Candidates need more than a job description and a ready-to-go resume to submit a job application. Sure, they are looking for insight into your company’s culture and employee experience. But have you considered that they also want to understand your application and hiring process, to know what they’re getting into and what you expect from them?
One tool that can help you present all of this information and content to job seekers in an effective format is a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section on your careers site. A dedicated FAQ can help you set expectations with candidates before they apply, so they aren’t taken by surprise during their candidate journey with your company. And this is one approach that can have a significant impact on the candidate experience — winners of the Talent Board’s 2018 CandE Awards are more likely to make those expectations clear with candidates throughout the entire recruiting process, according to the 2018 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Report.
The report also found that 70% of candidates conduct their own research when searching for a new opportunity and 60% of them rank an organization’s careers site as the best research tool. Taking these data points into account, there’s a strong case for creating and maintaining a comprehensive FAQ section that takes the recruitment content on your careers site one step further.
How else can a FAQ page help candidates and your recruiting efforts, and just what should it include? Read on to find out and to see a few examples of leading employers with helpful candidate FAQs that can inspire your own.
What a FAQ can do
There are a wide range of benefits that companies can experience by developing a FAQ section. Here are just a few:
- It can answer candidate questions no matter where they are in the candidate journey. Job seekers in the consideration or the application phase don’t have to go finishing around to find the answers they need to move forward.
- It helps to shorten the time to hire. With a FAQ section, talent no longer needs to wait for a recruiter to get back to them with answers to their most pressing questions, meaning that candidates are able to submit their applications more quickly than if they had to wait to get the information they need.
- It can drive down the application abandonment rate. If job seekers know what to expect during the application process ahead of time, they’ll have a better understanding of what’s required and be equipped to completely fill out their application.
- It can become a key supporting part of a Recruitment Marketing content strategy. Posting the FAQ page on social media and sending it to interested job seekers via email can help strengthen the employer brand and reinforce other content pieces that are shared with talent.
What a FAQ should cover
The questions and answers included in your FAQ section depend on your candidates. What are the most pressing questions they often have? Ask your recruiting team to chime in with their thoughts to ensure you’re covering all of the job seeker bases.
And just like with any other Recruitment Marketing content strategy, your FAQ shouldn’t be static. It’s a good idea to consistently update it with new questions and answers as you gather candidate feedback so that you’re including the information that’s relevant to them.
Here are the top elements your FAQ should include so that you’re providing talent with the right information at the right time on (one of) the right channel(s):
- About your company: This includes everything from your mission, values and EVP to your products and services, offices, awards and culture. Also, offer information about the type of candidate profiles you look for. Some job seekers may think they aren’t a right fit based on assumptions, and this is your chance to clear up any confusion. L’Oreal’s FAQ answers these questions for candidates.
- How to use the careers site: Candidates want to know what’s required of them during the application process, including what materials they need to submit and approximately how long it will take. Providing these details in your FAQ helps them more effectively prepare their application. It’s a good idea to instruct candidates how to submit their resume, cover letter and other attachments, along with any other relevant information, such as if they want to submit an application to more than one open role. This FAQ from Microsoft is a good example.
- The applicant process: Whether they are just considering a new opportunity or have made the decision to apply, provide information about the process that happens after submission. This includes details on how you screen and select candidates for moving forward, the approximate time it takes for a candidate to hear back about a next step or decision, and how they can prepare for interviews (dress code, materials to bring, etc.). Deloitte’s FAQ features a link to other content that can help job seekers.
- The nitty-gritty: Of course, there’s other information that job seekers are interested in learning outside of your company culture, mission and application process. Details about benefits, training and development opportunities, relocation assistance, reimbursement for interview travel and visa requirements go into helping candidates make a decision. It might not be as inspiring as other parts of your FAQ, but being up front with candidates means those expectations are set from the very beginning. This FAQ from Booking.com covers these kinds of details.
When candidates are looking for answers during their journey with your company, providing them quickly and efficiently can be the deciding factor on whether or not they apply. A dedicated FAQ page can not only give them the information they need in a single step, but it can also help boost up your other Recruitment Marketing content initiatives to help draw in candidates and encourage them to become applicants.