Articles

Perceived Fairness Under the Microscope

At the end of the day, perceived fairness is more than a timely news topic. It’s a true differentiator in your application and assessment processes—one that impacts your bottom line. Check out the below video from Kevin and article today!

By Kevin Grossman of Talent Board, written on August 3rd, 2020

The U.S. is undergoing a major and long-overdue shift in its perception of systemic injustice, including employment-based bias and unfairness. Enlightened companies will seize this moment to better understand how their employment brands are being perceived.

A vital starting point for this examination is the perceived fairness of their application and assessment processes—key touchpoints in the talent attraction lifecycle. A lack of perceived fairness in either of these areas can cost your company more than you think.

Last year, Talent Board surveyed candidates about the fairness of employers’ assessment process (including written tests, simulated job tasks, etc.). Candidates who rated their assessment experience 5 stars out of 5 were 176% more likely to say they would increase their relationship with these companies. Conversely, 1-star ratings resulted in a 114% rise in the resentment they felt toward the companies.

These ratings have powerful, direct impacts to your bottom-line because candidates who increase their relationship with your company are more willing to buy your products and services, recommend your company to other buyers and job seekers, and spread positive reviews about you on social media and across their personal and professional networks.

In other words, while you’re assessing candidates they’re assessing you—and it pays (literally) to ensure they perceive a high level of fairness in your processes.

Under the Microscope: The Apply Phase

The perceived fairness of your application process is equally important for two reasons.

First, the majority of candidates won’t make it beyond the application phase. They simply won’t have the required skills or they won’t be a good fit for your company to continue on in your recruitment process. So, the perceived fairness of their entire experience hinges on this single phase, which can be difficult for many companies to ensure a positive experience since so much of it is automated.

Second, record numbers of job seekers will likely try to enter your talent pipeline in the coming months due to widespread unemployment/underemployment. The result? The perceived fairness of your application process will be under the microscope like never before. Obviously, as your candidate volume increases, you won’t want everyone to apply to your jobs over and over again, particularly unqualified individuals (see my previous post for more about that). But you’ll certainly want “future-fit” candidates to continue applying. So, again, the perceived fairness of your application process is paramount.

Another thing worth considering: the more touch points and engagement activities you infuse into your application process, the higher your perceived level of fairness will be. Our research shows that when employers add screening and evaluation touch points to the application process, candidates feel they have a better chance of showcasing their skills, knowledge and experience. Again, this translates into bottom-line impacts because the more opportunities candidates have to present their skills (i.e., general screening questions, job-specific questions, etc.), the more willing they are to increase their relationship with your company.

At the end of the day, perceived fairness is more than a timely news topic. It’s a true differentiator in your application and assessment processes—one that impacts your bottom line.

Please be sure to download our free 2019 candidate experience research. And, if you haven’t already done it, participate in our 2020 benchmark research. Here are 10 good reasons to do it!

Be safe and well.

—Kevin Grossman, President, Talent Board

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