The Candidate Experience: How important are candidates, anyway?-

September 27, 2022

How would candidates rate your hiring process?Steve Jobs once said: -The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world." How many organisations can really claim to do the same?The hiring process has many facets. But at its core, should be your candidates. It-s surprising then,how often they are little more than an afterthought. However, in a candidate market, where prospects can choose who they work for, an afterthought they most definitely should not be.We-re talking about the candidate experience. And yours needs to be exceptional.Beware the perils of a bad candidate experienceGone are the days when a company could simply sweep disgruntled customers, employees, or potential employees under the rug. Thanks to a plethora of digital platforms, the world is much smaller, and it can take a matter of minutes for your reputation to be in tatters.Glassdoor, the employer review site, and other online forums such as social networking sites are rife-with unhappy candidates repeating how they-ve been treated during the hiring process.-CareerArc-found that a massive 72% of jobseekers who-ve had a poor candidate experience, have shared that-experience online or in a social setting.A negative candidate experience, a negative employer brandIt-s that simple. If your employer branding nosedives, the consequences could be disastrous. Yes, it-s bad publicity, especially if it-s online. Afterall, the internet never forgets. But the repercussions don-t-stop there.CR Magazinefound that 86% of American women and 67% of American men wouldn-t join a company with a bad reputation. That-s a significant amount of talent slipping through the net.Financially, a negative reputation costs companies at least 10% more per hire according toHarvard Business Review. Additionally, 64% of consumers say they have stopped purchasing a brand afterhearing news of that company-s poor employee treatment (CareerArc).That-s before we even begin to think about how this might impact overall employee engagement.Gallupreports that companies with a disengaged workforce can expect productivity to reduce by 17% and profitability by as much as 21%.What-s more, with a negative experience of your hiring process, a candidate that you thought was a good fit culturally, though perhaps not right for this role, has now been lost, probably forever. A substantial 40% of candidates that have a poor experience say they lose interest with the organisation, disregarding any future roles.It-s never too lateCan you truthfully say that your hiring process is flawless? That your candidate experience is second-to-none? There are probably at least a few areas that could be improved. But where to start?-Happily, the process doesn-t have to-be complicated, and rarely is it too late to start trying. You just need to start.Work from the inside out. How is your internal branding? Are you putting your people first? Your internal brand is as, if not more important than your external employer brand. And that extends to candidates expressing interest in becoming part of the family your company has built. The organisations with the best employer brands, the ones that have highly engaged workforces that candidates want to work for, they are the ones who put their people first, always.3 ways to improve the candidate experience, nowWe know you care. A massive 82% of hiring executives see candidate experience as important(Career Builder). Execution is the sticking point. Here-s how you can improve the candidateexperience, right now...

Improve internal comms

Does it ever feel like the right hand doesn-t know what the left hand is doing? We-ve all been there.Even well-known organisations can fall foul to an internal breakdown of communications. HR will be instructed to recruit for a role. The Talent Acquisition team get their ducks in a row. Candidates are interviewed. And at the 11thhour finance inform your department that you don-t have the budget to recruit.It's not a good look and it leaves a bitter aftertaste for candidates that have put time and effort intoapplying, preparing presentations, and interviewing for a role that didn-t ever exist. It-s bad PR thatcould have been avoided had the correct internal processes been in place and observed. No organisation wants processes that becoming overbearing; however, you also need to create a sustainable way of working.

Feedback, feedback, feedback

Candidates are four times more likely to consider a company for a future opportunity when a company offers feedback, according to a LinkedIn-report. This corresponds with data from-Career Builder-revealing that 52% of applicants say that a lack of response from the employer is their biggest frustration. Ensure you include regular feedback to all candidates in a useful, specific, and constructive manner.

Total transparency

Don-t hide behind a fa-ade. Your candidates deserve to know what kind of company they could beworking for-warts and all. No company is perfect, and millennials especially appreciate the honestyand authenticity of being a -work in progress.-All they ask-for, is transparency. Whether that-s regarding-salary, job description, or any other details they might need to make an informed decision. In 2019, LinkedIn reported that only 27% of employers are transparent about salaries and pay ranges. This is such an easy win for organisations.Make or breakHow you treat your candidates during the hiring process could make or break your employer brand. Authenticity is key. Candidates see through anything else, with 86% of applicants saying employers should treat them the way they treat current workers, and 4 out of 5 candidates (78%) saying the overall candidate experience they receive is an indicator of how a company values its people.So, take a step back and review your hiring process. See where the cracks are. Are your processes outdated? Can you scale them up or down as needed? Does your external messaging reflect your internal branding? Would you be happy with the candidate experience if you were applying for arole? Find the flaws and level up. If your hiring process doesn-t speak to the people applying, equipyour TA teams with the training so that it does.How important are candidates? They areeverything.

Posted by

Neil Kelly

Candidate Experience
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