By: Alison Beardsley
Over the past few years, we’ve heard so much about candidate experience that it almost seems like it’s a buzzword in the recruiting world. Well, it’s not. Candidate experience is causing major shifts in recruiting and because employers are failing at it, is partly the reason why we still keep talking about it. To put things into perspective, let’s look at a few stats:
- In 2016, 47% of candidates reported that they were made to wait for more than two months after they applied before hearing back from employers.
- Only 20% of candidates were notified via email that they were not being considered and a measly 8% were informed of the same via a phone call.
- 88% of candidates with a “poor” one-star experience were asked for no feedback at all.
(Source: 2016 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report)
A Less-Than-Impressive Candidate Experience is More Perilous than You Think
Hiring managers can make or break the candidate experience, often without even knowing it. Tasked with their own duties, they can sometimes unwittingly put a dent in the candidate experience of their hiring process. I’ve personally and professionally known many candidates who’ve had great experiences with recruiting firms but were disappointed once they got in front of the hiring manager for the company they wanted to work for — but are no longer interested in.
In today’s candidate-controlled market, the repercussions of these incidents are far deeper than one might realize. Many recent surveys have revealed how candidate experience affects organizations – from reputation to the bottom line. According to the Talent Board report, 41% of global candidates who believe they’ve had a “negative” job seeker experience are likely to take their alliance, product purchases and relationship elsewhere. Another survey (the Candidate Experience Study) found that 72% of job seekers who’ve had a poor experience voiced their opinions online or on a social networking site.
Clearly, a poor candidate experience can negatively impact the employment brand and redirect revenue for consumer-based businesses. But, it also undermines your ability to attract top-ranking talent and the referral networks they bring along.
Recruiters: A Critical Link in Today’s Candidate Experience Journey
In my experience, most candidate experience issues stem from a poor relationship between a recruiter and a manager. Too many recruiter-hiring manager relationships suffer from a lack of involvement between both parties. All too often, hiring managers send over an email stating the position to be filled and recruiters send back a stack of candidate files. There’s no strategy and absolutely no teamwork. This not only damages the candidate experience but practically the entire hiring process suffers in one way or another.
This is why recruiters and hiring managers should be in lock-step when it comes to delivering a positive candidate experience along with strong and authentic employment brand messaging — a fact supported by Bersin’s High-Impact Talent Acquisition study, which found recruiter-hiring manager relationship to be the most influential driver of talent acquisition performance outcomes.
So, how can recruiters and HR managers create better candidate experiences using a systematic, standardized process? One of the ways we approach this issue here at Doyle Group is by showing hiring managers the end-to-end recruiting process and mapping out all the potential touch points where the candidate and recruiter will interact. We also discuss the pain points of candidates, recruiters, and executives, and combined with strategies around those, we chalk out key interdependencies along the process.
It’s understandable that as a hiring manager you’re often too busy to respond immediately to every phone call or email but as we all know urgency is key to recruitment these days, it’s important that you’re alerted or reminded at regular intervals throughout the process. A good software can take care of this. But at the same time, it’s important to keep the “human” side of communication alive. Face-to-face meetings between recruiters and hiring managers are just as important as it is to have clearly spelled-out expectations — preferably in writing — that both can refer to. Doing so will help them stay on the same page.
Lastly, if there’s one thing all those in hiring authority should remember, it’s this: In order to find, hire, and retain top talent in your company, you must always take the candidate experience into consideration. You also need to partner with the right search firm, one that makes the candidate experience a top priority. At The Doyle Group, this is our definition of excellence.