By: Karl Wierzbicki, Director of Marketing, InFlight

Your employer brand is more important than ever for your candidates and employees

Candidate and employee expectations have shifted in light of everything that has happened in 2020. As a result of the pandemic, social injustice issues, and global protests, candidates expect more from the organizations around them.

Before making a career move, candidates conduct research into what the company they are considering stands for. People want to work for organizations that truly value their people. What do these companies look like? These are companies that prioritized their employees’ health and well-being throughout the COVID-19 crisis. These are organizations that support diversity & inclusion on an ongoing basis and regularly participate in CSR initiatives to give back to their communities and employees.

However, most organizations send candidates the wrong signal by providing a lackluster candidate experience. The way you treat your candidates, is the way that people assume they’ll be treated as employees. If you’re providing a frustrating candidate experience that doesn’t respect your candidates’ time and talent, you are shaping your candidates perception of your company in a way that can work against your employer brand.

According to Career Builder, 78% of candidates surveyed said that a company’s candidate experience is a clear indicator of how much they value their people. If you’re not providing a candidate experience that shows you value your people, you can inadvertently deter the most qualified candidates from coming to work with you.

Demonstrating how you prioritize your employees and their experiences extends beyond your top-of-funnel attraction content. If you’re communicating that you care in your employer brand collateral (like social media and careers site content), and your systems experiences don’t reflect what you’re saying candidates will assume you’re “talking the talk” without “walking the walk.”

Today, many organizations have a disconnect between their HR systems and providing the candidate experience that aligns with their brand messaging. Talent acquisition team’s goal is to treat people like people, but the systems that they work with often aren’t designed with the same goal in mind. 

For organizations using Workday Recruiting as their Applicant Tracking System (ATS), there are several areas that cause friction in the candidate experience that turn candidates away and convey an unintentional message about your employer brand.

This blog will walk you through the current employer brand limitations with Workday Recruiting’s candidate experience and overview a cost-effective and straightforward solution to bring your unique employer brand into your ATS so you can continue to recruit the top talent your business needs.


Workday is an HCM software first and an ATS second

While Workday is a robust Human Capital Management (HCM) software that can handle large amounts of employee and candidate data, Workday Recruiting (the ATS component of the platform) is not the software’s primary focus. Workday was built as an HCM first and an ATS second — which is why it is such a popular HCM software, but leaves employers seeking more customizable ATS options. 

Many organizations use Workday Recruiting as their ATS because it’s cost-effective to use the same software for recruiting that you’re already using to manage your company-wide employee data. Members of the C-suite will often commit to purchasing Workday for it’s HCM capabilities and see the added benefit of the ATS solution as a beneficial add-on. However, talent acquisition (TA) leaders are often left out of the decision making process which can lead to logistical issues down the road when conveying the company’s brand. Great TA teams are continually refining their candidate experience and internal processes, but they are often unable to refine the software experiences.

One of the most significant areas of friction in the candidate experience is found during the application process. It’s at this stage that all of the hard work you’ve put in from an employer brand perspective can be undone.


Qualified Candidates rarely finish the application process

Did you know that 92% of candidates who start to fill out an application end up dropping off before actually submitting their application

Why do the majority of candidates fail to submit their applications? Well, the apply flow is the first place where candidates can see the disconnect between your surface level recruitment marketing and the underlying core of your candidate and employee experience. Because so many organizations provide an extremely poor candidate experience right after assuring candidates they care about their employees, the majority of candidates give up on their application during this step. After investing so many resources in recruitment marketing, it’s frustrating to learn that so many applicant’s never complete their applications. We have already established that most ATS platforms offer similar experiences so, how can we reduce candidate drop off within our existing systems? 


Here are three ways to create a compelling candidate experience with Workday Recruiting:


1. Incorporate your unique employer brand

We already know employer brand is a key factor when candidates are choosing which companies to apply to and you’ve likely invested time to design, develop, and refine yours in hopes of attracting top talent. Your compelling employer brand is then displayed on your social media and your career site, where it entices candidates to apply. But, as soon as they click “apply”, the experience changes completely. Candidates see this as an indication that your company has made surface level promises and they can end up feeling lied to, causing them to not only drop off, but to question you as a company.

With Workday Recruiting, as soon as a candidate clicks “apply”, they are taken to a different website that does not feel cohesive with your career site. The Workday logo is prominently featured on this page, along with a URL that starts with In addition, the visual components of your employer brand are no longer present. This creates a jarring disconnect between the application stage and the other touchpoints that candidates encountered until this point.


2. Make the application process straightforward

Your job search and apply flow needs to be fast, easy, and inspiring for candidates. During the Workday Recruiting application process, there are repetitive fields that need to be manually filled out by candidates. This makes the typical Workday application longer than the average optimal time for an ATS. A study by Appcast showed that 50-70% of candidates drop out of your apply process if it takes more than 5 minutes to complete. By streamlining your Workday Recruiting application process, candidates become significantly more likely to complete their application.


3. Defer up-front account registration

The initial step in the Workday apply flow requires candidates to create an account or sign in before they can fill out an application. This step often acts as a deterrent and causes qualified talent to walk away before they even get into the actual apply process.

Why? Up-front account creation is a signal to candidates that your entire application process is likely to be cumbersome and full of hurdles. This is not something that qualified candidates are going to put up with and they don’t need to. The best candidates want to work with organizations that value their time and talent enough to make the application process fast and easy.

If your employer brand’s messaging and visuals position your organization as a workplace that cares about the employee experience, a poor candidate experience can work against it. After all, if you truly care about the experience your employees have, why are you not extending the same treatment to prospective employees before they join your team?


The InFlight advantage

The best solution to overcome areas of friction in the candidate experience is to use a candidate experience “digital transformation tool” that sits on top of your existing Workday system. InFlight offers a solution that customizes the UI and candidate experience without requiring the implementation of a new HCM or ATS. This avoids the massive investment that the implementation of an HCM or ATS requires, and addresses the specific friction areas that these systems have directly.

Our software allows you to change the look, feel, and overall experience that a candidate has during the application experience. This way you can drastically improve your candidate experience and reduce qualified applicant drop offs. Without moving away from Workday, you can:

  • Defer the up-front Workday candidate registration
  • Display your unique employer brand visually throughout the apply flow to align with all the other touchpoints in your candidate journey
  • Remove the Workday logo and URL so your brand is the main focus
  • Streamline the application process to reduce the time it takes to complete an application 
  • Combine the talent network form and ATS registration

In addition, unlike other solutions on the market, InFlight EXP applicant data is submitted directly to Workday, rather than being batch processed and sent over once per day to Workday from an external server. This ensures your data is protected because it never leaves the system of record. The InFlight EXP also offers support for Workday’s dynamic job-specific questionnaires, delivering a personalized experience that other vendors are unable to provide.


To summarize

Like other applicant tracking systems, the Workday candidate experience has points of friction that can cause applicants to drop-off. A candidate experience that matches your employer brand promise is crucial – and candidates won’t complete their applications if the two feel disjointed. While Workday offers solid out-of-the-box features, neglecting to customize the candidate experience to your organizations specific brand and needs can cause candidates to perceive your company in a way that works against you and costs you talent.

Because Workday is such a good HCM, it makes little sense to implement an entirely new HCM or ATS – not to mention the added cost of doing so. InFlight can help your company customize and align your candidate experience with your unique employer brand without changing your ATS or HCM. At the end of the day, your employer brand isn’t just communicated through the messaging and visuals you use, it’s also communicated through the interactions that a candidate has with your systems. Ensuring your systems reinforce and reflect your brand positioning goes a long way to improving perceptions and attracting top talent. 

Take a look at our  Workday page to see how you can transform your candidate experience in a matter of weeks! 
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