Keep Candidate Experience Out of the Box

You know improving your candidate experience is important. You know you need to get to it, but you put it in a box up high on a shelf because you feel like you don’t have the resources and time to deal with it. 

Because of course you’re hair-on-fire busy with all your team issues, recruiting process adjustments, and your technology stack you’re trying to optimize. Plus, your recruiting team may really want to implement candidate experience proven practices within your organization, but maybe you’re being met with resistance from your business leaders who don’t fully understand the business impact. 

Whatever the reason, it’s all of the above things that impact your candidate experience you put in a box on a shelf. So take it back down, unpack it, and make the business case for change internally. 

Adela Schoolderman and I have written a new book coming out in June titled Candidate Experience: How to Improve Talent Acquisition to Drive Business Performance (which you can now order with this 20% discount code – KOGANPAGE20). 

In the book there is a chapter on overcoming resistance to improving candidate experience. Here is one example from the book that can help your talent acquisition team prepare a response to candidate experience improvement resistance:

Today’s organizations are transforming to keep up with technology and the demands of modern commerce. HR budgets are stretched thin and usually reserved for items like digitization and AI. Companies spend billions on customer experience (CX) technologies globally, but only 10% of companies have a dedicated budget for candidate experience; yet a company’s candidates and customers can be the same individuals.

In hot talent markets, especially today, trends turn to making quick hires at the lowest costs possible. Companies churn through transactional encounters with their candidates instead of building long-term relationships with them. The common belief held is that candidate experience seems nice, but it is too expensive to implement and too costly to distract recruiters away from making more hires. The businesses believe that there are other priorities that need to be met. The reality is that quick, low-cost hires sound like the best strategy to employ but the businesses’ bottom line will suffer in the long run. These organizations would benefit from building strategies around engaged pools of candidates who are interested in working for an organization and will wait for the right job opportunity.

Candidate experience is a fairly standard industry term within talent acquisition and is top of mind for many recruiting professionals. And it’s what Talent Board has been researching for over 11 years now. 

Outside the recruiting role, other workers involved in hiring (hiring managers, interviewers, schedulers) don’t often prioritize it unfortunately. Sometimes in organizations, candidate experience is important but only applies to candidates they intend to hire. In other organizations, candidate experience is synonymous with ‘user experience’ rather than ‘customer experience’ and involves their digital interactions – application, social media and onboarding – but does not involve the interpersonal touchpoints like the evaluation, communication and follow up with candidates. 

Candidates don’t care what it’s called; they just want to be hired first, and most won’t be, so being treated positively and fairly is a close second. When the conversation turns to resisting candidate experience programs because of the cost, time, and/or resources, we argue that it is more expensive not to implement good candidate experience programs. Even when hot talent markets start to cool down, which might be where we’re headed now. 

Regardless, the focus should not be on how much such a program would cost, but how much money it will save – or earn – for the company. This certainly applies to candidates who are customers and will increase their relationship with an organization when they’ve had a good experience; but even B2B companies will benefit:

  • Lower turnover rate because employees built strong relationships and are more engaged.
  • More referrals because candidates, whether or not they were hired, had a good experience with the organization and will speak highly of it.
  • Hire offer acceptance rate from top candidates, including ability to beat out offers for more money when a good candidate experience is provided. Hiring top workers means companies have a better product or service.
  • Faster offer conversions mean lower cost per hire.

Keep candidate experience out of the box and start measuring and improving it today. Regardless of what kind of market we’re in, your business will benefit from doing so.

Again, our new book is coming out in June and it’s titled Candidate Experience: How to Improve Talent Acquisition to Drive Business Performance (which you can now order with this 20% discount code – KOGANPAGE20). 

If you’re interested in anonymously and confidentially benchmarking your own candidate experience, you can learn more here.


Be safe and well.

Kevin Grossman, Talent Board President

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