Do you remember applying to your current position and entering your current career? What made you choose your employer compared to the other options in the market?
The answer is probably not the job description. That too often becomes a wall of text that applicants slog through in order to match their resumes and cover letter to the requirements and qualifications of the position. And yet, research shows that company culture, leadership, and career opportunities all matter more to applicants than those requirements.
If you’re relying on your job description to get the best possible applicant pool for your open positions, that’s concerning. Enter job previews, virtual and interactive experiences specifically designed to help prospective candidates better understand what they’re in for, and how they can help your organization thrive.
What, Exactly, Are Job Previews?
Great question! Think of them as a virtual tour that helps your applicants better understand your physical space, with the added benefit of providing crucial information about the position they apply for, and the organization they want to join.
That last piece is a crucial piece of the equation. This is not just a virtual tour designed for visual impact. At its best, a job preview is a fully immersive experience that matches the ability to showcase your physical space with the ability to provide important information in a more engaging format, without losing depth of information.
A job preview shows what the position requires and will be like, rather than just talking about it in black-on-white text. So, we’ll do the same: if you truly want to understand the technology and its possibilities, check out this job preview from Ace Hardware.
In that link, you’ll find a few core components that are typical of job previews in any industry:
- A focus on high-impact visuals of the job environment.
- A series of theme-based stops with additional information around topics like culture and individual departments.
- Integrated links to additional content, including videos, images, and website links that highlight specifics like company benefits, overviews of individual jobs, and more.
In other words, this tool is exactly what its name suggests: a preview of the job, and all of its context, that candidates can use to determine whether they are qualified and interested before and during the application process.
Why Does Your Organization Need Job Previews?
Short answer: because the modern labor market demands more than the status quo. Recruitment has been elevated to a top concern for HR departments this year, but that trend didn’t just start with COVID. Too often, we try to hire new employees using the same methods and techniques used a decade or more ago, even though expectations have shifted drastically.
Or, as the Harvard Business Review puts it, “Your Approach to Hiring is All Wrong“.
Modern applicants have choices, and they have values. That means they’re able to pick employers based on a value overlap and based on truly understanding whether or not the job in question would be a good fit for their functional skills and personal beliefs. A job description, unfortunately, cannot effectively get that point across.
Fortunately, a job preview can. In fact, it offers five unique and distinct benefits that are worth elaborating on.
1. Preview the Physical Environment
Perhaps the most straightforward advantage of a job preview is its visual nature. Applicants can easily preview the physical environment in which they work, whether it be a hardware store, a hospital, a server farm, or a physical campus. Considering the fact that humans are visual learners, though, this simple advantage is still significant.
Imagine being able to show off your office spaces to candidates before they apply. You might get fewer applicants as a result, but the benefit of only receiving applications from candidates who can see themselves in that space is that the quality of candidates rises significantly.
Of course, this benefit matters especially if your physical space is worth showing off. But that doesn’t mean you have to be home to Google’s corporate campus. Simply being able to show your spaces to prospective employees who are curious about what it will be like to work for you can be all that you need to get your candidates’ attention and interest.
2. Showcase Your Organizational Culture
Working for your company, of course, is far more than just the physical environment. It’s what that physical environment communicates about your organization’s central values, norms, and beliefs – otherwise known as your organizational culture.
There are many, often subtle ways in which job previews can communicate your organizational culture. Just a few examples include:
- Showing common spaces, to emphasize that you value teamwork.
- Highlighting employee testimonials discussing their belief in the company’s work and vision.
- Showcasing employee events, like happy hours, to show the dynamics within the office environment.
All of these options, of course, are far more beneficial than simply describing your organization as fun or vibrant in a job description. You’re able to show, not tell, letting candidates know exactly what to expect on the topic they’re most curious about.
3. Create a Storytelling Experience
Consider this a combination of the first two benefits, but going beyond each to form a greater whole. Modern communication is all about storytelling, as marketers and professional communicators have begun to realize that tapping into our innate need for stories can be immensely impactful when talking about almost anything.
Through your job preview, you can do exactly that to improve your talent acquisition efforts. Rather than building multiple distinct stops, you can weave together your areas, links, and visuals to create a larger story about your organization.
Let your candidates know your company’s history. Show them what you value. Weave in job requirements, but in a way that helps them understand just why those requirements are crucial. In short, create a storytelling experience that’s as captivating as it is informational, consistent, and comprehensive to immerse your audience into the topic at hand.
4. Expand the Experience Beyond Your Space
Most virtual tours stop at the organization’s borders. And while that also can be true for job previews, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, this is an opportunity to take the story and details about your company far beyond the edge of your corporate campus, store, or any other physical space.
You can show any number of things that aren’t necessarily owned by your organization:
- Local shops and restaurants
- School districts and neighborhood scores from independent sources
- Local hotels and other hospitality options for applicants and their families to stay short-term
Why? Because when a new candidate begins work at your organization, they don’t just care about your corporate borders. They might need to move their family just to work there. Even if they don’t, knowing about local restaurants can help them start to envision their next favorite lunch spots.
In other words, expanding the experience beyond your own boundaries provides context to the larger story you’re telling about your organization. In the process, you give your applicants crucial information that they would otherwise have to find for themselves.
5. Create a Better Applicant Experience
Finally, and most comprehensively, a well-built job preview can go a long way towards improving the applicant experience. In part because all the advantages mentioned above, it’s able to create a more engaging, immersive, and interesting opportunity for your candidates to learn about both you and the requirements for open positions, making two things more likely:
- A natural “weeding out” of candidates who are not a good fit, but may not be able to discern that from a standard job description.
- A more enthusiastic group of candidates who do apply, working harder towards the opportunity of joining your team.
That interplay, leading to fewer but better applicants, is in many ways the holy grail of talent acquisition. With a job preview, built the right way and designed for both your audience and your storytelling needs, you can get there and help your recruitment efforts flourish.
Ready to Build Job Previews and Improve Your Applicant Pool?
Of course, all the above is at its core theoretical. The advantages of job previews are great, but only if you can build a platform designed to actually accomplish them. That’s where we step in.
Concept3D is well-known for our immersive virtual tours, and we have successfully helped major employers like Ace Hardware use the same underlying technology to improve their talent acquisition, as well. Job previews are our core virtual recruitment tool, and they work; in fact, candidates spend an average of 17 minutes interacting with our job previews, which far outpaces traditional job descriptions or website listings.
Now, we’re ready to bring the same benefits to your organization. Are you looking to improve your talent acquisition efforts, or simply looking to make improvements on the margins? Are you prepared for the next generation of applicants, looking for visuals and immersive learning more than any before them? Contact us to start the discussion about how we can partner.