomes tough when there is an urgent requirement that requires immediate joining.

An ATS creates a profile database for all the resumes parsed through it for whichever job posting. So, it becomes easier for the recruiters to directly search into this pool of candidates first rather than kick-starting starting another recruitment cycle.

2. Reach More Potential Candidates

The Applicant Tracking System seamlessly gets integrated with social media platforms and online job boards.

This helps the recruiters to widen their domain and even reach the candidates who weren’t viable through other marketing channels such as career sites and other classified ads. As ATS opens up new touchpoints to reach the right candidate with the desired experience and skill set.

3. Boosts Candidate Experience

An ATS helps both in initiating and maintaining the engagement between the company and the candidate. Right from the moment of application submission until the selected candidate gets on board, the candidate is sent notifications regarding every development taking place in the recruitment process.

Thus, an ATS plays a crucial role in staying connected and building a strong relationship with talented candidates to not lose to the competitors.

4. Streamlining and Automation of Recruitment Processes

An ATS automates almost all of the recruitment tasks such as resume sifting, parsing, formatting, sending notifications, emails, scheduling interviews, and offers a seamless process as well.

This leaves ample time for the recruiters to spend quality time interviewing candidates from the perfect candidate funnel. In addition, all the communication and information sharing is entirely done by the recruitment platform.