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Candidate experience - More than just an HR buzz word

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Recruitment agencies often get a seemingly bad ‘rep’. You only need to type ‘recruitment agencies are….’ into Google, and myriad negative responses will come up. (I will let you type it in and take a look for yourself!) Whilst these statements might simply be down to ugly myths about recruitment, a candidate might not be so forgiving or willing to see it as a pretence.

In today’s candidate driven world you are no longer hand picking the talent; today’s talent will choose you. And with the power of social media and sites such as Glassdoor, the focus on candidate experience must be at the forefront of any recruitment process.

Bullhorn’s 2018 report on Staffing and Recruiting trends reveals two thought-provoking findings in relation to candidate experience

  1. Talent shortage ranks as the no.1 challenge for staffing professionals.
  2. Candidate referrals ranks as the no.1 source of high-quality candidates.

So, what does this tell us?

Firstly, if you want any chance of standing out, you need to provide optimum candidate experience. Secondly, only when you have provided this can you expect high quality candidate referrals. According to the 2016 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report (a mouthful I know!), 81% of candidates will share their experiences with friends, family and peers; and 50% will share this experience on Glassdoor or LinkedIn.

This also relates to the Virgin Media case, where the business lost over £4 billion annually due to bad candidate experience. All be it; they are not a recruitment agency; however, the fundamental issue is the same. To break it down, they discovered that if there were 123,000 rejected candidates each year, and 6% cancelled their monthly Virgin Media subscription, there would be close to 7,500 cancellations. This multiplied by the monthly subscription, the company realised Virgin Media was losing £4.4 million per year! (Steiner, 2017) Staggering figures!

There is no doubt that excellent candidate experience is vital for attraction and retention of candidates. What is also prevalent is the importance of your recruitment process for your clients. Your client will want the best possible insight into the talent pools for their markets, thus losing candidates due to bad experiences is not an option.

 So, what can you do to improve candidate experience, and allow your clients access to the best possible talent?

  1. Personal touch

    People buy from people, so forming relationships with your candidates and clients is crucial. Sending personalised video messages is a great way to enhance human interaction and allow for a more meaningful relationship from day one.
  2. Be transparent

    Make sure to set expectations and be clear about your process, not candidate or client wants to be left in the dark. According to research, 83% of candidates say it would greatly improve their overall experience if employers could set expectations about the recruiting process. (Martic, 2018) Using video can allow them full insight into your processes, and video interviewing your candidates allows your clients full access to the market.
  3. Communication/ Feedback

    Maintaining constant communication is key to achieving good overall candidate experience. Rendering to LinkedIn hiring statistics, 94% of talent want to receive interview feedback, with 77% of professionals stating they would prefer to receive good news over the phone and 65% of professionals stating they would rather get the bad news over email. hear bad news via emails. Don’t forget, it’s a two way street and asking for feedback can be invaluable to improving your candidate experience! And remember, communication with a personal touch will go a long way.
  4. Time 

    Candidates want the recruitment process to be short and slick. Officevibe found that 60% of potential candidates abandon the recruitment journey because of its length. Video interviewing your candidates had the ability to cut out the first stage interview, saving your candidates time from taking days off work. In today's candidate driven job market, the best candidates will have lots of opportunities; the more time you take the more competitive offers they’ll see!

    According to a LinkedIn study, top talent only stays on the market for 10 days!



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