Candidate Experience and the Weight of Today

Understanding your candidate experience strengths, weaknesses & perception gaps will help you better understand & ultimately make improvements to your processes that will benefit you today & the future, once we’re beyond this healthcare crisis..

Talent Board and the Candidate Experience Awards is the first nonprofit research organization focused on improving candidate experience globally (job seekers) for the past nine years. All during years of unprecedented job growth and while candidate resentment – not willing to apply again, refer others and/or make purchases (if consumer-based companies) – had actually increased significantly over the past 4 years.

While the sudden economic impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) hasn’t been immediate for us, we’re only six months from shuttering if the economic devastation continues. That includes two full-time people, two consulting contractors and three part-timers, two of whom have been looking for full-time work for months, well before COVID-19. All of whom will be job candidates once again. Sponsoring our research program, participating in our benchmark candidate experience research, and making direct donations can keep our mission moving into 2021. A big thank you to all those who continue to support us and participate in our research!

Unfortunately some of the HR and recruiting solution and service providers that sponsor our research program, and some of the employers that participate in our benchmark candidate experience research, have also been adversely affected. This means the ripple effect for all of us continues to be more tsunami than little waves over time. Now over 30 million people are unemployed in the US, many of whom won’t be able to work until the economy fully opens again, and many more still who won’t have a business or job to go back to even when it does. Even those small businesses that have applied for the SBA Disaster Assistance, which we have, if received may extend the safety runways a bit.

According to some of our latest research from over 100 employers big and small, the percentage of companies still hiring has decreased another 19%, from 26%. That means 79% of responding companies have reduced hiring and/or frozen it.

However, the total number of reported coronavirus infected and the overall death rate is still most likely unknown and underreported. Last week it got personal for us, as my wife had to be tested. Thankfully she was negative.

This existential conundrum of saving lives versus saving livelihoods continues to widen our already great cultural and socioeconomic divide. It’s completely overwhelming to think of all the lives lost and the companies big and small across industries laying off a few people to a few hundred thousand.

More and more of those laid off and/or furloughed are the very people who do the recruiting and hiring today as well. Talent Board was very fortunate to be involved with multiple other organizations in launching of, a platform specifically designed to help TA professionals who’ve been displaced or furloughed, and a place for companies hiring those in the recruiting profession.

Open recruiter positions are being scraped and posted to this site and candidates can be routed to the companies they’re interested in. And the companies who have so graciously agreed to open their doors are buying into a Code of Conduct that aligns with the RRR mission.

The Code of Conduct for Employers includes:

  • Set standards at each step of the candidate’s journey. If you communicate your interest or acknowledge their interest don’t assume, they know how long it will take for you to get back to them. Tell them. If you are screening them virtually, describe the expectations they should have before, during, and after.
  • Deliver every time against your candidate’s understanding or your expectations. If you promise a decision in 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks etc. and that isn’t going to happen, you need to let candidates know within the time originally promised when to expect a decision. Do not vaguely state you will be in touch if there is further interest.
  • No Black Holes. When you’re not moving forward with a candidate, find a way to tell them that you are not going forward. Non-negotiable.

It’s a funny name,, but it’s a serious mission. One where transparency, communication, fairness and closure are the highest priorities.

Based on Talent Board’s research and long-time mission of elevating and promoting a quality candidate experience, the above should definitely be the very minimum that employers invest in their candidate and employee (internal candidates) experiences. We’ve also been evangelizing for over nine years what is considered to be competitive differentiators that includes:

  • Consistent communication from pre-application to onboarding
  • Setting better expectations about the recruiting process
  • Asking for feedback and provide feedback more often
  • Holding your organization more accountable
  • Having a higher level of perceived candidate fairness

Which is why employers must keep communication open with all their candidates, external as well as your internal employees, as it is more critical than ever. Letting them know that, even if hiring is slowing for your organization, you still want to do a better job at recruiting and hiring, which we know you all do. This can help with your overall perceived fairness and brand perception in the near term and the long term.

Plus, understanding your candidate experience strengths, weaknesses and perception gaps will help you better understand and ultimately make improvements to your processes that will benefit you today and, in the future, once we’re beyond this healthcare crisis. Thank you Survale for powering our survey research!

Even in these uncertain times, candidate experience is more important than ever. And since there are many industries and employer still hiring essential workers, and there is some economic awakening on the horizon, Talent Board’s 2020 CandE Benchmark Research Program will be extended through September 30 (the current deadline is August 31). Again, sponsoring our research program, participating in our benchmark candidate experience research, and making direct donations can keep our mission moving throughout the rest of 2020 into 2021.

In the end, we’re all perpetual job candidates longing for meaningful and rewarding work, work that helps provide shelter, sustenance and safety. And sadly, so many more of us are breaking under the weight of today. Please be kind to each other and help where you can.

Kevin Grossman
Talent Board

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