Talent Board’s 2021 Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Now Available

An astounding 3.8 million Americans quit their jobs in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another 4 million quit in July … 4.2 million quit in August … and nearly 4.4 million quit in September. Although this dizzying trend slowed a bit in November and December, the Bureau’s latest reckoning shows that 11 million jobs remain vacant across the country—more than at any other time in history.

The Great Resignation, indeed. Or, the Great Reshuffle. Take your pick. 

There’s plenty of debate about exactly what is driving this mass exodus – or what to call it. Some pundits have blamed generous unemployment benefits. Others cite low wages, poor benefits, little to no childcare, and COVID-related safety concerns, especially among hourly and entry-level workers. Still others point to overly demanding work schedules and a lack of work flexibility (where and how and when they work). Certainly all of these factors are in play but, whatever the particular causes, addressing them is only part of what TA teams must do to stem the flow.

To replenish their organizations’ lost talent, and to fill the open requisitions they already had, they also need to ensure they’re delivering a great candidate experience. Those who don’t may suffer perpetual talent shortfalls.

Zero Tolerance for Bad Experiences

Obviously, the nation needs to address the root causes of rampant employee turnover and movement, but we also need to remember that the candidate experience is the “doorway” through which every single person enters our companies. It’s the first critical step in converting job seekers into actual employees and replenishing the talent we’ve lost. 

If this experience is a poor one, talented prospects will bail out of it with zero tolerance. And I do mean zero. A decade of Talent Board research has shown repeatedly that talented, desirable candidates quickly move onto other potential employers the moment they can’t easily research a company or its job openings … when the application process becomes tedious, repetitive, or disjointed … when recruiters and hiring managers ghost them or disrespect their time … or when any of a dozen other things goes sideways in the candidate journey.

In other words, if candidates can’t endure the experience a company delivers, it won’t matter how much that company has improved wages, benefits, work-life balance, or other hot-button issues. Poor candidate experiences put companies at a major disadvantage in the fight for new talent.

Insights from Our Latest Benchmark Research

Talent Board’s new 2021 Benchmark Research Report is now available to download here. It shows that many employers are missing out on some golden opportunities to replenish lost talent by improving their candidate experiences. Here are three examples:

  1. Holding recruiters accountable—Our latest research shows that more than one-third of all employers still do not align the performance of recruiters with candidate experience results, a major missed opportunity for sure. Additionally, a global survey of recruiters that Talent Board recently conducted in partnership with Phenom, a global HR technology company, found that 41% of recruiters said they’re not held accountable for meeting specific service-level agreements (SLAs). Again, this is a critical oversight, as SLAs help improve quality, speed of hire, and candidate diversity, along with fostering greater clarity between recruiters and hiring managers.
  2. Structuring the selection processes to improve fairness—Structure and consistency across all recruiting stages are important components of a positive candidate experience and one that individuals perceive to be fair. This is especially true for the interview stage, where unstructured and informal interviewing techniques can easily create the perception of bias. Our latest research shows that top-rated companies in North America, EMEA, and Latin America all conduct structured interviews more often than the average of all companies in these regions (14%, 20%, and 67% more than the average, respectively).
  3. Valuing and requiring responsiveness across recruiting stages—There’s no question that the core of positive candidate experiences is timeliness and responsiveness. These qualities show that recruiters and hiring managers respect candidates’ time and dignity. Talent Board’s research has long shown that the top reason candidates drop out of the recruiting process is because their time has been disrespected. And our latest research show that, across regions such as Latin America, APAC, and EMEA, top companies are more likely to require recruiters to review and decide how to proceed with an application within a set timeline, typically three to five days.

These are just a few of the insights our 2021 Benchmark Research Report offers, and they’re just three ways that employers can put The Great Resignation and/or Reshuffle behind them and launch The Great Replenishment of their precious workers. 

If your company is looking to improve or revitalize its candidate experience, our 2021 report and briefs delve into each phase of the recruiting and TA process, highlighting the specific strategies and tactics that world-class candidate experiences (those of our CandE Award Winners) are leveraging to win the very best talent in today’s highly competitive market.

You can download the primary 2021 North American CandE Benchmark Research Report here. The 2021 EMEA, APAC, and Latin American research briefs will be available in early 2022.

Now that we’ve explored a few of the key data points from our 2021 Report, I’m going to share a 10-part blog post series that covers 10 key takeaways from the report—lessons we’ve gleaned from the insights provided to us by all of the thousands of employers and candidates who participated in our 2021 candidate experience survey.

Happy Holidays!

Kevin Grossman, Talent Board President

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