What is the “Candidate Experience” — and Does it Really Matter?

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Nov, 13, 2018 @ 08:11 AM

 

Business people waiting to be called into interview at the office

Candidate Experience

There’s a lot of talk currently about the importance of the candidate experienceJust what is the candidate experience? Does it matter?  And if so, how can you make it better?

  

What is it?

Not surprisingly, the term “candidate experience” refers to the overall experience employment candidates have with a potential employer. It includes the candidates’ impressions and perceptions of a company’s hiring process including the job application, screening methods, communications, and the interview.

 

Does it Matter?

In a word — yes. The candidate experience matters enough that there's even an annual Candidate Experience conference to recognize leaders in this art. Here are just four of many reasons why companies should take the candidate experience seriously.

 

  1. Bad news spreads

Applicants who have a bad experience with a company often don’t go silently back into the job market — they spread the bad word. A recent industry survey found that 33% of candidates with a negative experience intended to share the news publicly through social media.

 

  1. Candidates are also customers

Alienate a candidate and it might dip into your profits. A recent Talent Board survey found that just under 40% of those with a positive candidate experience said they felt more inclined to buy from the company, regardless of whether they were actually hired. Conversely, 30% of those with a negative experience said they would now purchase fewer of the business’s goods or services.

 

  1. The good ones might get away

A positive candidate experience leads to better hiring. It’s that simple. Need evidence? Organizations that invest in a strong candidate experience improve their quality of hires by 70%. And, 90% of candidates claim that the candidate experience they receive can change their minds about a role or company.

 

  1. It will cost you real money

A bad candidate experience can be costly enough that there’s a  Candidate Experience Resentment Calculator to demonstrate potential lost revenue stemming from bad candidate experiences.

 

How Can You Improve It?

Improving the candidate experience is not overly difficult, but it does take planning, time, and effort. Here are three area to consider:

 

  1. Recruitment Marketing

    Yes, there’s really such a thing as recruitment marketing. Really, it’s just a formal term for the strategies and tactics a firm uses to find, attract, engage, and nurture talent during the pre-application or recruitment phase. Recruitment marketing might take the form of employer branding, educational and promotional videos, or career sites.

     

    The best-executed recruitment marketing involves a company’s marketing department — an Aberdeen study found that best-in-class companies are 68% more likely than all others to involve the marketing department in employment advertising tactics. The same study found that recruitment marketing reduced the overall cost of the hiring process by 20% or more for 24% of companies.

     

    1. Recruitment Messaging

    Today’s workforce includes three generations — and to reach each of them, companies need messaging that resonates with the intended audience. Take the time to hone your company’s recruiting message — it should reflect your brand and speak to the needs and interests of your candidate pool. The right messaging works — Johnson & Johnson reworked their recruitment messaging to be highly specific and saw their talent pool improve by 54% and new hire turnover drop by 23%.

     

    1. Conversational Recruiting

    Here’s another trendy term — conversational recruiting. Conversational recruiting emphasizes two-way communications throughout the recruiting process — and we’re not just talking phone chats here. Candidates expect to engage potential employers from where they live – which often means from their mobile devices, and meaningful “conversations” might take the form of text, video screening, and candidate surveys to recruit for talent and have meaningful interactions along the way.

     

    The candidate experience is a critical component in a company’s overall recruiting strategy. A good candidate experience results in a number of tangible benefits, while a poor candidate experience can diminish a company’s chances at hiring and retaining top talent. We’ve got additional ideas about how you can improve your company’s candidate experience – contact us to start the conversation. You can also check out our Best Practices Guide - 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition

Tags: Sustainable Recruiting, employment branding, recruiting software, recruiting strategy, HR, recruiting, talent acquisition, hiring manager, ATS, Hiring, candidate experience, employer brand, employee engagement, applicant experience, applicant management

Renewable Recruiting: Building Sustainable Recruiting Practices in the Nonprofit Sector

Posted by Mark Jackson on Tue, Sep, 11, 2018 @ 13:09 PM

Building Sustainable Recruiting Practices in the Nonprofit Sector 

One of the most common buzzwords of the last decade or so is sustainability. It’s been applied to everything from construction methodologies to laundry detergents, so perhaps it’s not surprising to hear it used in the context of the sustainability of nonprofit organizations. What does it take to be a sustainable nonprofit organization? The answers may surprise you. 

  

Think beyond cash flow

Naturally, what first comes to mind is cash flow. A sustainable nonprofit has to continue bringing in the money required to fulfill their mission, year after year. But sustainability goes beyond that. The analysts at Nonprofit HR laid out what we think is a spot-on description of nonprofit sustainability: “Nonprofit sustainability occurs when a nonprofit attracts and effectively uses enough and the right kinds of money and people necessary to lead and achieve their long-term outcome goals.”  

 

Implement a recruiting strategy

The right kinds of people are a necessary ingredient in the sustainability of nonprofits, yet a full 64% of nonprofits have no formal recruitment strategy. Without such a strategy makes competing for top talent even more difficult today than ever before. Even more alarming, once the right people are in place, most organizations (81%) lack a formal retention strategy for keeping them onboard and engaged.

 

While recruiting strategies will vary from organization to organization, many include elements such as workforce planning, definition of goals, employer branding, social media presence, sourcing and recruiting, a recruiting and applicant tracking technology platform, effective onboarding, and the use of data analytics to measure and monitor the process.  

 

Make a solid first impression

60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience. And as a result of a poor candidate experience, employers are missing out on an important talent pool. 83% of job seekers say a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked, while 87% say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted. Clearly, it pays to make a good first impression. 

Organizations can improve the experience of candidates in several ways, including streamlining the application process, keeping applicants informed of the status of their application, and recommending additional available positions. Steps like these are easier when you use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), yet in 2017 only 33% of nonprofits reported that they use an ATS.

 

Promote your brand

Nonprofits have to be masters at self-promotion to meet their fundraising goals, and an organization’s brand carries a similar significance throughout the recruiting process. Does your organization have an employment brand or employment branding process? A majority of nonprofits do not, despite the important role brand plays in attracting top talent.

Think of your employment brand as the market perception of what it's like to work for your organization. It’s the image that your prospective, current, and past employees have about the employment experience, and includes things like your culture, work environment, employee benefits, and advancement opportunities. Your organization’s brand affects recruitment of new employees, retention, and engagement of current employees, and the overall perception of the organization in the market. Essentially your brand should create a sense of urgency and excitement motivating prospect employees to seek you out and current employees to remain engaged. 

Building a sustainable nonprofit organization involves many factors, of which the right talent is perhaps the most critical. To achieve your mission, and successfully grow and maintain it, you must recruit and retain the right high-performing people.

Learn more about how an Applicant Tracking system can improve the sustainability of your recruiting efforts with our guide - 4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.   

 

Tags: nonprofit, recruiting strategy, recruiting, employment branding, Sustainable Recruiting, nonprofits, nonprofit recruiting, applicant tracking system, Applicant tracking software, blackbaud, community brands, abila