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Candidate Experience Review Report: The 100 Best Companies To Work For

Do the 100 Best Companies To Work For (as designated by Fortune and Great Place to Work) also ensure a fair and positive candidate experience? Why does this matter? And how does a great candidate experience benefit a company and its employment brand?

Our review report is now available and answers all these questions.

Why the Candidate Experience Matters So Much

“100 Best Companies To Work For” and “Great Place To Work” are proud designations that thousands of companies strive to earn and hold onto every year. They signify that an organization offers a truly superior employee experience. But to become an employee of one of these organizations, a job seeker must first pass through an organization’s candidate experience. In fact, the candidate experience and the employee experience are not separate experiences; they are intertwined experiences for those lucky enough to be hired and retained.

When the candidate experience is a good one, new hires can begin their employee experience extremely motivated and primed for success. When the experience is a poor one, motivation, productivity, and even retention beyond the first few months are threatened. This alone makes the candidate experience absolutely crucial. But there’s so much more.

What about all of those candidates a company doesn’t hire? Even if it hires dozens, hundreds, or thousands of employees annually, the employee experience only affects this limited number of individuals. The candidate experience, on the other hand, affects a phenomenally larger number of individuals – hundreds or thousands of individuals who apply to every open job but don’t get hired. These candidates then decide whether or not to apply to other jobs with that company, refer their friends and colleagues to that company, and even purchase or forgo purchasing its products/services based on their overall candidate experience.

Even companies that earn the designations of “100 Best Companies To Work For” and “Great Place To Work” are subject to the impact of delivering a poor candidate experience, the public damage that can do to their employment brands, and candidates’ willingness to ever apply again or refer others. In short, every company should be as protective of and diligent about its candidate experience as it is about its employee experience.

Do the 100 Best Companies To Work For Also Deliver Fair & Positive Candidate Experiences?

We hypothesized that the 100 Best Companies should deliver a great candidate experience, which is something we haven’t seen reviewed before. Based on what drives a positive candidate experience that we see every year in our benchmark research, after our review research was conducted, we expected to see a better overall candidate experience at these companies. And while it was for the most part positive and fair, many still underdelivered when compared against our highest-performing CandE Winners.

We created a comprehensive checklist for reviewing each company’s research and application stages, which our team followed to ensure consistency in each review. The results below are based on a simple point system: companies score points for having implemented practices that improve candidates’ perceptions of fairness and their positive sentiment, as revealed by Talent Board research over the years. 

The review research report highlights include:

  • Marketing content is important to candidates. The top 10 all-time CandE Winners provided 163% more of all the recommended marketing content in our checklist candidates want than the 100 Best Companies to Work For (30% versus 3%).
  • Candidates want to know what is going to happen next. When it comes to setting expectations after the application stage, 80% of the top 10 all-time CandE Winners provided expectations, versus only 13% of the 100 Best CompaniesPlaces to Work For.
  • Only 31% of the 100 Best Companies to Work For sent Talent Board a rejection note within 2 weeks. But 40% of the all-time top 10 CandE Winners sent Talent Board a rejection note within 2 weeks, another big difference.
  • The qualities that made up a great candidate experience a decade ago still make up a great experience today. And job seekers continue to crave these qualities from potential employers:
    • Frequent and respectful communication
    • Insights into your company and its culture 
    • Plenty of feedback

For 11 years Talent Board has been measuring the candidate experience at companies big and small across industries. They’ve worked with over 1,350 companies and have surveyed over 1.4 million candidates to date. Each year they give awards to companies with above average candidate experience ratings, and only 21 companies out of the 2022 100 Best Companies to Work For, including Accenture, Capital One, Hilton, Northwell Health, West Monroe, and others have won Talent Board CandE Awards to date.

The entire Candidate Experience Review Report: The 100 Best Companies To Work For is now available to download here

The 2022 CandE Awards & TalentNet Live Conference will be November 2-3 in Dallas, TX, where the companies with above average candidate experience ratings will be celebrated. Registration is open and HR and recruiting leaders and their teams can save an additional 20% by using discount code CandEAll20 when they register here.

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