HR TechnologyTalent Acquisition

Tech Bolsters the Candidate Experience

Annual report reveals the trends driving improvements in recruiting.

Talent acquisition has evolved and morphed into a technology-forward process as candidates’ workplace priorities and expectations shift. Recruiting teams in 2022 navigated economic insecurity coupled with a historically strong labor market with two job openings for every unemployed worker. Today’s technology is helping organizations contend with hiring volume and scale changes. Through automation, recruiters and hiring managers can offload tedious tasks and focus on high-touch approaches.

As the labor market changes, candidates worldwide are vocal about their dissatisfaction with recruiting processes and trends. Poor candidate experiences may affect referral networks, business relationships, and potentially, revenue. Talent Board’s 2022 North American Candidate Experience Research Report explores how candidates feel about recruiting processes, revealing key competitive differences found in positive candidate experiences and how they impact the candidate and organization. In 2022, the overall candidate experience ranking increased by 8% to 30%, the largest jump recorded. The study also found that candidate resentment in North America declined from 14% to 12% in 2022, potentially reflecting recent changes in recruiting methods. Candidates are now slightly more likely to refer others, building the talent pool and organizational network. Plus, for the first time, when companies self-assessed their candidate relationships, they ranked themselves lower than candidates did.

These shifts may signal an evolution in typical recruitment practices and realignment to guarantee a positive candidate experience. The study reveals key themes found in positive candidate experiences throughout 2022.

  • Leverage technology to enable timely communication throughout the hiring process. Communicating with candidates throughout the process establishes mutual respect. The report found that organizations are using text-based recruitment systems to deliver job alerts and text-to-apply notifications, which can drive positive candidate sentiment and a perception of fairness. AI is also having an impact around high-volume hiring and communication practices with a 31% increase in chatbot usage, which are ideal for answering general employment questions.
  • Set timely expectations. Thirty-four percent of candidates waited at least one to two months after applying before hearing back from a recruiter, an increase from 2021. This practice disengages qualified candidates and leads to increased negative sentiment.
  • Ask for and offer feedback. Considering 75% of companies reported having difficulty hiring, gathering feedback from candidates can ensure recruitment processes are evolving to meet candidate expectations. Providing feedback to rejected candidates increases the likelihood of a positive experience and the candidates are more likely to apply for a different job within the same company.
  • Be transparent and accountable. To ensure accountability, recruiter performance should align with candidate experience. This motivates recruiters to keep candidate experience in mind. Talent acquisition teams should create metrics to measure candidate experience and review them regularly. 
  • Structure the process to ensure fairness. Structured interviews with pre-set questions help ensure fairness and limits opportunities for bias. Candidates are significantly more likely to have a positive experience if they perceive the process to be fair.
Tags: HR Technology, October 2023, Talent Acquisition

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