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

How the Right Applicant Tracking System Improves Candidate Experience

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, May, 11, 2017 @ 13:05 PM

happyATS.png

According to a recent report from Software Advice, nearly 26% of recruiters said using an applicant tracking system is one of the top contributing factors for applicants having a good candidate experience. A good applicant tracking system allows your company to guide every candidate through your hiring process from beginning to end with ease. Unfortunately, not every company can take advantage of this streamlining, and it costs them money and candidates. And of course, some systems are better than others. So as always, it’s important to ask the right questions about your applicant tracking system to see if it’s your process or your software that’s making your organization’s candidate experience terrible.

 Is your ATS simple?

A good ATS is simple and to the point. It helps guide applicants through the process, and makes it as easy as possible. At its best, an applicant tracking system is invisible. The last thing you want your ATS to do is to be overcomplicated, confusing and an extremely long process for the candidate, making applicants focus on the how of application process rather than the why. A recent study showed that almost 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent to applying for the position. If your applicant tracking system makes applying more complicated than it should be, drop it. A great ATS should be as easy to navigate as a consumer website, why isn’t yours?

Tweet This: 49% of candidates think extremely long applications were a major deterrent.

Is it Effective?

In order to have the best candidate experience, your ATS needs to do what it sets out to. For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have: requisition management, automated workflow, applicant-facing tools, pre-screening, scoring and compliance. Analyzing your current situation, your job posts, and how your ATS feeds into the rest of your hiring process can allow you to improve every part of hiring, but only if your ATS can deliver on its part of the bargain. If you feel like you have to work around your applicant tracking system instead of with it, it’s not effective. Once every element of your hiring (including your ATS) works in harmony, every part of your hiring will end up benefiting. Ask your new hires how they feel about your applicant tracking system and be ready to process their honest answers.

Tweet This: For your applicant tracking system to be effective, here’s what it needs to have:

Is it convenient?

Have you ever been to the hospital, reached the front desk to tell someone your emergency, then, once you finally reach the emergency room, the nurse asks you what’s wrong? And then, once the doctor finally comes to check on you, they also ask you what’s wrong? It’s frustrating to have to repeat yourself, especially when you’re in need of dire care. When something like this happens, all you can think to yourself is, “are these people even talking to each other?” It’s incredibly frustrating annoying, and while hospitals may have their reasons for the lack of communication, the amount of time they waste in treating a patient is all the same. 

Why treat your candidates the same way? After being questioned so many times about who they are and what they do and having to fill in the same information over and over, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your candidates are dropping out. A recent study showed that companies saw a drop out rate as high as 48% because of a complicated applicant process. Don’t do this to your candidates. It will decrease your talent pool and give you bad reputation as an employer. You need every advantage you can get as an employer looking for talent, and anything keeping you from top talent needs to go.

Tweet This: Companies saw drop out rates as high as 48% because of complicated ATS processes. 

If your current ATS isn’t your company’s standards for hiring and it doesn’t make anything easier for the candidate it may be time to look into a new solution. Your ATS is a key part of your hiring process, so don’t let your current one cost you candidates and your company money. Instead, a good applicant tracking system should expand your talent pool by giving your candidates the most optimal experience. Not sure where to look? Visibility Software’s applicant tracking system is a great place to start.

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Tags: candidate experience, applicant tracking system, ATS, cloud based ATS, recruiting software