Insights from the 2021 Top 10 North American CandE Award Winners

Talent Board’s 2021 Candidate Experience Benchmark Research results are in, and it looks like there are plenty of fascinating insights—along with a few surprises and continuing differentiators—that we’ll share with you soon. (The 2021 CandE Report has now been released, and you can download here).

In the meantime, I’d like to share insights from the Top 10 companies with the highest-ranking candidate experiences in North America. (We’ll share insights around the CandE-winning companies in EMEA, APAC, and LATAM in a few weeks.) In descending order, the Top 10 NA winners are:

  1. Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
  2. Ritchie Bros.
  3. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  4. D2L
  5. JSX
  6. Virtusa
  7. Waste Management
  8. Conagra Brands
  9. Colorado Springs Utilities
  10. Stantec

These CandE Winners included these industries:

  • 2 Healthcare
  • 2 Services
  • 2 Technology
  • 1 Aviation
  • 1 Industrial Goods
  • 1 Consumer Goods
  • 1 Energy & Utilities

And these company sizes:

  • 5 Small (501-2,500 employees)
  • 1 Medium (2,501-10,000 employees)
  • 4 Large (10,001+ employees)

Congratulations to all these great organizations, not only for having the highest candidate experience ratings in 2021, but also for offering employers everywhere a set of proven strategies for raising the bar on their own candidate experiences. We’ll be sharing those strategies, as always, in our upcoming annual Research Reports.

And a very special congratulations goes out to Colorado Springs Utilities, which has now won a total of 9 CandE Awards in North America; NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, which now has a total of 6 CandE Awards in North America; Virtusa, which now has a total of 5 CandE Awards in North America (and 4 in EMEA and 5 in APAC; and Waste Management, which now has a total of 4 CandE Awards in North America.

As with last year’s winners, the word “inspiring” leaps to mind regarding this year’s winners. They remained uncompromising in their commitment to the quality of their candidate journeys and to treating job seekers with the care and respect they deserve—all during an ongoing pandemic, economic and social challenges, major uncertainties across industries and businesses, and a relentlessly shifting talent landscape.

That’s seriously inspiring.

A Quick Glimpse at Our 2021 Survey Data

We’re still analyzing the 2021 data so I don’t want to give away too much too soon, but I can’t help sharing a few highlights that have already bubbled up from this year’s survey responses and differences with the top CandE Winners:

  • Great vs. Poor Experiences—The percentage of “great” candidate experiences shrunk by the slimmest of margins from last year, from 31% to 30%. However, at the opposite end of the spectrum, the percentage of “poor” candidate experiences (aka, the candidate resentment rate) rose a whopping 54% from 2020 (from 8% to 14%). We’re back to the pre-covid resentment rate of 14% in North America, still the highest to date in our research. Ugh.
  • The Business Impacts of a Great Experience—The percentage of candidates who are willing to continue their relationship with an employment brand is 44% higher among the Top 10 North American CandE-winning companies (announced above) than the average for all other companies. This means candidates are more willing to apply to other jobs, refer friends and colleagues (30% more likely to refer, in fact), and purchase these companies’ products and services if a consumer-based business (like Conagra Brands above, and even the healthcare organizations). In addition, the percentage of candidates who want to sever their relationships due to a poor candidate experience is 129% lower for the Top 10 CandE-winning companies.
  • Championing Fairness—Candidates of the 2021 Top 10 winners feel that the assessment process was fair 53% more often than the average of all companies … and that the interview process was fair 34% more often. Not coincidentally, the 2021 Top 10 CandE winners conduct structured interviews 14% more often than the average of all companies.
  • Making Feedback a Priority—The North American Top 10 are giving some type of feedback to external finalists 125% more often than the average of all companies. As we pointed out in last year’s report, feedback loops create a more positive candidate experience and earn employers more positive reviews. The Top 10 are also giving some level of feedback to internal finalists 63% more often than the average of all companies. Finally (and fascinatingly), 43% more candidates of the Top 10 said the feedback they received was useful as compared against the average of all companies. (We realize that the perception of feedback value is subjective, and we’ll continue to review this.)
  • AI-Powered Recruiting Technologies—Our Top 10 CandE-winning companies are utilizing some form of AI-based recruiting technologies to improve their recruiting and hiring processes 15% more often than the average of all companies (80% versus 69%). This is especially true among companies that hire in volume and at scale.

As I said, we’ll be back to you soon with our other regional Top 10 CandE winners, and the full Candidiate Experience Research Reports will be published by the end of this year and early 2022. Until then, you can learn more about how CandE Award winners are chosen and look over the winners from past years here. You can also download a copy of this years CandE benchmark reports here (just released!).


Be safe and well.

Kevin Grossman

Talent Board President

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