Candidate-Experience

The Better Angels Of Perpetual Candidate Experience

We long for better angels. At least most of us dbo. We long for continuous support and sounding boards, deeper cultural connections to our real-time universe, our heaven (and sometimes unfortunately hell) on earth, and all those we come in contact with, whether in fleeting moments or ongoing endurance sessions of meaning and purpose with family, friends and colleagues, better angels everywhere we go.

Especially when at work, because at least for most of us, it’s not always a pleasure picnic. Plus, we’ve got bills to pay, food to keep on the table, a roof to keep overhead, and hopefully some left over for a vacation or two with the kids.

But for the modern dispersed workforce, the unprecedented levels of stress today in the workplace means that we want more than the money; we want cultural fit with like-minded folk to collaborate, innovate and invigorate our workspaces everywhere we go.

If my better angels aren’t there, then my workplace universe becomes a dark and cold place that no amount of cash can light up with warmth. At least, for most of us.

But cash burns a cold fire backstory for employers especially considering how highly competitive talent acquisition is today – the wrong hire can cost companies upwards of $25,000 – $50,000 on the average. Add to that the fact that job seekers are savvier in their search for the right positions and companies today with a strong employment brand and a level of transparency into their organizations is critical.

According to the Talent Board’s 2013 Candidate Experience Awards report, based on data from nearly 50,000 candidates from over 90 progressive companies, 59.5 percent of candidates have some relationship with employers at the onset of their search, which indicates a clear initial pre-disposition toward the employers and suggesting that positive association is the employer’s to lose.

Delivering a compelling employment brand story and recruiting user experience – especially for candidates – is what progressive organizations are doing today. Talent acquisition leaders are looking for ways that will amplify their recruiting process, ways to share and showcase their better angels.

What’s even more telling is that the results from the 2013 CandE Awards indicate the emerging importance of communicating a company’s culture as a key point of differentiation, as well as decreased emphasis on job benefit details.

Amen.

Job candidates’ interests do center on why they might want to work at the company and why they would stay at that company, if offered a position. And just like the company seeks to assess the fit of those candidates, those same candidates are interested in the culture of that firm, and how the job (as it is presented by the employer) is aligned to the success of that company.

In the 2013 CandE survey, when progressive employers were asked “what marketing content do you make available (or that a job seeker might want to ask about) before they apply?” – the answers included:

  • Values (i.e., ‘Fit’) – 92.2%
  • Answers to ‘Why’ People Want to Work Here – 92.2%
  • Community and Sustainability Initiatives – 90.6%
  • Answers to ‘Why’ People Stay Here – 89.1%
  • Product Information – 88.9%
  • Diversity & Culture – 82.8%

Five out of the top six related to culture and “better angels.” Compare that with when the candidates were asked “what is your experience with the company’s marketing content available before you applied?” in the survey:

  • Values (i.e., Fit) – 48.7%
  • Answers to ‘Why’ People Want to Work Here – 48.6%
  • Product Information – 47.6%
  • Answers to ‘Why’ People Stay Here – 44.7%

Three out of the top four also lined up nicely with cultural fit. It’s important to note that candidates are consumers as well, not only of company culture, but also of what the company does and sells, which is why “product information” was so high on both of the above survey results.

How can we promote these “experiences” in a way that continuously highlights company culture for potential new employees as well as current employees?

Well, with video, of course. Seeing is believing:

  • Seeing. Corporate career sites are rich in media and employment branding content, including video. Video is a powerful medium today and with lower-cost and improved video creation and distribution platforms, and of course our everyday smart phones with cameras we carry around, its pervasiveness is telling. Companies can and should do a better job storytelling through video, enabling their talent acquisition teams to create company overview videos, “day-in-the-life” employee videos, hiring manager “what it’s like to work here” videos and other job related videos, that easily be posted to their career sites as well as leveraged for internal mobility.
  • Is Believing. Amplifying “talent engagement” candidate experiences, and our better angels, through video, enable a culturally collaborative hiring process that’s quite beneficial for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers alike. It creates a cultural bonding opportunity that is talent-centric, not process-centric, fostering consistent employment branding and personalized experiences crystallized and perpetuated into heavenly marketing moments that, if transparent and real, will lead to better business outcomes like faster recruiting, better quality of hire, cultural fit and improved retention.

Amen to the better angels of perpetual candidate experience, meaning and purpose.

(Meghan M. Biro and I are proud CandE Council members and volunteers, and my company PeopleFluent is a proud platinum sponsor. There’s still time to participate in the 2014 Candidate Experience Awards!)

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Photo Credit: PetarPaunchev via bigstock

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