Fixing the Candidate Experience Journey With Kevin Grossman

Today on Science 4-Hire, I’m joined by none other than Kevin Grossman, president and board member at Talent Board and expert on all things candidate experience. Every year, Grossman leads Talent Board’s benchmark research to identify trends and best practices in what makes a good candidate experience journey.Talent Board is a nonprofit organization dedicated to understanding what makes or breaks the candidate experience. The organization’s flagship annual report evaluates candidate experience in four international regions, including North America.

Over the 10+ years Talent Board has been conducting research on the candidate experience, a few trends are constant. What makes a great candidate experience? There are three essential elements: Sending timely rejections with a clear timeline, providing consistent communication and offering feedback.

“Every single year, those things, no matter what the world looks like — pandemic, no pandemic, merger/acquisition activity — it doesn’t matter,” Kevin says. “Those are the things that again, are always the same. Always.”

If you’re interested in learning more about what employers should do to improve the candidate experience, and how these things apply to talent assessment, listen to my conversation with Kevin Grossman.

Listen To The Podcast Here

Here is a sneak peek at the discussion:

Candidates Want a Fair Shot

The No. 1 factor in a good candidate experience is showing applicants that they’re being assessed fairly. Of course, anyone who applies for a job hopes to be hired, but we know that isn’t realistic.

“So, considering that most don’t,” Grossman says, “the second-best thing that they want is to feel like it was positive and fair.”

If candidates don’t feel like their application was treated fairly, they’re more likely to sever ties with that organization, Talent Board’s research has found time and again. And most companies can’t afford to lose that talent, especially since “we’ve been in a very volatile competitive candidate market … even with the bizarre global economy that we’re in right now,” Grossman says.

How do you communicate a fair hiring process to candidates? It comes back to those three key factors: a clear hiring timeline, consistent communication and feedback.

A Quick Rejection Stings Less

Communication has always been an important part of a good candidate experience journey. But because most applicants won’t get the job, an automated response is usually sufficient at the application stage. At that stage, you just want to tell people whether they’re in the running. If not, candidates want to know quickly so they move on.

Talent Board’s research has found that companies shouldn’t wait on telling candidates when they aren’t qualified. “Companies usually get some of that blocking and tackling right,” Grossman says, “but the problem then is, how soon and how timely is it after they’ve applied?”

For most organizations, it’s not very timely. “Nearly 50% of the candidates who had applied told us that they’re still waiting to hear back after one to two-plus months,” Grossman says.

A lot of companies either don’t communicate updates to candidates or wait until they’ve closed the requisition (which could be months). Companies with a best-in-class candidate experience, on the other hand? “The highest-rated companies … are doing that within three to five days,” Grossman says.

That’s a big difference-maker in candidate experience…

See Full Discussion And Listen To The Podcast Here

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