Candidate ExperienceRPO & StaffingTalent Acquisition

Elevating the Candidate Experience

Looking to improve the overall experience during the hiring process? New research offers six strategies to help.

By Debbie Bolla

Current unemployment numbers aren’t working in the favor of HR. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an unemployed population of 6.1 million and 7.3 million open positions. This means that HR and TA teams need to use every strategy in their wheelhouse to ensure they are attracting the right talent into their organizations. A key piece of this puzzle is the candidate experience.

For nine years, the Talent Board has had a close eye on the impact of the candidate experience and ways to improve and measure it. “Communication and feedback loops are a key competitive differentiator each year that impact whether or not job candidates will ever apply again, refer others, or make purchases if and when applicable (for consumer-based companies),” says Kevin Grossman, president and board member at the Talent Board. “Although global 2019 CandE research is still being collected at the point of this submission, the North American job candidate resentment rate (candidates who choose to sever the relationship with an employer based on having a negative candidate experience) is 14 percent. Unfortunately, that’s a 40 percent increase in resentment since 2016.”

To avoid that negative experience, what’s important to candidates when going through the hiring process? The 2018 North American Candidate Experience Research Report finds that today’s top performers are looking for an easy, informative process aided by technology. Based on the research, here are some best practices organizations should consider when upping their overall talent experience.

  • Communicate early and often. Job seekers are looking to hear from potential employers even before they apply. Technology can help -the report reveals a 69 percent increase in the use of chatbots to field questions on career sites. Chatbots have the ability to easily answer general questions in order to get information in the hands of potential candidates faster. And once interviewed, candidates who hear back from the organization in the same day are 52 percent more likely to continue to interact with the employer in the future through networking and even purchasing.
  • Present a fair and simple application process. While technology offers the platform for easy-to-access applications, organizations need to keep time-to-apply top of mind. In fact, the research finds that 42.5 percent of the candidates said a top-notch process clocked in at less than 15 minutes.
  • Ensure an authentic view of the role and company culture. The report finds that HR is looking to assessments to help their organization and candidates alike determine if a match exists. Job simulations that help present the role accurately and assess how candidates are likely to perform increased in use by 16 percent and culture fit assessments increased by 17 percent.
  • Be considerate during the rejection process. No one likes to hear they are no longer being considered for a job role, but it’s better than not hearing anything at all. When candidates don’t hear back, it can leave a negative image of the organization, prompting them to not recommend the company within their network or apply again. The report finds that HR can benefit through the personal touch of calling candidates instead of an automated email rejection, with 28 percent of respondents saying this makes for a positive candidate experience.
  • Begin the onboarding process prior to day one. Early onboarding has the power to decrease the time to productivity, increase the likelihood of retention, and create a positive employee-employer relationship from the onset. In fact, the report finds that when organizations offer their new hires multiple options to communicate goals, meet key team members, and answer questions prior to their start date, new hires are 72 percent more likely to refer their network.
  • Take recruiting structures into consideration. The report finds that candidates had a better experience with an outsourced recruitment structure compared to centralized and decentralized approaches. Organizations that outsource recruiting had candidates say they were 22 percent more “extremely likely” to refer others based on their experience than decentralized recruiting organizations, and 16 percent more “extremely likely” to refer compared to centralized recruiting organizations.


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Tags: Employee/Candidate Experience, Magazine Article, October-2019, Talent Acquisition

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