2021 CandE Research Takeaway #1: The Resentment Swing and What’s Positive

What a swing we saw: from job candidate resentment decreasing dramatically around the world in our 2020 candidate experience benchmark research – to it increasing dramatically again in 2021 in North America and EMEA. The increase was 75% in North America in 2021, the largest increase the organization has measured in the past decade, and it increased 25% in EMEA. Which is why it was our first key takeaway from our 2021 benchmark research.

As we pointed out here many times over the years (as well as in this recent ERE article), candidate resentment refers to the antipathy job seekers feel after participating in one or more phases of a company’s talent attraction or recruitment process (e.g., applying to a job, participating in an interview, undergoing an assessment test, etc.).

More importantly, candidate resentment measures the negative business outcomes of a poor candidate experience. For instance, job seekers who endure a poor candidate experience are far less likely to apply again to that company’s jobs, refer others to the company, have any brand affinity, and/or purchase its products or services.

Obviously, there are complex reasons for these dramatic swings in the bizarre labor market we’ve been experiencing. But there’s one reason that is likely a key driver of the surge in resentment: employers haven’t sustained the increased transparency, communication, and feedback they delivered early on during the pandemic.

So, What’s Positive?

Clearly, employers’ response to the uncertainty of the past 2+ years created a fundamental shift in candidate experiences—good and bad.

However, since it is #CandExperienceDay2022 today, a time when we want HR and recruiting professionals, companies, and solution and service providers in recruiting and hiring to share positive candidate experience stories, let’s share some of the positive themes we found in our 2021 benchmark research. Themes that can and should be turned into actionable activities that positively impact all businesses and brands.

Oh, the stories they do tell…

  • When specific feedback was given to candidates, their willingness to refer others increased by 24%, and their willingness to increase their relationship with the employer increased 36%.
  • Candidates at CandE-winning organizations, companies that had above-average candidate experience ratings in our research, rated their fairness nearly 10% higher, most likely due to more timely and consistent communications.
  • CandE-winning organizations had 21% more candidates who were extremely likely to apply again compared with the average for all companies.
  • Even rejected candidates – those who feel their experience was positive and fair – are still likely to be a brand advocate and referral source.
  • When candidates feel like their overall experience is fair they tend to rate their experiences more positively regardless of their gender, ethnicity, race, or age.

And this one:

There are many more, and in the weeks ahead, we’ll be issuing a series of articles sharing the rest of our Top 10 Key Takeaways from our global 2021 CandE Benchmark Research Reports.

Stay tuned for those insights and more findings regarding every phase of the candidate journey. You can also join us for our Top 10 Key Takeaways webinar February 15 at 2:00 PM ET.

Let’s make #CandExperienceDay2022 every day! Benchmark your candidate experience with us this year and find your positive swing.

Be safe and well.

Kevin W. Grossman, Talent Board President

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