Why the Candidate Experience is Critical

Closing the deal on in-demand talent is tougher than ever before. Most especially in the IT industry. Talent with the right skill sets have more choices and more bargaining power.

In this candidate-driven economy, employer brand/reputation carry a lot of weight when it comes to recruiting quality talent. According to a recent survey, 69% of the candidates polled would completely rule out taking a job with a company that had a bad reputation – even if they were unemployed!

79% of individuals research an organization online before applying for a job. Candidates will check you out via social media, online reviews like Glassdoor, your company website, etc. If a top-notch candidate has agreed to interview with your organization, that is a strong sign that they would at least consider accepting an offer. IF they have a good experience and IF the offer is right, that is.

I think you see where I’m going with this. Aside from whatever previous knowledge a
Candidate-Experience1candidate has about your organization, what they experience during the application, interview and hiring process creates a lasting impression.  Your hiring managers, your online application – the candidate experience in its totality – are an extension of your business. You are demonstrating WHO YOU ARE by providing a great candidate experience. Your candidate experience is also a pretty fair indicator of how you value people in general, namely your employees.

Think about it. The candidate experience should be a true reflection of your organization and how it treats its resources. If a candidate feels disrespected or unrecognized throughout the candidate process, you can see why they might assume this same treatment would carry over into daily life in your organization.

And if a candidate has a bad experience with your organization, there is no shortage of channels where they can share their opinions. After a bad experience, 59% of candidates say that they would actively tell others not to apply and 42% say they would go so far as to not do business with an organization in the future.**

If you’re not sure where to begin assessing your candidate experience, just put yourself in their shoes. Start with the online application and test your process by applying. How much communication do you receive? Ask yourself how you would want to be treated and what you would want to know throughout the process. Look for ways to make the process faster, better and simpler.

Here’s a list of the top causes** of a poor candidate experience to help you get started:

  • Unclear application instructions
  • Extremely long application
  • Minimal job description
  • No link to application
  • No confirmation email
  • Long hiring process
  • No notification when position is filled
  • No salary information
  • Unable to contact a Recruiter
  • No info about interview process
  • No info about benefits

If you do provide a positive candidate experience, there are certainly benefits. One of the more obvious benefits is the likelihood that more of the top applicants will be willing to accept your offers. What’s more, 88% of job seekers who have a good experience say that they would tell others to apply, and 71% said they would be more likely to buy or recommend a company’s products or services.

Keep in mind, that today’s candidate could be tomorrow’s client, customer or CEO. Any time invested in improving your candidate experience is time well spent!

* Corporate Responsibility Magazine/Allegis Group Services Study

** Research from Software Advice

 – Mindy

Mindy Mihajlov





Mindy Mihajlov, Manager of Technical Recruiting

Follow Mindy on twitter – @MindyRecruiter

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