On Blogging4jobs one of the biggest HR websites on the net, they are talking about the Candidate Experience. Here’s a link. In HR we love our buzz words, and right now the Candidate Experience is hotter than hell. I first heard the term from my friend and partner in crime, Tiffany Kuehl, Mega Recruiter and Staffing Leader for a Fortune 500 company in Minnesota. She wrote an article on PerformanceIcreate.com titled “Does the Candidate Experience Matter?” – ever since then, I’ve seen and heard it on a regular bases.
What is the big freaking deal with the candidate experience anyway?
A to Z
Basically in a nutshell; it’s the overall recruiting experience from the applicant’s POV. Some companies and recruiters get it right but most don’t.
For instance, If you apply for a job and application process is nice and simple; meaning you don’t have to sit there for 30 minutes filling out page after page only to get an automatic generated reject email – You will feel good about the application. Even if ultimately you are rejected, if the process is simple and the status notification is considerate and polite – you feel good about the time you’ve invested in the process. On the other end of that, if you feel used manipulated, used or undervalued – you will feel “some kind of way” and that equals a bad experience.
The candidate experience can go sour immediately. With the rise of mobile and social networks, jobs candidates do not see the need to endure a lengthy applicant process. The innovation in technology has made everything quicker, faster and more efficient – so they want to apply with a click of a button. They want to apply with LinkedIn or upload their resume and move on. If you force a candidate to sit through a long drawn out process to ultimately reject them or if you have an unprofessional interview process – they will jump on Twitter and Facebook and dog you out – and you would deserve it.
The candidate experience includes the phone screening, interview and follow up as well. Let me share with a true example of a horrendous candidate experience. Healthcare Administrator has a phone screening for a new job. The screening goes well. They talk to the Hiring Manager; it also goes well – so well that the Hiring Manager makes a salary offer. They negotiate the deal, the HM tells the candidate to come in the next day to hammer out the details. The candidates arrives on time, has an hour long conversation with the HM and at the end, he leans back in his chair and says, “I think we are going to go with someone else.”
The candidate experience is part of your talent acquisition, marketing, vision, and missions which are all tied to your talent management and branding processes – if you can’t attract top talent, you won’t be able to retain top talent, and you won’t be able to successfully market your “cutting edge” initiatives. If you do not know how to treat internal and external candidates, your employees will be disengaged and your brand will suffer. Because your talent is your brand ambassadors.
It’s all correlated
Why do think people want to work for places like Google, Pixar, Zappos!, Yahoo!, Apple, DreamWorks, Trader Joe’s and Facebook – the amenities, the culture, the brand, the talent, the compensation, the employee engagement and the onboarding all those things make up the candidate experience. That’s why the candidate experience is such a BFD. (figure it out)