Ever since the Talent Board started researching candidate experience, at least some employers have been paying more attention to improving the applicant’s journey. Applying to a company can unearth all sorts of issues — including what #WorkTrends guest Kevin W. Grossman calls the “black hole of candidate experience.”
This was a tete-a-tete between two colleagues that insisted on keeping the conversation looking forward not back. To get out of the morasse of a bad candidate experience, companies are going to need to truly step up and place a higher premium on better CX — and we’re claiming that moniker to stand for all the candidates out there trying to connect with the employer of their dreams.
Kevin, who’s a longtime TalentCulture Community friend and President and a Board Member of the Talent Board, dug into the Talent Board’s latest research report, including its good news: more candidates are happier about their experience overall and would be willing to increase their relationship with that brand, whether as an employee or a consumer (you can’t think of one without the other). But there was less-than-good news as well, including a vexing rise in the “resentment rate” — with candidates so disgruntled they don’t want anything to do with a brand anymore, whether it means applying to work there or using its products, or both. A big takeaway: in work, as in life, we really do put our money where our mindset is, and vice-versa.
Chief among common hiring infractions these days are the automated, generic, “sorry you’re not right for the position” messages, which are the wrong way to leverage technology, or not providing any responses at all — which Meghan noted was inexcusable for recruiters today. But the two focused on the positives, including brands getting it right, such as recent CandE award winners Walgreens and Kronos, and innovative ways employers are keeping the connection going with candidates. Frequent and well-considered communication, chatbots, feedback — it’s all good, they noted. And when it works, the value for companies goes well beyond a single happy hire.
Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode..
Twitter Chat Questions
Q1: Why are some employers failing at candidate experience? #WorkTrends Q2: What strategies can help organizations create a better candidate experience? #WorkTrends Q3: How can leaders help their organizations value candidate experience? #WorkTrends
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/adi-goldstein-Hli3R6LKibo-unsplash-scaled.jpg12811920TalentCulture Teamhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngTalentCulture Team2020-02-22 08:21:272020-07-09 14:40:58#WorkTrends: Why Companies Need to Value a Great Candidate Experience
HR tech is undergoing dramatic change—from the shift to mobile and the explosion of analytics and artificial intelligence, to new software options and the emergence of wearables in the workplace. The rapidly changing nature of the industry keeps things exciting, but it also makes it difficult to stay ahead of the latest technology and trends.
That’s why I’m carving out time in my busy schedule to co-chair and attend HR Tech Connect, the only conference of its kind that focuses exclusively on bringing enterprise-level HR and IT decision-makers together to better understand the rapidly changing HR and workforce technology landscape. HR Tech Connect, which will take place from November 5-7 at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is a must-attend conference offering fantastic networking opportunities.
This is not just another trade show or exhibition—it’s the place where you can connect with peers across a variety of industry verticals, discuss the latest topics, challenges and solutions, build relationships with experts and solution providers, and understand where the future of HR tech is headed. Bottom line: You will build lasting relationships that will help your company—and your career—succeed.
I am excited to be chairing the HR Tech Connect conference this year. I enjoy attending content-rich conferences like this one because they give me the opportunity to meet colleagues, friends and clients in a more intimate setting and share best practices and advice for implementing a successful digital transformation strategy. I always say you can accomplish more of your business goals—and better determine business and culture fit—at a well-run 2½-day conference than you can in months’ worth of face-to-face meetings.
Indeed, HR Tech Connect brings together Stone Fort Group’s WorkforceNEXT community, which focuses on HR leadership in North America, with nGage Events’ IT and executive community. There will be a healthy mix of frontal presentations and keynotes, boardroom-style case study sessions, candid panels on industry specific and vertical-focused topics, as well as one-on-one conversations with leading vendors and peers on the latest HR tech topics.
If you’re a decision-maker working in IT or HR, this is a conference you won’t want to miss. The sessions at HR Tech Connect will feature topics on everybody’s minds, including the hottest trends in HR tech, the emergence of AI and automation, and the evolution from legacy HRIS to best-in-class apps for each HR function. Conference organizers know that your time is valuable, which is why participants of this invitation-only conference receive complimentary airfare, hotel stay, meals and registration costs.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Build-Lasting-Relationships-at-HR-Tech-Connect.jpg5601024Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2017-08-18 06:30:302020-05-31 19:03:45Build Lasting Relationships at HR Tech Connect
What are the symptoms of an ailing candidate experience?
For New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the first major symptom was a rising candidate dropout rate in its online application process. When roughly 60% of candidates dropped out of the process when asked to complete an online assessment, David Crawford, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, knew it was time to do some exploratory surgery—an experience he shared in another recent Talent Board webinar.
Crawford and his team examined the process from every angle, extracting data from candidate surveys and their applicant tracking system. They also reviewed the organization’s overall application process and took a critical look at its career website. Their conclusion: the Hospital was basically putting candidates through “an obstacle course” before the first interview took place.
The Cure: Improved Cultural Alignment
To remedy the situation, Crawford and team streamlined the application process and made it more candidate-friendly. But an even greater realization dawned on them: the Hospital needed to better align its candidate experience with its overall culture and values. Its recruiters needed to treat every job seeker with the same care and respect the Hospital provides to patients. In short, New York-Presbyterian’s recruiters needed to be seen by candidates as trustworthy and caring advisors.
To accomplish these goals, the Hospital created its Recruiter Academy and Crawford enlisted “students” from across the organization who had a strong interest in becoming recruiters and a deep understanding of New York-Presbyterian’s culture of “we put patients first.” These individuals went through the Academy’s intensive two-week course, which covered a wide range of skills and behaviors they needed for success—including demonstrating credibility, communicating effectively, interviewing with purpose, understanding the requisition process, marketing and branding, diversity and inclusion, and building strong client relationships.
“Like our patients, job candidates are looking for several things from our recruiters,” Crawford said during the webinar. “They’re looking for connection and comfort, and they want to be treated with respect and dignity. At New York-Presbyterian, we want to cultivate an environment where recruiters are able to deliver this experience to all applicants.”
Being Bold Has Its Rewards
Rethinking and overhauling your candidate experience is a mighty bold move—one that can seem utterly overwhelming to many companies. But as New York-Presbyterian shows, the results of acting boldly not only benefit your organization’s bottom line but your candidates and your reputation as an employer.
If your company has taken its own bold steps to revitalize its candidate experience, don’t miss the opportunity to potentially share your story with the world by participating in the Talent Board CandE program. By doing so, you’ll also benefit from access to great benchmarking data and the ability to give and receive best practices in Talent Board research, symposiums, awards galas, webinars, podcasts and more.
You can still participate in the 2017 Talent Board Candidate Experience Awards and Benchmark Research. Find out how today. And if you’re interested in learning more about how New York-Presbyterian transformed its candidate experience, just click on the preceding link to watch the brief webinar.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/How-to-Transform-Recruiters-Into-Trusted-Advisors.jpg6831024Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2017-07-11 09:00:562020-05-31 18:52:25How to Transform Recruiters Into Trusted Advisors
Recruiting is made up of a million different moving pieces. Literally. And they’re not linear either; they constantly loop back and in on themselves. Some of them help with talent attraction. Some do the heavy lifting of recruitment itself. And others help us with the final stages of the hiring process.
These pieces don’t have to operate in perfect harmony because that just doesn’t exist. But to strive for peak efficiency is key, even if it means only focusing on two to three areas your team can improve today. This kind of harmonic efficiency is only possible when the right technology, systems, people and processes are in place.
Without this critical infrastructure, recruiting would grind to a halt. Tapping into today’s richest candidate channels would be almost impossible, and we wouldn’t be able to build robust candidate relationships and pipelines or effectively track and manage the million-and-one details inherent in recruiting. And that great candidate experience we’re all working so hard to deliver? Without the right infrastructure and processes that are tested and measured and adjusted, that isn’t happening either.
In fact, one of the best ways to raise the bar on your candidate experience is to relentlessly monitor and improve your overall recruiting efficiency. Because that’s what you should be doing anyway, and by doing that, you’re effectively raising the bar for your candidates (and your teams).
The Importance of the Big Picture
Recently at one of our spring candidate experience workshops (that still have seats available for the upcoming ones here), talent acquisition leaders and their teams were talking about the application process and how they’ve reduced the number of questions and fields. But before they did so, they ensured the back-end screening, assessments and dispositioning communications were in place via their technologies and processes. Otherwise it becomes a hot mess that just lets lots of unqualified candidates in the door.
Capital One, a multi-year Candidate Experience Awards winner, is a perfect example of a company whose focus on the big picture of overall recruiting efficiency has helped to reinvigorate its candidate experience.
It simplified its digital engagement for candidate exploration by rolling out both a mobile application and mobile referrals. Last year, the company saw 25 percent of its applicants come through its mobile channel, and 40 percent of its referrals come through mobile applications as well. Here’s an example of efficiency and candidate experience lifting each other up.
As detailed in a case study in the Talent Board’s 2016 North American Candidate Experience (CandE) Research Report, the company also applies candidate experience data and reporting to its broader talent acquisition organization. For instance, it uses a recruiter scorecard to tie key attributes of the candidate experience to specific recruiters and their lines of business. Capital One also examines data at every point in the recruiting process to encourage recruiters to continually improve candidate interactions.
In addition, the company implemented a new recruiting technology platform last year to provide a “central support structure” and uniform parameters for use by all hiring managers and recruiters, regardless of location or business group. According to Capital One, this has made interacting with candidates more consistent and efficient—and helped to consolidate and improve the various ways candidates apply to jobs.
Other findings from the CandE Report show just how widely these types of recruiting technologies are being invested in:
97 percent of employers participating in the CandE Awards have an applicant tracking system (ATS) in place.
81 percent utilize assessments and testing systems.
As the CandE Report data also shows, participants expect these kinds of infrastructure investments to grow. (Read more about that by downloading the Report.)
Improving the Candidate Experience
The candidate experience. Those three little words have unleashed an avalanche of articles, blog posts, white papers and reports—and rightly so. The candidate experience is one of the most important aspects of recruiting success, yet it still needs to be streamlined and enriched at a staggering number of organizations.
One of the most basic problems our candidates have is just getting their foot in the damn door! Let’s be honest—the online application process can be a navigational nightmare. A time- and patience-sucking beast built on systems and processes that are poorly integrated (if they’re integrated at all).
One organization that recently overhauled its online application process—and another CandE Award winner—is NewYork-Presbyterian, one of the nation’s most comprehensive academic health care delivery systems. As recounted in the 2016 CandE Report, NewYork-Presbyterian had no problem attracting candidates. But getting them to complete online applications and assessments was another matter. Too many candidates were simply dropping out of that process.
The organization realized it was “putting candidates through an obstacle course” before even considering them for a role. To remedy this and other application-related problems, NewYork-Presbyterian dissected its entire online process and implemented fixes such as pulling key data from its ATS, reviewing responses from its candidate experience surveys, and extensively testing its application process.
If you’re interested in improving your own application process, here are three good places to begin:
Ease up on some of those prescreening fails. Initial screenings don’t always tell you the whole story about an applicant’s viability or qualifications. CandE research reveals that 86 percent of employers now allow more individuals to complete an application even after they fail screening questions. And they probably have the back-end in good shape, too.
Make it easier to apply on mobile devices. As mentioned above, after rolling out a mobile application and a mobile referrals program, Capital One had 25 percent of its applicants engaging the company on mobile devices after just six months—and 40 percent of its referrals came through mobile applications. And even though according to the CandEs, nearly 80 percent of the participating North American employers offer mobile apply, only 12 percent of candidates are using it, so improving that experience is critical to candidate conversion.
Prepare your candidates for success from the get-go. At Hyland, a leading software solutions provider, recruiters use an applicant tracking system to determine where candidates might best fit in the organization. As a result, during job interviews, recruiters often talk with candidates about more than one position. Chicago-based consultancy, West Monroe Partners, helps its candidates prepare for an interview, even offering them tips even about the interviewers themselves to help facilitate introductions and fruitful conversations.
Without question, the candidate experience needs to improve. But it’s only part of the larger recruiting the equation. If we pay attention to our company’s overall recruiting efficiencies—and to implementing the best possible infrastructure on the back-end—the candidate experience can and does improve.
That’s the heavenly beauty of harmonic recruiting efficiency.
Registration is now open for companies that want to participate in the 2017 Talent Board Candidate Experience Awards Bench Program. Register today!
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Recruiting-Efficiency-Can-and-Does-Improve-Candidate-Experience.jpg7991065Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2017-04-05 09:00:292020-05-31 18:25:19Recruiting Efficiency Can and Does Improve Candidate Experience
Here’s what crystal clear in business today: poor customer service impacts customer retention, referrals and potential new business. Social media has given consumers an open forum to share both good and bad product and service experiences to all who will listen.
How many of you have used social media to get some customer service action instead of growing old waiting on the customer service phone trees or trying to navigate the labyrinth of online FAQ databases?
The same has been true for job seekers, and for too long employers were resistant to treating candidate as the primary customer of recruiting. Per the Talent Board Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards and Benchmark Research, that’s finally changing for the better.
In fact, many of this year’s 50 CandE award-winning employers – all of which provide their job candidates with an exemplary experience as defined by the candidates themselves – have gone through this transformative shift. Meaning, to treat all their job candidates, both externally and internally, as the primary customers of talent acquisition. Not the hiring manager, executive manager or other recruiting peers and colleagues – the candidates.
And not a moment too soon, since now six years of Talent Board’s CandE Awards benchmark research conclusively demonstrates that on average 41 percent of global candidates who believe they have had a “negative” overall 1-star job seeker experience (based on a 1-5 Likert Scale rating) say they will take their alliance, product purchases and relationship somewhere else. That means a potential loss of revenue for consumer-based businesses and referral networks for all companies. On the other hand, 64 percent say they’ll definitely increase their employer relationships based on the very positive job seeker experiences they’ve had. These aren’t just the job finalists either, but the majority are individuals who research and apply for jobs and who aren’t hired.
Also, quite clear from the 2016 CandE data (to be released early 2017) is how many employers continue to raise the bar on candidate communication and feedback loops – those candidates who said they had an overall 5-star candidate experience were only waiting for a response from the company after applying 32 percent of the time versus over 45 percent of candidates who said they only had an overall 1-star candidate experience. Unfortunately, 47 percent of all North American candidates overall were still waiting two to three or more months for a response from the company post-application, a continuous area of missed opportunity and a trend over the past few years.
When you look at candidate feedback at the interview stage, 87 percent those candidates who said they had an overall 1-star experience we’re never asked for any feedback on the interview process, while 32 percent of candidates who had an overall 5-star experience were asked for varying levels of feedback, a key differentiator in the race to hire the best people.
Lastly, candidates share their positive recruiting experiences with their inner circles (friends, family, peers, etc.) over 81 percent of the time and their negative experiences 66 percent of the time. Candidates also share their positive and negative experiences online via social media (Glassdoor, LinkedIn, etc.) 51 percent and 34 percent respectively. Again, it’s the negative experiences that not only potentially impacts the employment brand and direct revenue for consumer-based businesses, but also the sought-after talent employers are competing over and those referral networks that come with them.
Additional insights will be explored in the 2016 North American CandE research, the full report will be available on a complimentary basis to all interested employers and organizations early next year.
A non-profit research organization, Talent Board launched the CandE Awards program in 2011 as a way to promote and benchmark quality candidate experiences. Since then Talent Board has expanded to offer the CandE Awards in three regions: North America, EMEA and APAC. The 2016 North American CandE Awards set a new program record with more than 240 participating companies and 183,000 job seekers sharing their thoughts and experiences as candidates – 84 percent of whom did not get the job.
More than an awards competition, the CandE Awards also serve as a benchmarking program to raise awareness of the benefits of a positive candidate experience and highlight the tools, technology and techniques that can facilitate the process, as demonstrated by winning companies. The opening of the 2017 CandE Awards program will be announced following the publication of the forthcoming research report.
I’ve written before about my passion for the candidate experience…quite a bit, actually. As a board member for the Talent Board, you’ve hopefully witnessed my advocacy for candidates; Of course I also offer kudos to employers who are taking strides toward improving the journey from stranger to employee.
However, let’s take it up a level and talk about the overarching strategic level of the candidate experience. Yes, it’s about thank-you notes and avoiding miscommunication, but it’s so much more. The entire process begins long before anyone opts into communication from you or applies for a position.
When shopping for a new dishwasher, people read online reviews, walk the aisles of Home Depot, Google different brands, ask friends on Facebook, and have at-home discussions with anyone else whom shares dish duty. And this is an appliance. What about when they are making a career change? Let’s assume their priorities are straight and care more about their job, personal brand and impact on the world than a dishwasher’s decibel levels.
So what does that mean? As candidates become increasingly more like consumers, they shop around, scour websites – employers and sites like Glassdoor.com – vet opportunities, compare and ask meaningful questions. Research shows that candidates use approximately 12-18 sources of information before they apply.
So employers, heed my warning: BE READY. Don’t assume that you can throw together an attractive job ad and it will suffice. Candidates already know about the organization and have (very) likely done major research.
The term Recruitment Marketing comes into play here. When people are looking for a new position, they need compelling language everywhere they turn. Don’t shut the door on quality talent by lacking the right kind of messaging on your website; be sure to include clear employer brand language, employee stories, job-specific explanations, helpful career resources and more. And be sure to do the same on all social media profiles and across all other available platforms.
Data from SmashFly states that 74% of candidates drop off of the apply process. For one reason or another these consumers – uh, candidates – weren’t sold yet on your employer brand, weren’t engaged by the application process or weren’t ready to apply yet. Can’t you just hear them say, “Moving on….”?
So, think through your recruitment marketing strategy with a strategic lens to decide if candidates will even be interested in making the candidate journey with you.
Run these three tests:
Is it Helpful?
Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate. You want someone to help you understand the opportunity. Don’t be cryptic or hard to find. Use informative language when explaining your EVP (Employee Value Proposition); make frequently asked questions easy to answer on their own. Don’t lose people because they think you don’t care enough to help.
Is it Inviting?
Are you front-and-center, inviting people to learn more about you as an employer? Do you seem open and welcoming to queries about your workplace culture, job path opportunities or other burning questions? Don’t appear like that dark haunted house on the hill. Be so lit up that you’re transparent. And transparency is a whole different story.
Is It Engaging?
Are you offering ways to invite potential and current candidates to engage with the organization? Are there forums, videos, Q&A sessions, or open dialogue with team members? Do you have a cool newsletter that outlines the day-in-the-life of an employee in your organization? Is there another way for potential candidates to show interest and learn more without applying immediately, like joining a talent network?
Last fall, SmashFly researched and evaluated every 2015 Fortune 500 organization’s career site for 13 recruitment marketing practices. Of those companies, SmashFly found that 57% used employee stories on their career sites through either text or video. This practice should continue to grow, and employee stories should be used to engage and nurture potential candidates in social media and in your talent network. People listen to people over brands, which is why employee stories speak so much more to candidates!
Is your social media presence one that makes people want to engage with you and be part of the family? Don’t get sucked back into that archaic one-way communication where you simply spit out messages. Everything goes both directions these days. Open up those channels, engage and learn from what you are hearing along the way.
Lastly, because I am a tech geek, I highly recommend capitalizing on the technology that can improve your entire methodology. Recruitment Marketing Platforms like SmashFly track the candidate experience in every recruiting touch point and effort, from before employers know the candidate to after they opt-in to receive additional communication or apply for a job. Let data do some of the work! This way you can see what’s working, what’s not, where people are dropping off and how to mitigate just that. It’s always better to track and measure the candidate experience than simple guess, which is where technology like a Recruitment Marketing Platform can really offer insight and facilitate change.
Whether you personally like shopping or not, that’s what people (e.g., candidates!) are doing every day. Be the place people want to visit – and buy from.
Iâ€™ve written before about my passion for the candidate experienceâ€¦quite a bit, actually. As a board member for the Talent Board, youâ€™ve hopefully witnessed my advocacy for candidates; Of course I also offer kudos to employers who are taking strides toward improving the journey from stranger to employee.
However, letâ€™s take it up a level and talk about the overarching strategic level of the candidate experience. Yes, itâ€™s about thank-you notes and avoiding miscommunication, but itâ€™s so much more. The entire process begins long before anyone opts into communication from you or applies for a position.
When shopping for a new dishwasher, people read online reviews, walk the aisles of Home Depot, Google different brands, ask friends on Facebook, and have at-home discussions with anyone else whom shares dish duty. And this is an appliance. What about when they are making a career change? Letâ€™s assume their priorities are straight and care more about their job, personal brand and impact on the world than a dishwasherâ€™s decibel levels.
So what does that mean? As candidates become increasingly more like consumers, they shop around, scour websites â€“ employers and sites like Glassdoor.com â€“ vet opportunities, compare and ask meaningful questions. Research shows that candidates use approximately 12-18 sources of information before they apply.
So employers, heed my warning: BE READY. Donâ€™t assume that you can throw together an attractive job ad and it will suffice. Candidates already know about the organization and have (very) likely done major research.
The term Recruitment Marketing comes into play here. When people are looking for a new position, they need compelling language everywhere they turn. Donâ€™t shut the door on quality talent by lacking the right kind of messaging on your website; be sure to include clear employer brand language, employee stories, job-specific explanations, helpful career resources and more. And be sure to do the same on all social media profiles and across all other available platforms.
Data from SmashFly states that 74% of candidates drop off of the apply process. For one reason or another these consumers â€“ uh, candidates â€“ werenâ€™t sold yet on your employer brand, werenâ€™t engaged by the application process or werenâ€™t ready to apply yet. Canâ€™t you just hear them say, â€œMoving onâ€¦.â€?
So, think through your recruitment marketing strategy with a strategic lens to decide if candidates will even be interested in making the candidate journey with you.
Run these three tests:
Is it Helpful?
Put yourself in the shoes of the candidate. You want someone to help you understand the opportunity. Donâ€™t be cryptic or hard to find. Use informative language when explaining your EVP (Employee Value Proposition); make frequently asked questions easy to answer on their own. Donâ€™t lose people because they think you donâ€™t care enough to help.
Is it Inviting?
Are you front-and-center, inviting people to learn more about you as an employer? Do you seem open and welcoming to queries about your workplace culture, job path opportunities or other burning questions? Donâ€™t appear like that dark haunted house on the hill. Be so lit up that youâ€™re transparent. And transparency is a whole different story.
Is It Engaging?
Are you offering ways to invite potential and current candidates to engage with the organization? Are there forums, videos, Q&A sessions, or open dialogue with team members? Do you have a cool newsletter that outlines the day-in-the-life of an employee in your organization? Is there another way for potential candidates to show interest and learn more without applying immediately, like joining a talent network?
Last fall, SmashFly researched and evaluated every 2015 Fortune 500 organizationâ€™s career site for 13 recruitment marketing practices. Of those companies, SmashFly found that 57% used employee stories on their career sites through either text or video. This practice should continue to grow, and employee stories should be used to engage and nurture potential candidates in social media and in your talent network. Â People listen to people over brands, which is why employee stories speak so much more to candidates!
Is your social media presence one that makes people want to engage with you and be part of the family? Donâ€™t get sucked back into that archaic one-way communication where you simply spit out messages. Everything goes both directions these days. Open up those channels, engage and learn from what you are hearing along the way.
Lastly, because I am a tech geek, I highly recommend capitalizing on the technology that can improve your entire methodology. Recruitment Marketing Platforms like SmashFly track the candidate experience in every recruiting touch point and effort, from before employers know the candidate to after they opt-in to receive additional communication or apply for a job. Let data do some of the work! This way you can see whatâ€™s working, whatâ€™s not, where people are dropping off and how to mitigate just that. Itâ€™s always better to track and measure the candidate experience than simple guess, which is where technology like a Recruitment Marketing Platform can really offer insight and facilitate change.
Whether you personally like shopping or not, thatâ€™s what people (e.g., candidates!) are doing every day. Be the place people want to visit â€“ and buy from.
The Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Report is now available. Once again, it is full of insights that really capture where organizations are landing on such an important topic: The Candidate Experience.
Not that long ago, this wasn’t such a hot subject. People applied for jobs, they landed the position or they didn’t. Recruiters on the front lines have long felt the impact in discussions with job seekers and hiring managers who experienced a “disconnect” in the hiring process. Everyone moved on. However, luckily, things have changed. We have a talent pool full of people who expect more. And the Talent Board is definitely vying for the candidates. From transparency to better communication, job seekers everywhere have a massive advocate in this organization. I’m proud to be part of the volunteer team helping to share the news about what we are doing.
Some companies and recruiting firms are on the candidate experience “bandwagon” and some simply aren’t. From my vantage point, the organizations who see the value in a positive candidate journey tend to reap many benefits.
But According to Talent Board 2015 North American Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards and Research data (U.S. and Canada), “Only 40% of recruiters are required to respond to candidates at all.”
However, the Talent Board would like to point out that, “As organizations mature in talent acquisition strategies, they must provide more opportunities to communicate with candidates and offer transparency through every stage of the candidate journey.”
The report takes a hard look at where organizations are today, but offers data and insights that can guide leaders to improve the overall candidate experience. This year’s report is divided into three core areas of talent acquisition (Attract, Recruit, and Hire) and explores why each area is critical.
Here are a few findings that I want to share with you.
“Candidates Are Becoming More Sophisticated. Candidates are taking control of their own journey. In fact, 76 percent of candidates conduct their own job search research across multiple channels prior to applying.”
Any time a statistic is nearly 80% of a population, take note. We all know the days of circling newspaper ads for jobs is passé, but anyone in a recruiting role should digest this statistic and overall message for a moment. Where are your potential employees conducting job searches where you aren’t present? What is your talent brand across these platforms? Are you losing them before you even “had” them?
“Onboarding is Still a Missed Opportunity for the Candidate Experience. Once a candidate is onboard, organizations have an opportunity to find out what went right and what went wrong. Yet, only 16 percent of employers ask for feedback during the onboarding phase.”
This one is so senseless to me. It’ so simple, yet is being missed by a massive 84 percent of organizations. These people already work there; you don’t even have to track them down! Simply ask new employees about their experience during hiring. Make it a simple questionnaire. Aggregate the findings and adjust accordingly. You can do it!
“Employers Do Not Offer Enough Opportunities for Candidates to Showcase Skills, Knowledge and Experience. While over 80 percent of candidates answer general screening questions during the application process, only 50 percent are asked for job specific skills and less than one-third are asked to take assessments.”
This finding has some implications. Do half of employers not know how to screen for job specific skills? We know that’s not true. Those screenings and assessments just aren’t being utilized appropriately during the candidate journey. What an incredible wrinkle to iron out. Allow technology to help candidates express their knowledge, skills and experience and enjoy the show.
The report in its entirety is available here – take a look, digest and think critically…how is the candidate experience working at my organization?
00Meghan M. Birohttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngMeghan M. Biro2016-02-16 06:30:522020-05-31 14:55:32Insights into the Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Report
What a difference six years makes. Or doesn’t make. At least when we’re swimming in the parallel pools of social marketing and social recruiting.
When you dive into those social pools with me, you’ll find that way back in the latter half of 2009 there were about six million monthly Twitter users. Back then I worked for HRmarketer and wrote one of the first social media marketing guides for the HR and recruiting technology marketplace titled Conversation Starters: Social Media Marketing in the HR Marketplace. You can actually still download it. Right on.
It was a pretty comprehensive undertaking back in the day. I was proud of it, HRmarketer was proud of it. And if I recall the overall feedback was positive – at least for the 12 people who read it. I gest, there were a few more than 12 thankfully, but either way at the time it seemed to be a valuable resource.
I reminisce now because my friend Mark Willaman, the founder of HRmarketer and fisher VISTA (the agency side of the business I helped launch), reached out to me recently to talk social marketing shop, and it got me thinking about all the work we had done together how the market has changed (or hasn’t changed) when it comes to social. By the way, they’ve got a great social listening tool called Insight.
Today there are over 300 million monthly Twitter users – that’s almost a 5000 percent increase. I’ve reaped the benefits of social marketing over the past six years, including growing the TalentCulture #TChat Show audience with Meghan M. Biro, but the pH balance of the social recruiting pool is off.
Sure, many of us have seen research that shows the prevalence of social recruiting practices on the employer side. In fact, an forthcoming Dice survey, 9 out of 10 recruiters are using social media in talent acquisition. The same research shows that social media has improved or is greatly improving tech recruiting results including quality of candidates, referrals and time-to-hire.
Yes, social has become the tool for promoting jobs, building brands, sourcing candidates, creating relationships, and vetting applicants. Jump on in. Two recent powerhouse recruiter guests on the TalentCulture #TChat Show – Stacy Zapar, Founder of Tenfold, and recruiting strategist, trainer and advisor; and Allison Kruse, Senior Manager of Social Media and Talent Acquisition at Kforce – concur that the business value is there. They both agreed that:
As far as asking for a financial investment, there’s a lot of things that we can do for free on social; it’s just going to take an investment of time, effort and training (which isn’t exactly free, but still). The return comes down to knowing where you should use social for the candidates you’re targeting how we are all treating candidates, when it comes to messaging and engaging with them online. It doesn’t really matter what social media site it is – it’s “social” media. Keep the social there, treat people with respect, treat candidates with respect.
Social has enabled us to have exponentially wider reach but be infinitely more targeted within that population, so it’s the best of all worlds. This is something that social has enabled us to do, and we can do our homework and we can craft custom messages to our audience because we’re able to learn about them through all of their social codes. So, social is a fabulous tool and a way for us to create a great candidate experience and be much more efficient with our time and just yield better results, period.
Absolutely. I’m all about improving candidate experience. Forthcoming 2015 Talent Board candidate experience research confirms that social recruiting has been growing on the employer side over the past few years.
For employers, the following are considering “differentiating” when it comes to engaging job seekers prior to applying:
But what about for job seekers? Where are they researching via social prior to applying?
Across industries, they’re going here:
LinkedIn Career Page(s) – 30%
Online Groups (LinkedIn, Yahoo, Google+, Other) – 26%
Employer Reviews (Glassdoor, Vault, Great Rated!) – 24%
Makes sense. But here’s where the social recruiting pool goes cold:
Facebook Career Page(s) – 5%
Twitter Feeds/Notifications – 2%
Not much seeker swimming going on in the Twitter pool, you know? And it doesn’t improve when you look at the differences between internal recruiters who reached out directly or if job seekers are doing their own research. Nor have the numbers improved over the past few years Talent Board has been doing this recruiting candidate experience research.
That doesn’t mean there’s not value in making a social listening investment, and then working with your talent acquisition teams to develop targeted social recruiting campaigns that are measurable and repeatable for where those candidate populations are swimming (and seeking, even if they don’t know it yet).
But those savvy social recruiters (and marketers) who are succeeding are also keeping this sink or swim social recruiting check in mind. Now tweet that fives times fast.
00Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2015-12-06 19:45:452020-05-31 14:19:32This Sink Or Swim Social Recruiting Reality Check
“Some world views are spacious, and some are merely spaced.” —Rush, Grand Designs
Scene 1: Pacific Avenue was closed for Halloween. Throngs of families dressed up for the holiday, passed one another while children chased each other in circles, their bags of candy swinging round and round. As we trick-or-treated from merchant to merchant, homeless panhandlers hit us up for money, while some staggered among us like the living dead.
Scene 2: The banner hung askew along the chain-link fence. It read “The Home Depot Is Hiring – Inquire Within.” As we drove into The Home Depot parking lot, day laborers eyed us eagerly, hoping for work. Some stood in small groups while a few others hung out alone waiting to be approached. When we left, an older white male was in the process of hiring three of them for a local job.
Scene 3: Like an end-of-days story, the motorhome is parked on on the side of the highway, not too far from where we live. Makeshift sections of plywood where aluminum siding used to be cover one side of the motorhome and it looks like most of the motorhome’s contents have been moved outside. Right behind the motorhome construction workers put the finishing touches on a new hotel.
If these were movie or TV sets, the extras would be straight out of Central Casting. I had heard the expression before, but I didn’t know that it referenced a real casting agency called Central Casting located in Burbank, CA, not until I listened to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts 99% Invisible. These extras are stereotypical to the context required for any given scene, to convince us they’re real, or as close to it as possible for us to buy in to the staged reality.
The podcast referred to the term “The Atmospherians,” something Theodore Dreiser, American novelist and journalist from the 20th century, had coined nearly 100 years ago. These are the backgrounders, those who give a scene its subtle yet visceral breadth and depth that helps tell a story.
But in the scenes above, real-life scenes that I experienced of late, these were real and contain the people companies don’t to be seen as the company backgrounders. They just don’t want that much reality associated with their employment brands. In a world gone bedazzled with authenticity and transparency, they still double-down on some form of compromised storytelling because of their inherent biases and need to control the marketplace message. They want to make recruiting movies to inspire and believe in, and they believe this is how they compete for the hearts and minds of candidates and customers alike.
So it’s no surprise that most high-performing companies invest in marketing their messages of community, values, diversity and culture – all of which make up the most of the top recruitment marketing messages of the winners and survey participants of Talent Board’s Candidates Experience Awards research five years running now.
I’ve been in marketing a long time, and I know the compromise is real, has to be. It includes a combination of living and breathing all the messages above, positioning one’s strengths as consistently and continuously as possible while allowing for some of the real stuff to be seen, like the Halloween community scene above (which the candidates/customers are going to see regardless).
Cumming: Transparency is the key to their success with Candidate Experience by requesting a Glassdoor review from candidates, their commitment to a 5-day turnaround on decisions on resumes, exposing their process and even how their ATS rates and ranks candidates on their career site. In addition, they understand the business impact of a bad experience.
Enterprise Holdings: Recruiter contact information is made available to candidates, including photos and social links and they pledge to get back to candidates within 5 days. Enterprise also measures the candidate’s’ time in each step in the process. In addition, they treat their internal candidates equally well and show the rate of promotions within the company in real time.
Spectrum Health: Hiring managers and recruiter are partners in the candidate experience at Spectrum Health. They both commit to follow-up with candidates – for recruiters, within 3 days upon receiving a resume and for managers within 7 days of receiving candidates from the recruiting team. Disposition emails include the recruiter’s name and phone number if the candidate needs more information.
However, no matter what they risk, employers big and small still have to differentiate and market and sell their products and services in order to have a viable business. One that sustains itself by reinventing and reinvesting, and one that aspires to hire the most qualified people in a consistent and sometimes transparent process. I’d rather recruit and hire with the real Atmospherians anyway. Wouldn’t you?
00Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2015-11-09 13:00:312020-05-31 14:10:15Recruit and Hire with the Real Atmospherians
“Wheel goes round, landing on a twist of faith Taking your chances you’ll have the right answers When the final judgment begins Wheel goes round, landing on a leap of fate Life redirected in ways unexpected Sometimes the odd number wins The way the big wheel spins…”
Step right up and spin the HR technology Conference career wheel – a winner every time!
Well, not quite, but the nostalgia of the all my previous HR Technology & Exposition conferences overcame me at the latest one when I realized that all my best and worst career incarnations and near misses are collectively linked to this conference.
What’s fascinating about going to the HR Technology & Exposition (or any industry event that you’ve consistently gone to year after year for well over a decade), is what goes on in the sidebars. I’m not talking about the straight networking, or analyst or influencer briefings, or the marketing and PR agency pitching, or the investor pitching, or the parties or the shows or the gambling (when the HR Tech conference is in Las Vegas as it has been for the past three years). I’m talking about the targeted sourcing and recruiting that goes on and on and on.
First and foremost, it’s a personable recruitment marketing and sourcing gold mine for all happy or unhappy perpetual candidates (which we all are) in software sales, marketing, customer service, product management and even software development and engineering. It’s also a potentially diamond-studded referral pool for any and all HR and recruiting technology companies as well as all the attendee companies that are there shopping for HR tech and talking HR tech shop. I witnessed it all around me while I was at this year’s show.
But companies are only a winner only when these investments pay off. Unfortunately, beyond the rush of the front-end schmoozing and selling, companies can neglect to share enough information about the overall recruiting processes and pre- and post-hire expectations, leaving the candidates feeling like a loser.
There were 200 companies and 130,000 candidates that participated in the 2015 North American Candidate Experience Awards, and we’ll round out all of this year’s research in our research report due out in January 2016.
What’s not a surprise from the research surveys over the past four years is the fact that one of the top ways companies engage with potential candidates who haven’t yet applied for any openings are employee referrals. This year, for both CandE winners and non-winners alike, nearly 55 percent of companies consider it a differentiator and another 35 percent consider them a part of their regular recruiting processes.
While I only anecdotally took in the what and how of personable recruitment marketing and sourcing delivered in the sidebars at the HR Technology Conference, we did discuss the bigger picture on the TalentCulture #TChat Show live from the conference.
According to this year’s CandE research candidates found these top five types of marketing content the most valuable prior to them applying for a job:
Company Values – 41.81%
Product/Services Information – 36.59%
Employee Testimonials – 34.89%
Answers to ‘Why’ People Want to Work Here – 30.78%
Answers to ‘Why’ People Stay Here – 23.68%
This is all well and good to the current kinds of recruitment marketing that most companies engage in. But when there’s a misunderstanding (or no understanding) of the entire recruiting process, candidates end up in the “black hole” application process.
For example, according to this year’s CandE data, the types of job and employment content potential candidates found most important while learning about career opportunities included:
Now, when you compare this year’s non-winners and winners on the types of recruiting process content they make available prior to potential candidates applying, it’s clear why the winners win (based on this category):
Employee Testimonials – 73.78%
Details of Application and Next Steps – 67.68%
Events – Career Related Listings, Dates and Locations – 62.80%
Overview of Recruiting Process – 56.71%
Frequently Asked Questions – 54.88%
Events – Career Related Listings, Dates and Locations – 76.74%
Details of Application and Next Steps – 72.09%
Employee Testimonials – 72.09%
Overview of Recruiting Process – 72.09%
Frequently Asked Questions – 60.47%
That’s a 15% difference between winners and non-winners, which is more than enough to have a competitive edge in today’s highly complex and competitive hiring economy. Companies shouldn’t worry about revealing their recruiting processes and exposing their hiring weaknesses. Candidates want to be valued and have an engaging and transparent experience and how companies treat them has a direct impact on whether they’ll invest their time or not – that’s the winning combination. In today’s digital age, where people share experiences online, a poor candidate experience can be bad for business and translate to millions in lost revenue annually.
Today’s savvy job seekers want career development opportunities, a great company culture, a positive candidate experience, and a complete understanding of their potential suitor’s recruiting process – before they ever apply. Transparent marketing and selling the recruiting process isn’t a gamble, it’s a prize investment that pays off every single time.
00Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2015-10-26 09:00:142020-05-31 14:05:24Selling the Recruiting Process Isn’t a Gamble
For the longest time it’s always been about recruiting from the outside in. As if companies had never hired for many of their jobs before. As if the only way to fill them was to post the jobs and pray for new magical applicants they’d never identified previously, and hopefully some of those had just enough of a magical edge to get the final interviews and then get hired.
Of course, the reality is that most of those applicants aren’t magical and aren’t qualified 75-95 percent of the time. And out of those hired, we hope that they’ll stick and stay beyond their first 6-12 months. But that’s the way we’ve sourced and recruited for decades, and recruiting technology automation has only given us more of the same.
A lot more of the same – hundreds of applicants per open requisition on the average according to the latest Talent Board Candidate Experience survey results (a trend that’s increased over the past few years). The good news here is, at least for the companies that have participated in the Candidate Experience surveys (whether the employer won a CandE Award or not), is that:
70% of participating candidates are likely and to apply again to the same employers.
70% of participating candidates are likely or extremely likely to refer others.
68% of the candidates rated the employers with 3 or more stars out of 5 stars on their overall candidate experience.
And nearly 80% of those candidates weren’t hired.
It’s even more refreshing to hear companies are investing strategy, resources and time into their internal candidate experience. Yes, those folks who are already employed. Your hopefully engaged critical talent. Your brand ambassadors. Your key referrers who help attract competitive people your way.
We’re all either being constantly re-recruited into their current organizations (engagement and opportunity) or recruited out of them (attrition and opportunity). It makes no never mind whether we’re happily employed (some of us) and unhappily disengaged (most of us), looking for our next gig, or not. We’re all perpetual candidates, regardless of generation or gender, skill set or experience.
So I was energized when CandE Award-winning companies like Humana, T-Mobile, SWIFT and many others shared at this year’s Candidate Experience Symposium that they are truly investing in and improving on how they treat internal candidates and re-recruit and retain them. We learned they’re making it much easier for current employees (including permanent and contingent) to be internally mobile, transforming cultures that used to discourage mobility to those that embrace it, in order to apply for and stay within the “mothership.” And many other companies are right behind them to keep their competitive edge and sharp as possible. Again, these folks are your employment brand ambassadors.
Now, even with these internal candidate experience improvements, it’s true that predicting new employee tenure is about as difficult as predicting the weather, even with various data inputs and powerful algorithms we have today. Most people these days stay in their jobs only about 3-5 years. It’s not just the millennials moving around for better opportunities — all generations do it.
But one thing is clear: referrals can and do have an impact on employee retention. If an employee is satisfied at work, feels like part of a team and the greater culture, and of course is rewarded fairly, then he or she is much more likely to suggest referrals. They become a brand advocate.
And if these referrals have a similar experience to those who referred them, they will in turn potentially last a little longer and make referrals themselves. In fact, even candidates that don’t get hired will make referrals if their experience is a good one as referenced in the Talent Board data above.
Long-time recruiting analyst John Sumser and HR thought leader Jessica Miller-Merrell concurred on the TalentCulture #TChat Show when you hire somebody you don’t know, and you bring them in, you have to figure out all sorts of attributes of trust, in order to get them to fit into your organization.
In fact, John said it best, “When you use a referral, the trust is implied by the person making the referral. Everybody knows that what makes organizations fun, flexible, agile, adaptive and productive is the degree to which everybody in the organization trusts everybody else. Trust is the variable that makes your organization great or makes it fail.”
This is why CandE Winners invest in the internal candidate experience today. Re-recruiting from the inside out makes for one trustworthy and invaluable talent pool.
00Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2015-10-13 10:48:132020-05-31 13:58:38Why Winners Invest in the Internal Candidate Experience Today
We huddled together while Brad barked out our last names and the next play.
“Grossman, you do a five-yard buttonhook. I’m hitting you, so be ready. Smith, you block, and if I have to dump to you, I will. And Day,” he paused stood up to look over at the other team, and then bent down again in the huddle. “Day, go long. All right, let’s go.”
My friend Robby dropped his head and shook it. Go long was code for please run downfield and draw away the defenders but I’m never going to throw you the ball.
“Brad, c’mon. Go long? I swear I can get open.”
“Okay, okay. Just go long, man. And be ready.”
We all laughed, but I felt bad for Robby. True, he wasn’t all that coordinated on the football field, but he was fast and in excellent shape from playing water polo. He could swim circles around us and could catch and throw the water polo ball with amazing precision.
It was a cold and foggy afternoon during holiday break. We were all high school juniors wearing grubby sweats and playing a little friendly four-on-four football at a local park.
We broke huddle, lined up and ran the play. Robby actually went long even against his own judgment, but then I was covered and Brad was about to get sacked. He had no choice but throw it to Robby, who of course was wide open.
Maybe it was risky throwing it to Robby, but what if he caught it and scored the winning touchdown?
What if indeed. Even with innovative blue ocean strategy and progressive risk-taking, businesses rise and fall on temporary ground as readily as political empires. There are simple too many economic factors in play these days, but the right workforce can and does make a difference.
However, imagine the go-long metaphor in the world of work and what it takes to be competitive with talent acquisition today. Many companies still can’t stomach throwing the long ball, especially when you add in a complex global talent market mired in employment law and regulatory mud.
It’s just easier to replicate the status quo of stale recruiting processes and run the same plays over and over again just to get some of the right butts in the right seats. Because sooner rather than later many of those talented butts will play musical chairs.
That’s why Talent Board launched the Candidate Experience Awards four years ago. Talent Board is a non-profit organization focused on the promotion and data benchmark research of a quality candidate experience. Tired of hearing the same old stories of poor candidate experience, the Talent Board co-founders set out elevate the mission of a better recruiting process and business performance – and found it they did.
Today the Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards is open to all global multinational and regional companies including North America employers, EMEA employers, APAC employers and will soon launch is Latin America – and is free for participating companies. The CandE Awards program consists of three survey rounds designed to evaluate and recognize organizations that produce outstanding candidate experiences.
Round One is comprised of a multi-dimensional survey designed to capture and evaluate the nominated company’s recruitment processes and practices impacting the candidate experience. All companies that complete the first round submission process receive Employer Benchmark data.
Those that meet the awards’ baseline for candidate experience were invited to participate in Round Two of the competition, which involves surveying a random sampling of the company’s 2015 candidates. Each firm had to commit to a statistically significant candidate response, as well as a set standard for the proportion of randomly selected respondents not hired. This year there were 130,000 candidates that participated in the survey and nearly 80 percent were not hired.
Companies that meet criteria for both rounds one and two are awarded a “CandE Award Winner” designation (and this year’s top 50 will be recognized at the 2nd Annual Candidate Experience Symposium September 30 – October 2 in Fort Worth, TX.).
Here’s some go-long recruiting strategy data for you: over 74% of winners and 65% of the nearly 200 participating companies (winners and non-winners) are systematically aligning candidate performance to recruiter performance. The latter represents a 10% increase from all participating companies in 2014. This means that candidate experience for both CandE winners and non-winners is:
Regularly measured & incorporated into the recruiter dashboard per their performance reviews and there are both non-monetary performance (gifts cards, trips, etc.) and monetary performance incentives (salary increase, bonus).
It is regularly discussed in formal recruiter reviews and it’s measured and incorporated into the recruiter dashboard. There are no performance incentives.
Regularly discussed in formal recruiter reviews but the measure is subjective and not formalized, and there are no performance incentives.
Winners with exceptional and innovative recruiting practices are advanced to a final “judged” Round Three, where their video interviews are reviewed by the CandE judging panel to determine whether or not they should receive a special “Story Teller” honor based on their positive candidate experience. This is in addition to the statistical analysis and algorithms applied above and the selection of the top 50 CandE winners.
Those that are getting the “Story Teller” honor this year are including the following three plays in their talent acquisition “passing” game:
Map multiple candidate touch points and take the time to educate candidates on what each one means – and survey them for continuous feedback.
Utilize technologies such as video interviewing and onboarding as a means of improving the recruiting process.
Quantify the impact of poor candidate experience and potential customer loss (potentially hundreds of millions per year).
There’s plenty more where that came from. It’s no longer just about raising awareness around recruiting and candidate experience and avoiding the black hole. The Talent Board CandE survey participants and CandE winners have created a sweet new benchmark for talent acquisition and business performance around the world. And each year the multi-year and first-time winners raise the business bar even higher for us all.
So go long with your candidate experience, kids. I know you can get open.
00Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2015-09-28 13:00:432020-05-30 13:59:17Go Long with Your Candidate Experience, Kids
Unfortunately, I can still taste his sour words. We’d been talking recruiting shop, him a talent acquisition director at a large technology company and me an HR industry analyst, when I asked him what role his team had in retention.
“None,” he answered. He went on to explain to me that his team managed hundreds of requisitions and with the volume of unqualified applicants they received, he stayed focused on putting smart butts in the right seats. What happened after that was on the hiring managers and leadership.
“Not my problem,” he said.
Then I asked him about dispositioning candidates that weren’t selected to move on in the hiring process and if they sent any communications, he replied that their applicant tracking system could probably have had auto-responder functionality, but they just hadn’t turned it on yet.
That was four years ago, nearly a lifetime in the upside-down world of recruiting and hiring economics. And while the former point about retention is an ongoing debate amount recruiting and HR professionals, the latter point about dispositioning is something thankfully more and more companies are taking action to improve.
My candidate experience soapbox is simple – companies of any size and in any industry should at the very minimum do two things when it comes to anyone applying for employment:
Acknowledgement – simply that you’ve applied and we acknowledge that. Thank you very much.
Closure – simply that you are or are not qualified for the position, that you are or are not getting the job, there are or are not other opportunities with us, and we acknowledge all these things in a consistent and timely manner. Thank you very much.
I write about this often, but we’re all perpetual candidates who are either being constantly re-recruited into their current organizations (engagement and opportunity) or recruited out of them (attrition and opportunity). It makes no never mind whether we’re happily employed (some of us) and unhappily disengaged (most of us), looking for our next gig, or not. We’re all perpetual candidates, regardless of generation or gender, skill set or experience. So any entity that meets my minimum candidate experience is a winner.
But for those that don’t meet the minimum and leave their job seeker “customers” with a crappy experience, what do you think will happen? Will the ex-candidates put their tails between their legs and slink away?
Well, according to the latest 2015 Talent Board data on candidate experience from 130,000 job seekers surveyed over the past few months (most of whom were not hired), they don’t. They end up sharing their recruiting stories everywhere, good and bad (which is why looking at the stories through the eyes of the job seeker is so critical for companies).
Eighty percent of candidates said they’re likely to share positive recruiting experiences with their inner circle, and 66 percent will share negative ones. And when it comes to sharing publicly, online, everywhere, 53 percent will share their positive stories, and 33 percent will share their negative ones.
The good news is that the percentage of candidates who had a negative response to their overall job seeking experience dropped slightly from 12 percent in 2014 to 10 percent in 2015. These are the people who replied that they will definitely take their alliance, product purchases, relationship somewhere else, but when you do the math, these are 13,000 people who won’t be “buying” employer branded bull or your stuff. I’ve certainly been there. This kind of candidate resentment can add up to millions of dollars of lost revenue. This is the negative ripple effect according to my friend and TalentCulture #TChat Show co-founder and co-host Meghan M. Biro.
However, it’s never too late to change. The nearly 200 companies who participated in the 2015 North American Talent Board candidate experience surveys have exceeded the above minimums and then some. In fact, the top 50 of them will receive a 2015 Candidate Experience Award (the CandEs) this year at the 2nd Annual Candidate Experience Symposium September 30 – October 2 in Fort Worth, TX.
That’s why I’ve been involved with the Talent Board for the past four years now and why I’m still abuzz about joining them. I will help lead and further their mission of benchmarking and elevating the candidate experience and recruiting performance, from the first job post to the final onboarding and beyond in North America and around the world.
Those employers exceeding the candidate experience minimum, whether a CandE winner or not, are reaping the benefits. Here are a few more early cuts from the 2015 survey data:
70 percent of candidates surveyed are likely and to apply again to the same employers, slightly above last year.
70 percent of candidates surveyed are likely or extremely likely to refer someone else to those employers they had applied for job at.
Plus, over 50 percent of all these candidates had no relationship prior to applying to the company. That’s huge.
68 percent of the candidates surveyed rated the employers they applied to with 3 or more stars out of 5 stars on their overall candidate experience. That’s 3% higher than in 2014.
What’s more dramatic about all of this is that there are 27 percent more candidates in 2015 that completed the CandE candidate survey from a slightly bigger pool of participating companies. This is great news overall and a testament to more and more companies investing in improving their talent acquisition and candidate experience.
There’s so much more 2015 CandE data and analysis to come, so stay tuned. Thank goodness I have a sweet tooth for a better candidate experience and good business sense.
00Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2015-09-21 13:00:462020-05-30 13:56:17Why I Have a Sweet Tooth for a Better Candidate Experience
Facebook messenger popped up: Did you hear the news?
The person messaging me was a new co-worker. I just stared at the words, a sick feeling of knowing something I didn’t want to know roiled in my stomach. The blinking cursor taunted me.
I wrote back: What news?
The cursor blinked a steady robotic wink.
That your boss was fired today.
Two weeks on the new job, alone at a conference 3,000 miles away from home, and no where near the office I was onboarded and trained.
Your boss was fired today. This being the person who recruited and wooed me, and, I thought, brought me in to be part of the A-team.
Fear bubbled up like bile in my throat. I knew something was wrong all day when I hadn’t heard back from the multiple messages I had left. Frantic second guessing seized me – the offer, my acceptance, my excitement – the opportunity I had been looking for.
Another message popped up: Kevin, you there? You all right?
No, I’m not all right. Not even close, I thought.
I had no idea what to do. I thought of my wife and my two daughters. I thought of the lean times and risk-taking and the rock bottom perspective before this point. Although I didn’t know for sure if this was the end of a very short beginning, it definitely felt like a long walk off a short pier somewhere in the dead of frozen winter.
Until it wasn’t. Until I discovered it had nothing to do with me and the winter freeze thawed quickly and all was as well as could be. It was then I found myself parachuted into a hot jungle thicket of unpredictable monsoons that was thankfully alive with the work I loved to do and with people I loved doing it with.
I thought I had done my due diligence. I thought I had asked all the right questions from others besides my boss who had recruited me. I read about them online via Glassdoor and LinkedIn and various other press releases and Internet smack – and was okay with all of it.
Ready to go to work! Onward! Let’s do this!
Sound familiar to some of you? We don’t know what we don’t know until we’re truly in it, right? When we talked about the Amazon work experience with Kidpower Founder and Executive Director Irene van der Zande on the TalentCulture #TChat Show, Irene made a valid point. She said that people who decide to work for difficult even harsh workplace cultures go in with eyes wide open, and they either adapt and make it work, or they leave.
But we all know the world of work can be volatile for any one of us at any time. How we respond to tough workplaces is up to us and she shared some examples of how Kidpower has prepared hundreds of thousands of teens and adults worldwide to take charge of their emotional and physical safety when others (and your environment) are acting in unkind, hurtful, unsafe ways – one of which is by wearing an emotional raincoat.
Cry me a river, right? Work is work, so suck it up and deal and be happy with a bright and shiny new job. The problem is that, although more and more companies are forced to be more transparent during the recruiting process and have improved it throughout, we’re just not getting a clear enough picture of what it’s like when we get to the suitor’s front door and go inside.
Also from the data – less than half of new hires received a phone call from their hiring manager during the onboarding process, and less than a fifth engaged in any social connection with their future team members. Of course, a deeper comparative analysis across job types (hourly, salaried and executive) may uncover onboarding practice differentials, but the fact remains beyond the employers supplying information and completing required paperwork, muggy thunderstorms may loom.
Interestingly, the 2014 CandE data shows low investment priority (45.1 percent or 79 out of 175 participants) in onboarding technology, in comparison to other recruiting technologies like applicant tracking systems (83.4 percent or 146 out of 175 participants). However, per the survey, onboarding as a service is the number 2 priority being considered for 2014-2015.
That’s good news. Take it from me and what I’ve learned from Kidpower – if storm clouds are brewing on your just-hired horizon, put on your waterproof emotional raincoat and weather it like the champ you are, especially for the the work you love to do and get compensated for. It will pass and you’ll be fine. Most of the time. And in the end you’ll stay or leave accordingly.
In fact, just imagine employer branded emotional workplace raincoats. Hey, there’s a new hire tchotchke for us all.
“And I don’t care, go on and tear me apart And I don’t care if you do ‘Cause in a sky, ‘cause in a sky full of stars I think I see you…” —Coldplay, “Sky Full of Stars”
The statement’s context bummed me out. Not because my father-in-law and his wife didn’t know what I did for a living, people from outside the HR technology space always think I work literally in HR. No, it was because once they realized I worked for an HR software company that provided applicant tracking software, they immediately referenced the ATS black hole from whence no job applicant is supposedly ever seen again once he or she applies online.
We ended up discussing all the other ways applicants can gain visibility with a prospective employer – their online presence and their networking acumen. But no matter how good the recruiting software is (and PeopleFluent’s is pretty damn good), managing the candidate experience along the way hasn’t been easy for companies.
In fact, for the past few years, companies on the average receive an excessive number of resumes per every open full-time permanent position. This according to Talent Board’s 2014 Candidate Award Experience Awards Report released earlier this year (the 2015 data collection is in process). The CandE data from the past two years alone that shows open requisitions for all levels of positions are tracking over 200 resumes each.
While at the same time, more than half of job applicants are applying for up to four jobs per week, while nearly a third applying to up to nine jobs per week. Though applicant tracking systems and automation has helped companies funnel these resumes into their respective job “buckets” to be reviewed by overtaxed recruiters and hiring managers, the application process has not changed much for job seekers and employers.
But one of the biggest problem with the post-and-pray reactive recruiting approach and online application process is that it’s req-based – every time a new job is posted recruiters have to review a huge volume all new applicants on the average (most of whom aren’t qualified and many they may already have in their database) instead of leveraging their existing database where potential matches lie.
What if a company’s applicant database could be used to generate proactive sourcing pipelines? With better access to their own data, knowing how to set up the applicant pipelines, and how to communicate with the candidates can make the marketing investments pay off with great return and less near-term churn.
I recommend that companies get outside their own reqs and generate their own qualified candidates by creating and maintaining people pools based on skills and competencies needed for the work at hand. Being proactive with sourcing and screening doesn’t have to be aspirational – companies can do it with their own applicant databases and they way they capture new applicants via their career sites.
Because if it takes 45 minutes to complete an online application, then it’s 40 minutes too long. Attract applicants based on skills and experience needed, not just the literal requisition (especially for non-technical repetitive hiring), and collect just enough information to screen and create qualified talent pools for your recruiters and hiring managers. This allows companies to create proactive people pools based on skills need and not the job itself, which can and will maximize their recruitment dollar.
Given the time and resources it takes to find the right people why should companies start the process from scratch each and every time? By building these people pools (again, who cares what we call it as long as we’re hiring), employers can develop them around job types, skills and competencies to which they can turn to fill key roles without having to restart the processes from the beginning.
Creating repositories and automatically updated saved searches of qualified candidates in your talent acquisition system, such as those who were qualified but ultimately not selected for the position for which they applied, provides employers with a short list of individuals already engaged and interested in working for the company. This saves time and money and can help improve the relationships with hiring managers.
Along these lines, people pools can help improve the candidate experience and employer brand. For instance, informing candidates who weren’t selected that they will be kept in a pool and considered for future positions will not only let them avoid having to reapply, but also create a more positive impression of the company. It also keeps those individuals warm and engaged and interested in future openings. As a result, when a new positions becomes available, the company can fill it much more quickly by turning to those who have previously expressed interest.
A people pool strategy also can enhance talent mobility. Understanding the talent already in the organization and identifying who can be called upon to fill key gaps is another key advantage. Using employee data stored in the HR system can illuminate the talent already in place and their unique skills and strengths. As a result, the company can further streamline the process of filling positions with internal talent, while helping to retain their best employers by giving them the opportunity to advance through the ranks.
Of course, the “black hole” application experience hasn’t completely gone away and nearly 50 percent of the CandE winners still only received 3 out of 5 stars of less on their application process. The conundrum is that because of the great recruiting technology equalization happening in the world it just will not be enough to be an employer of choice long-term.
Remember, every person is a perpetual candidate no matter how happily employed or engaged they become over time, something we discussed more than once with Talent Board co-founders Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin on the TalentCulture #TChat Show.
They agreed that at any given time they may find another role more appealing inside organization, or elsewhere. All of these candidate and employee phases combined with empowering technologies and continuous “customer” service from those who employ and woo candidates are what will give organizations the unfair advantage in the 21st century.
This doesn’t mean the effectual stretch and learning new skills will guarantee jobs for everyone, but these will be the benchmarks for many CandEs to come, with the warming heart of people pools ultimately eclipsing the black hole.
https://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/sky-full-of-stars.png6441170Kevin W. Grossmanhttps://talentculture.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/TCLogo_web-272x60-1.pngKevin W. Grossman2015-06-01 14:00:522020-05-30 13:17:00With the Warming Heart of People Pools
(Editor’s Note: See #TChat highlights and resource links at the end of this post.)
Building Brand Advocates One Job Opening At A Time
What is candidate experience, anyway? Of course, it starts long before a potential employee ever arrives for an interview. In fact, some #TChat-ters say it’s smart to think of it as an ongoing brand experience that begins the moment an individual envisions a future with your organization, and continues throughout the recruitment process, and beyond.
Smart employers consider all the touch points in that process, not just the tone and content of a job description. Every interaction helps shape a candidate’s impression — from the way a company website portrays its workforce, and the way it engages with employees on social media, to the pace and flow of ongoing communication with applicants. No detail should be overlooked.
Why do details count? Because, according to our guests (and the 2013 Candidate Experience Survey Results), these factors make a lasting impression on job seekers. And cumulative impressions can determine a brand’s destiny.
Early results from nearly 50,000 former job candidates confirms what common sense tells us. Once candidates develop a perception of an organization, they’ll share their thoughts with others. And that word-of-mouth behavior can have a measurable impact on your business — for better or worse.
Roadmap For Improvement
Early next year, The Talent Board will publish a detailed survey report to help employers make meaningful changes to their candidate experience. But in the meantime, here are some self assessment questions:
• Have you walked a mile in your candidate’s shoes? (And documented that walk?)
• What kind of first impression does your company project?
• Do you acknowledge job seekers when they apply or submit a resume?
• What proportion of inquiries are completely ignored?
• Is information about your company culture available, accurate and complete?
• Are your employees empowered as brand ambassadors?
These actions leave a lasting positive impression – even when candidates aren’t hired. Even when they’ve invested significant time and energy to conduct company research, customize a resume, apply for the position, prepare for and participate in interviews, and follow-up with hiring managers.
Of course, word now travels incredibly fast on social channels. And with organizations like The Talent Board paying close attention, the voice of the candidate is getting louder all the time.
So, if you care about influencing the way your organization is perceived by candidates, consider the resources and highlights from this week’s #TChat conversation, below. Thanks to everyone who contributed opinions and ideas. This is how we can move the meter in a positive direction!
#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin, Elaine and Gerry joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open crowdsourcing conversation centered on 5 related questions. See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:
GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Elaine Orler andGerry Crispinfor sharing your perspectives on candidate experience trends and implications. We value your time and expertise!
NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about how companies can offer a more effective job candidate experience? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.