There is two parts to candidate experience. The part that is all about the human experience. Things like giving people feedback in a timely fashion and not leaving them hanging and hoping, keeping the interview to decision time scale as short as possible and just generally treating people with respect. All of this is really governed by your attitude to candidates, in particular those you don’t want to hire. You can really judge a companies attitude to people by the people that they don’t hire, rather than the ones they do, and that is much of the problem with candidate experience surveys. The questions and scores tend to come from the people who have been hired rather than rejected, and surprise surprise, they tend to say that the whole experience is great. The solution to this is to agree what you think your candidate experience should be, and put processes in place to deliver that experience. This usually means agreeing K.P.I.’s for things like feedback, and putting measures in place to monitor how you are performing.
The second part of candidate experience is the technology experience, and how candidate friendly your application process is. I regularly apply for jobs on career sites just to see what the application process is like. For the most part, it is is pretty disappointing. The reason for this is how recruiting technology has evolved to cope with the volume of candidates driven by the internet. Recruiters were placed behind a wall, and became inaccessible until late in the process. Applicant tracking systems have been built for a long time with two things in mind, tracking process and complying with legal administration. It’s also geared around selecting applicants out of the process, rather than in to it. The problem is that things have changed, and the technology, on the most part, hasn’t. Most people already have a professional profile on line, usually LinkedIn. Why is there a need then to fill in lengthy forms, answering multiple questions, when one click to connect their profile should suffice?
Shared links to jobs should take the potential candidate to the data they want, which is to see the detail on the job on a single landing page, rather than a sign in and application form, and access to more information if required. Candidates also need to be able to access the job information on a mobile device, given that 55% of social-media is accessed by mobile. The candidates also need a half way house that sits between “apply” and “talk to.” Applying is a big commitment, and people are looking for more information rather than applying immediately.
These are just a few of my thoughts on what recruiting technology should be designed to do. Select your recruiting technology around candidate experience, make applying simple, and see the difference in results and candidate experience. The better the experience, the more committed the candidate is.