Candidate Experience is Primary
Interested in attracting top talent to your recruiting firm? If so, it’s crucial that you put the “Candidate Experience” toward the top of your to-do-lists. Providing meaningful candidate engagement and outstanding candidate experiences will go a long way toward growing your pipeline and ensuring sustained success.
One challenge modern recruiters, hiring managers, and talent relationship managers have is crafting and managing the “Candidate Experience” and ensuring that Talent enjoys an interactive, engaging and personable process when going through the necessary hiring stages.
One entity that has been providing incredibly insightful feedback directly from the candidates, on their experiences, is Talent Board. Talent Board, in their own words, provides “companies access to aggregated candidate experience data-sets and support(s) the Talent Acquisition discipline with benchmarks and best practices that support continuous recruiting innovation.” Recently, Talent Board conducted an extensive survey regarding how companies were doing in addressing the candidate experience and several interesting patterns emerged.
Talent Board 2015 – Candidate Experience Report
The 2015 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report was written by Madeline Laurano (Co-founder of Aptitude Research Partners) and Kevin W. Grossman (VP of NAM Program at Talent Board). The researchers collected feedback from 130,000 candidates who applied to over 200 companies. Clearly there was plenty of data to sift through and read the tea leaves on.
In lieu of holding my cards close to the vest, I’ll cut to the chase and proclaim: the #1 takeaway from the report was consistent communication is a key aspect for engaging talent. It was noted that only 40% of recruiters are required to respond to candidates at all, which is not an effective tactic. What are recruiters that are ‘doing it correctly’ doing?
- Listening more
- Setting better expectations about the recruiting process
- Holding themselves accountable for the candidate experience talent acquisition performance AND measuring it regularly and consistently
- Are perceived by candidates as having a ‘fair’ process – candidates feel like they are being given ample opportunities to share why their knowledge, skills, and experiences make them a good fit for jobs they have applied for
5 Key Takeaways for Recruiters
This report is quite extensive, a few nuggets that we think recruiters should pay attention to include:
- Candidates are becoming more sophisticated – 76% of candidates conduct their own job search research across multiple channels prior to applying
- Job boards are not dead – Even though candidates are relying less on job boards, organizations have increased their investment in this sourcing tool from 37% in 2014 to 45% in 2015
- Communication with Candidates is very weak – Nearly half of candidates never received an indication of the status of their application
- Employers are letting more candidates through the funnel – over 80% of candidates answer general screening questions during the application process, only 50% are asked for job specific skills and less than 1/3 are asked to take assessments
- On-boarding is still a missed opportunity for the candidate experience – Once a candidate is on-board, organizations have an opportunity to find out what went right and what went wrong – yet only 16% of recruiters/employers ask for feedback during the on-boarding phase
Talent Attraction and Sourcing
Recruiters are keenly aware that in order to build an effective pipelines of talent it’s critical to leverage both active and passive candidates. In order to attract talent, according to Talent Board’s study, it’s important to do the following: Understand the influence of effective content marketing, Understand the sophistication of today’s candidates, and Align your brand with the employer brand.
Just like modern marketers focus on prospects (leads) and customers – so should recruiters approach candidates with the same mind-set. As the chart shows candidates surveyed indicated several types of marketing content valuable for accessing potential ‘fit’ before applying. The top 3 were: Organization Values, Product/Services, and Employee Testimonials. As a recruiting agency what types of content marketing are you providing for candidates?
Also, candidates today are doing their homework on potential employers/recruiting firms. Multiple channels are being used to gather information so candidates can take more ownership of the journey. Channels such as the Company career site, Job notifications or agents, LinkedIn career pages, and Online groups provide candidates with access to information. Are your channels up-to-date and providing the best information for candidates coming to your company sites?
And, finally, employer branding, online content, and SEO are increasingly more important as recruiters are in the business of showcasing their brand–and ensuring that it aligns with the employer brand. Are you actively discussing your ‘brand’ and learning about the ‘brands’ of your customers?
As recruiters and talent relationship management professionals planning and managing the “Candidate Experience” can be daunting and difficult. However, as this report points out the most important item to put at the center of your efforts is: communicating better with potential candidates. Luckily, there are several creative and interesting ways you can choose to communicate more effectively and grow your business.
Laurano and Grossman summarize by asserting, “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.”
For access to the full report and to learn more, click here.