Candidate Experience is Key for Recruiting

Last week I had the privilege to attend a luncheon, in downtown Seattle at the top of the Columbia Tower, with the Northwest Recruiters Association. The guest speaker for the event was Gerry Crispin of CareerXroads and discussed the importance of candidate experience. There were several good points made in Mr. Crispin’s talk, but one idea really stood out and was inspiring. It was his analysis of the picture below and how it relates to a candidate’s experience in going through the employment process. It’s so easy to lose sight of what it’s like to go through the ‘candidate process’. It would be wise, however, to avoid losing sight of how people work through your process and their thoughts about it after it is completed.

Treating Job Candidates as Customers

Do Your Job Candidates Feel like the Patrons who left this at the Diner?

It turns out providing an effective ‘candidate experience’ goes far beyond just the experiences of those who get the job. How do the 99% of candidates who didn’t get the job think about the process? If they feel like the patrons that left the, “We waited 30 min no service” then your company or agency is *not* doing candidate experience in an effective way. With the advent of sites like Glassdoor and, of course, the vastness of social media platforms more and more people are talking openly about experiences they are having when going through the experience of being a job applicant for your business. Are you going to be proud of what they are saying about your company/agency?

Treating Candidates like Customers

If companies and recruiting agencies are truly treating candidates like customers then a few questions should be asked consistently:

  1. Are we surveying (and gaining feedback from) the 99 out of 100 candidates who didn’t get the job to get feedback on our hiring process? What does the data show about the experience? What areas do we need to improve on?
  2. Are we seeing the candidates who didn’t get the job as important contacts for referrals in the future or ‘future employees’ that need more engagement?
  3. Are there parts of the process where the company/agency isn’t communicating effectively? What can be done to improve these shortcomings?
  4. Have we done an adequate job meeting the following 5 important factors for job seekers: setting expectations, being accountable, listening to our candidates, being fair, and providing closure to the process? 

According to Gerry Crispin the companies and agencies that are working hard to improve their ‘candidate experiences’ are reaping tangible benefits that are long-lasting. For instance, if candidates feel like the company delivered and truly treated them like customers (by expectation setting, listening, being fair, and providing closure) – even the people that didn’t get the job will say *very* favorable things about the company on social media and encourage everyone in their social circle to apply and engage with the company. Clearly, a positive candidate experience can provide positive dividends in ways you might not have initially thought of.

For more information on Talent Board and who is taking the candidate experience seriously check out their “Candidate Experience Awards“. It’s inspiring to know that more and more companies are understanding and taking action to ensure the candidate experience is a positive one for those that are hired and those that are not hired.