New research shows that recruiters, feedback, content, and interviewing are driving a more streamlined process.
By Debbie Bolla
How has the change and uncertainty of the last two years impacted recruiting and the candidate experience? The 2021 North American Candidate Experience Research Report sought to answer this question and others. The study found that positive candidate experiences are on the decline in North America, with candidate resentment on the rise to 14% from 8% in 2020. Candidate resentment can have a jarring impact on businesses, with those having a negative experience being unlikely to apply again or make a referral to their network. The amount of respondents reporting a “great” candidate experience dropped slightly from 31% in 2020 to 30% in 2021.
Some of the top findings from the 2021 report include the following.
Recruiters are a critical part of the candidate experience, often being the first touch point of the process. Recruiters are representatives of an organization’s employer brand and should be experts on it. This year’s research finds that the companies with the best candidate experience are more likely to hold recruiters accountable by aligning their performance to their pay (6% more than average companies). For organizations leveraging automation during the first steps of the recruiting process, the report recommends automated messaging in real-time to maintain a well-communicated experience.
Candidate feedback is being asked for and leveraged by organizations. This year’s report finds that 44% of respondents said they ask for feedback after a candidate is hired, which is up from 29% in 2020. Importantly, hiring organizations are seeking feedback throughout the candidate journey.
Candidates are looking for company content and organizations are delivering. Today’s savvy job seekers are interested in company culture, diversity and inclusion initiatives, learning and development programs, and understanding what it’s really like to work at an organization. When asked where employers are engaging with candidates in the attraction stages, 70% of companies agree that careers sites are critical to company success. Video usage is becoming more popular with a 19% increase and career newsletters are also a strong form of communication.
Interview practices are driving a positive candidate experience. This year’s research shows that structured interviews are seeing more positive ratings as well as a higher level of perceived fairness. Fairness has an impact on referrals with 74% of respondents saying they are willing to refer to their network if they’ve experienced it during the interviewing process.