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

Why Smart Companies Are Making Onboarding a Top Priority

Posted by Sean Pomeroy on Thu, Jul, 07, 2016 @ 13:07 PM

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After spending a great deal of time and resources to bring in quality new hires, many employers are making a major mistake by not prioritizing onboarding. 

Despite the fact that effective onboarding improves employee performance and increases employee engagement and retention, according to a report by the Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton, a study of 500 U.S. companies of varying sizes shows that the average amount spent on onboarding per new hire is just $67—and a third of these companies spend no money at all. 

Effective onboarding doesn’t have to be expensive, but the figures above are still alarming. 

No matter what the final tally is on your own company’s onboarding efforts, there are certain things you want to get right to make the process effective. Of course, all necessary paperwork must be completed quickly and efficiently. But you also want to get new hires established in their jobs and connected with your culture, so that you can get them up to speed as quickly as possible. This should begin on day one with the right tools, for example like a Fact Sheet for New Hires. You can create an informative infographic fact sheet template for new hires from Venngage that outlines important info about your organization. This will go along way towards helping new hires will feel more familiar with the company. After all, it typically takes about eight months to get new employees fully productive, but getting them comfortable as quickly as possible helps minimize that time period. On the other hand, failing to provide a reasonable orientation can leave new employees “confused and disoriented,” which is far from conducive for high performance and engagement. 

Smart companies are recognizing the importance of onboarding, with the most successful companies connecting it with employee performance. And more and more are recognizing that it’s a good idea to begin the onboarding process even before a new hire’s first day. According to Aberdeen’s “An Employee-Centric Digital Workplace” report, best-in-class companies are 53% more likely than others to begin the onboarding process before day one (this is also known as pre-boarding). Additionally, best-in-class companies are 39% more likely than others to measure employee engagement with onboarding to ensure new hires understand what’s expected of them. 

So if you’re looking to get better performance from your new hires, consider seeing if you can improve the onboarding you provide. 

How Modern Talent Acquisition Software Can Help

Software allows you to automate crucial aspects of the onboarding process. For example, you ensure that all necessary documents have been filled out correctly, saving time and preventing problems. You also can manage and track the other tasks that need to be completed after someone is hired (email setup, ID photo, parking pass, etc.) As a result, you can put your focus on higher-value onboarding priorities—such as making sure the new employees you just hired have the proper attention to get off on the right foot, which improves performance, engagement and retention levels.

To learn other important steps for improving your hiring results, read our new article -  “4 Key Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.”

 

Tags: talent acquisition, employee onboarding

4 Ways to Promote Better Recruiter/Hiring Manager Relationships

Posted by Mark Jackson on Thu, Jun, 16, 2016 @ 10:06 AM

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A Bersin report found that “developing strong relationships with hiring managers is the top driver of talent acquisition performance.” In fact, it was found to be four times more influential than any other factor studied. 

Yet many employers are clearly failing at managing the recruiter/hiring manager relationship. From the same report: 80% of recruiters believe they have a good understanding of the jobs they’re recruiting for, but 61% of hiring managers disagree. 

Given the tremendous gap in their opinions, it’s no wonder managing the relationships between these two groups is one of our “4 Keys Steps to Successful Talent Acquisition.”

The recruiter/hiring manager relationship is critically important for two reasons: 

  1. The recruiter needs to understand the skills and qualifications the hiring manager is seeking for given job roles or the wrong candidates can be delivered, which results in bad hires or delays in hiring.
  1. The recruiter and hiring manager need to work together to avoid time-costing bottlenecks that slow the hiring process. Bottlenecks frustrate candidates and increase time to hire. 

So, how can you promote quality relationships between your recruiters and hiring managers? 

  1. Encourage frequent, effective communication at every step of the process. At many organizations, this isn’t happening—which isn’t surprising, considering the statistics above from the Bersin report. “The lack of communication between recruiters and hiring managers is the biggest challenge we have in the industry—period,” Steve Lowisz, CEO of recruiting and recruitment research firm Qualigence International, told SHRM.  

  1. Take steps to build trust and agreement. Have recruiters and hiring managers meet face to face in an effort to establish themselves as partners working together toward a singular goal: making quality hires in an efficient manner. As part of this, recruiters and hiring managers should agree upon written expectations for the relationship and how they’re going to work together. Doing so will help them stay on the same page, especially since both will have documentation to refer to.             
  1. Have them hold process improvement meetings. Recruiters and hiring managers should hold occasional meetings to evaluate how they can work together more efficiently and more effectively. For example, they can examine if the recruiters have been sending along the right quantities and types of candidates to the hiring manager for interviews.                                                                                                               
  1. Use modern talent acquisition software. Software will help recruiters and hiring managers stay organized by consolidating candidate and job information, and will prevent communication breakdowns by using notifications and auto-alerts throughout the process. In fact, recruiters and hiring managers won’t even have to log in to the software to be alerted of an update—smart emails will keep everyone on the same page. So, for example, both recruiters and hiring managers will be aware if changes are made to a job description. Plus, there will be no more giant piles of paper to sift through, which will save time, eliminate frustration and reduce cost. 

Your talent acquisition efforts have a tremendous impact on the future of your company. Don’t let poor or mediocre recruiter/hiring manager relationships spoil that future. 

For more on managing the recruiter/hiring manager relationship, and to learn other important steps for improving your hiring, read our new article -

4 Key Steps to Successful  Talent Acquisition

Tags: recruiter, hiring manager, talent acquisition