How do qualified people find out about your organization, let alone know that you have a job opening that’s a perfect match for their disposition and skill set? Instead of providing a “hiring process” answer, let’s look at the question from a potential new hire’s perspective.

Each contact or “touch point” reinforces or contradicts a potential applicant’s impression of an organization. “Aware” is the first stage of that worker’s journey and, whether consciously or unconsciously, consistency is what stands out to a job seeker. Candidates recognize disconnects between our website messaging and their social media feeds. Ever “Googled” your company or read your company’s reviews on Is that information consistent with your organization’s intended messaging?

One of our clients went so far as to design a recruiting strategy around one simple question: “What do we want candidates telling their friends?” You don’t need to be an HR practitioner to know that friends have more credibility than marketing campaigns. The answers they came up with drove every recruiting process decision. Knowing what they wanted and being deliberate about shaping a candidate’s experience helped them more effectively fill the candidate funnel.

We identified “qualified applicant backlog” in a previous post as a way to measure how well we source and attract the right talent. That number only grows when candidates find our story compelling enough to take some action.

Once they do, our fictional candidate gets to experience the applicant screening mechanism, which triggers the next stage of a worker’s journey, “Discovery,” commonly referred to as “Recruiting” in HR speak. One might argue that everything I’ve covered so far falls into recruiting. I, however, only make the distinction because this is the worker’s journey through the worker’s eyes. Up to this point, candidates believe they are in the driver’s seat!