By: Karl Wierzbicki, Director of Marketing, InFlight

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

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

Before making a career move, candidates need to understand what a company stands for. People want to work for organizations that value their people. 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 that regularly participate in CSR initiatives to give back to their communities.

However, many organizations are sending candidates the wrong signal and portraying their employer brands in a negative light because they’re providing a poor candidate experience. The way you treat your candidates, after all, 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’re not showing candidates that you’re a company worth working for.

And this message is coming through loud and clear: 78% of candidates surveyed say that a company’s candidate experience is a clear indicator of how much they value their people, according to Career Builder. And if you’re not providing a candidate experience that shows you value your people, you will deter the most qualified candidates from coming to work with you.

And showing how you prioritize your employees and their experiences at work extends far beyond your top-of-funnel attraction content. Even if you’re communicating that you care in your employer brand collateral (like social media and careers site content), if your systems experiences don’t reflect what you’re saying then candidates will assume you’re just another organization “talking the talk” without “walking the walk.”

Many organizations fall into that camp today because HR systems aren’t providing the type of candidate experience that aligns with most organizations’ brand messaging. Talent acquisition teams want to treat people right, but the systems that most teams have to work with aren’t enabling them to do so. 

For organizations relying on Workday Recruiting as their Applicant Tracking System (ATS), for instance, there are several major candidate experience barriers that are turning candidates away and sending them the wrong messages about your employer brand.

This blog will walk you through some of the current challenges with Workday’s candidate experience and overview a cost-effective and straightforward solution to improve your Workday strategy so you can continue to recruit the sought-after talent your business needs.


If you’re looking for specific Workday product information, try here


The problem with your Workday candidate experience

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 organization’s primary focus. Workday was built as an HCM first and an ATS second — it wasn’t built with recruitment and candidate experience objectives top of mind.

Despite this drawback, many large organizations are forced into using Workday Recruiting as their ATS because it’s cost-effective to use the same software for recruiting that you’re already using to manage all your company-wide employee data. Members of the C-suite will often commit to purchasing Workday and then they don’t provide talent acquisition leaders with the opportunity of even considering another ATS option — and even if TA leaders were to consider other software options, most ATS platforms that are suitable for enterprise organizations are going to have similar limitations. 

One of the most significant candidate experience issues that emerges when using a system like Workday is during the application process. It’s at this stage that any of the hard work you’ve put in from an employer brand perspective is likely to be undone.


The Workday apply experience deters qualified candidates

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

The reason for this is because so many organizations provide an extremely poor candidate experience at the application stage of the candidate journey. This negative experience emerges from the out-of-the-box apply experience that Workday Recruiting (and other big HCM systems) offer to candidates.


What are the main issues with Workday recruiting’s apply experience?


 1. The application process is time consuming and frustrating

The Workday application experience is frustrating and time-consuming. Many candidates even take to Twitter and other social platforms to vent about their experiences with the platform! 

During the Workday application process, there are many repetitive fields that candidates have to manually fill out. This makes the average Workday application take far longer than it should. Since 50-70% of candidates drop out of your apply process if it takes more than 5 minutes to complete (Appcast), this is a big problem that needs to be addressed.


2. Up-front account registration turns candidates away

Another negative part of the Workday apply experience is that candidates have to create an account or sign in before they can fill out an application. This initial first step is enough of a deterrent that the most qualified candidates won’t take the time to even start your process. 

This is because the up-front account creation is a sign for candidates that your entire application process is likely to be cumbersome and full of hurdles. This is not something that the most qualified candidates — people who have many opportunities available to them — are going to put up with. The best candidates want to work with organizations that value their time and talent enough to make this process fast and easy for them.


3. The apply experience sends the wrong messages about your employer brand

Another major issue with the Workday candidate experience is that it’s cancelling out all of the great employer brand work you’re doing to draw candidates in. If you have attractive and compelling employer brand content on different social platforms and on your career site, but then as soon as candidates hit “apply” the experience changes completely, it sends candidates mixed messages about who you are as an organization.

With Workday, as soon as a candidate presses “apply,” they’re booted into a different site ecosystem that will 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 this stage and all other touchpoints that candidates are encountering.

In addition the frustrating user interface (UI) and slow application process can cause candidates to question the authenticity of your employer brand. For example, if your employer brand messaging and visuals position your organization as a workplace that cares about the employee experience, this type of poor candidate experience can discredit those types of statements. After all, if you care about the experience your employees have, why are you not extending that same treatment to prospective employees before they join your team?


How to fix Workday’s candidate experience issues

One straightforward solution to overcome these candidate experience challenges is to use a candidate experience “overlay” that sits on top of your Workday system. This type of solution changes the UI and candidate experience without requiring that you implement a new HCM or ATS (which is very costly and time consuming — and still unlikely to solve many of the candidate experience challenges listed above).

The InFlight Employee Experience Platform (EXP) does just this. 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. By using the InFlight EXP, you can:

  • Get rid of the up-front Workday candidate registration
  • Infuse your employer brand visuals throughout the apply flow to align with all the other touchpoints in your candidate journey
  • Hide the Workday logo and URL
  • Streamline the process and reduce the time it takes to submit an application 
  • Combine talent network and ATS registration

In addition, unlike other solutions on the market, with the 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 that 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.


Find out more about our Workday solution here


The takeaways

The Workday apply experience is outdated and cumbersome to navigate. This means, if you’re relying on their out-of-the-box application process, you’re likely experiencing a high applicant drop-off rate. The most talented candidates won’t put up with major inconveniences during the application process because it shows them your organization won’t value their time and talent now or in the future.

As a result, improving your Workday candidate experience through an EXP like InFlight is essential.  After all, 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 proving you value your people. 

Adopting this approach and improving your systems experiences will help you to continue to compete for the most qualified talent, rather than losing out to hiring competitors who are finding ways to deliver on the type of streamlined candidate experience that people expect and deserve today.

Take a look at  Workday page to see how you can fix your candidate experience in a matter of weeks. 
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