Everyone connected with recruitment seems to be talking about candidate experience these days. Whether you’re in Resourcing or HR (and looking at the process that your candidates have to go through), a recruiter, or a recruitment services vendor, you will have talked about candidate experience at some stage recently, if not every day.
Mind you, why shouldn’t everyone be talking about it? After all, we all seem to agree that providing a great candidate experience is one of the most important things that an employer can do, if it wants to enhance its employer reputation, build its talent pipeline, and hire great people. Most of us also agree that candidate experience has a huge impact on an organisation’s consumer or corporate brand. (In a recent survey by application tracker StartWire, nearly two thirds of respondents said they’d think twice about buying your products or services, if they don’t hear from you after they submit their application).
So if we all agree that providing a great candidate experience is so important, it does beg an obvious question: why are we so bad at doing it ourselves?
OK, so that’s a bit of a generalisation, I know. But it’s one based on my own experience, because I’ve recently been in the jobs market myself, looking for a new role. And I can tell you with absolute confidence, that whilst there were some great examples, overall, the candidate experience was very poor.
My personal bête noir was recruitment and search consultants who, having agreed on a how they would support you, would disappear. But there were other equally frustrating and time-wasting experiences:
- Painful, long and complicated online application processes (seriously, have you ever applied to one of your own roles? You should do, and get your ATS Account Manager to do the same);
- Recruiters who don’t understand the role that they are recruiting for;
- Out-of-date job postings (when you click on a job listed on a job board or LinkedIn, you don’t expect to get to a page that explains that “this job is not live anymore”. Apart from anything else, you just look disorganised).
- Acknowledgments – or a lack of them. How difficult can it be to set up a simple “thanks for your application, we’ll be in touch soon” automated response? Don’t ruin it, mind, by explaining that “if you have not heard from us in X weeks, assume you have been unsuccessful”. You might believe that that’s a reasonable and practical way of dealing with volume; I just found it insulting.
As I say, there were also some great examples of organisations and people providing a fantastic candidate experience: recruitment and executive search consultants, employers, and in some cases, former colleagues and acquaintances in my network, who I had contacted speculatively (they may not have been recruiting, but took the time to speak to me, give me suggestions, and helped me network). Unsurprisingly, these are the organisations – and the people – that I’d like to work with (as an employee, employer, partner, client or supplier) in the future.
And as for me, I’m delighted to say that my search for a new role was successful. I’m joining a fabulous organisation (a company with real expertise, a fantastic track record, and of course, an excellent candidate experience) in a new and exciting role next week. When I’ll be sure to start talking to clients, about the candidate experience they provide.
Filed under: Candidate experience, Digital recruitment, Employer branding & reputation management, linkedin, Talent attraction | Tagged: ATS, candidate attraction, candidate experience, digital recruitment, employer branding, job boards, job postings, recruiting, recruitment advertising, recruitment consultant, recruitment marketing, reputation management, resourcing, talent acquisition | Leave a Comment »