Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The candidate experience is more important than ever.
If you had a nickel for every time you heard that phrase, then you’d probably be trying to get ahold of Bill Gates for suggestions on what to do with all your money.
Unfortunately, it seems that employers have begun to tune this message out. Or so says the 2019 Talent Board Candidate Experience Research Report. Its findings show a surprising trend: If a candidate has a negative candidate experience, then they’re increasingly willing to sever their relationship with that employer.
Thankfully, though, the same research shows that the path to a better candidate experience is pretty straightforward. Let’s dig in.
Candidate Resentment Is Surging
Here’s the reality: Candidate resentment is on the rise.
There has been a 40% increase in candidate resentment since 2016. And when comparing 2019 and 2018, we see that candidates are less likely to apply to the same company again based on their experiences. They’re also less likely to recommend a company to others.
When considered broadly, the trends can lead to two slightly different conclusions. Either the candidate experience itself has gotten worse, or candidates themselves are embracing the leverage they have in the marketplace. The odds are that the results are a mix of both factors, but they also show the tightrope that employers face as they craft their candidate experiences.
Flip the Script with Communication
Talent Board research also shows that there’s a simple way for employers to lower their resentment scores: communication. When employers invest in communication and feedback, the candidate experience improves significantly, and investing in technology can give organizations a means of creating positive candidate experiences.
For example, candidates who were able to ask a chatbot questions consistently rated their candidate experience higher than those who weren’t. Additionally, candidates who communicated with a chatbot were 80% more likely to increase their relationship with the employer, and candidates who received mobile text notifications during the research process rated their candidate experience 50% higher than those who did not.
However, automation can only go so far. When it comes to rejection, candidates still want to hear the bad news straight from the horse’s mouth — and not from a robot’s. Candidates prefer to receive news of rejection by a phone call — not an automated email. Positive candidate experience ratings increase by 23% when candidates receive the bad news via phone call.
Feedback Matters Even More
Do you want to improve the candidate experience? Ask for feedback. No matter which stage a candidate is in, the solicitation of feedback is proven to increase a candidate’s perception of their experience. Here are the stats that show it — overwhelmingly:
- When candidates are asked for research feedback, there’s a 72% increase in a great candidate experience and willingness to increase the relationship with the organization.
- When candidates are asked for application feedback, there’s a 72% increase in a great candidate experience and willingness to increase the relationship with the organization.
- When candidates are asked for screening/interview feedback, there’s a 148% increase in a great candidate experience and willingness to increase the relationship with the organization.
- When asked for feedback before the start date, 76% of new hires are more willing to increase their relationship with their new employer. That’s a great retention starter.
Lessons Learned from the CandE Winners
On average, this year’s CandE winners scored 144% higher than all other participating companies in North America — so they must be doing a few things right. Here are a few lessons you can learn from the 2019 CandE winners:
- Listen to candidates.
- Communicate often.
- Ask for feedback, and provide feedback.
- Set expectations about the recruiting process.
- Hold your team accountable for improving the candidate experience.
- Focus on fairness in the recruiting process.
For more information on the 2019 Talent Board Candidate Experience Research Report, click here.