Just as in real estate when they say it’s a ‘sellers’ or ‘buyers’ market, in the recruitment world, it’s a ‘candidate's market’. No longer are hiring managers or recruiters in control. It’s not as simple as just placing a job ad and having pools and pools of applicants to choose from. In the current climate, those looking for a job have become more specific and aware of the organisations they choose to work for and precisely what is on offer for them. Salary isn’t the only bargaining point anymore.
So what can organisations do to stay on top of these changing candidate expectations? How can they position themselves to become THE employer of choice for reasons other than ‘close to public transport’ or ‘competitive salary’? It takes a complete review of the candidate experience. While employee experience focuses on fostering happy and motivated existing teams, candidate experience is all about igniting this in your future employees.
In this blog, we explore the statistics behind why candidate experience is important, the benefits of having a positive candidate experience and how you can improve your organisations.
What is a candidate experience? It is how those looking for work ‘react to an organisation’s recruitment cycle’. This covers everything from the sourcing and attraction stage, through assessment, interview, offer and finally, the onboarding process.
It covers every interaction your organisation has with any and all candidates in the job market - not just the ones actively interested in joining your company. To improve your candidate experience, most strategies require the complete re-evaluation of all the touchpoints a person may have with your organisation.
The majority of these touchpoints exist during the recruitment stage. Why? Well, you are most actively running campaigns, job ads or search activity. So naturally, your organisation is going to come up a lot more during job searches and research activities - at least hopefully, if you’re using the right hiring processes and recruiting software.
What makes up these candidates' experience touchpoints can be filtered into the following:
48% of job seekers also base their candidate experience on the ‘passive’ stage, so it’s important to ensure that your organisation is also looking at elements outside of the active recruitment period. This could include a robust career site that includes employee feedback on why they enjoy working for the company, managing your organisation's SEO, consistent branding across all market-facing communication, check-in emails with unsuccessful candidates, campaigns that showcase your organisation’s culture or employee experience drives and so on.
It should be starting to click that positive candidate experiences can ‘make or break’ a successful recruitment drive. This directly impacts your organisation's ability to hire quality candidates too. The facts speak for themselves and explain how each one of these candidate experience touchpoints is as important as the other.
Check out the following statistics that illustrate the importance of a good vs poor candidate experience:
In their 2021 Candidate Experience Report, CareerPlug explained the most common reasons candidates decline a job offer and it ultimately came down to their overall candidate experience. They also asked these candidates how important the recruitment process is to their overall experience. They asked job seekers to rate this on a scale of 1 through to 10 with 10 being very important. They found the overwhelming response to be between an 8 and a 10.
Based on these statistics, your next step should be to understand how to facilitate a better, more seamless candidate experience. Here is how you can get started:
For organisations looking to improve their candidate experience, it’s best to start at the function that plays a huge role in it all: recruitment and HR. A happy candidate leads to an even happier and motivated employee. These positive candidate experiences can lead to positive employee experience which then translates through to positive customer experiences.
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