May 30th 2019

Key Takeaways from Tempo Talks: How to Build a Brilliant Candidate Experience

Thank you to everyone that attended the latest installment of Tempo Talks. It was a fantastic evening full of interesting and insightful discussion around the importance of candidate experience, how to create an engaging candidate experience and examples of what great looks like.

Candidate experience has come into sharp focus over the last few years. A shortage of talent and increased demand for very specific skill sets has given way to a candidate driven job market. Candidates now have the option to turn down opportunities in a reaction to bad hiring experiences. 60% of job seekers have quit an application midway due to its length and complexity and more than two thirds have turned down a job if their impression is substandard.

Candidates should be held in the same regard as consumers. Not only are they current or potential customers but in a digital, hyper-connected world, bad interactions with employers are amplified; 72% of candidates share their experiences online or with their friends and family. Virgin Mediaconducted research that found bad candidate experience was costing them £4m a year in lost revenue, damaging brand perception and making people less likely to purchase their products in the future.

The inability of an employer to adapt a hiring process in line with the contextual changes goes further than recruitment, permeating employer reputation and going as far as damaging an employer’s bottom line. There is evidently a lot at stake for employers when it comes to evaluating their hiring methods.

Our key takeaways from the evening:

Why has the candidate experience has become a focus recently?

  • The talent pool is shrinking, and likely to shrink further due to Brexit creating a competitive hunt for talent.
  • There is a blur between candidate and customer and a bad candidate experience can in turn damage how candidates view that employer’s brand and their purchasing intent of their goods and services.
  • As millennials make up more of the workforce, they are used to great customer experience and instant access to everything all the time. If they don’t receive a good candidate experience, they will be less likely to want to work for your company as they will perceive this experience as a direct reflection of your company’s culture.
  • If someone has a good, authentic candidate experience they will in turn become brand ambassadors speaking to friends and family about the great experience they had.

How do you create a great candidate experience?

  • Think of the candidate journey holistically. Map out your entire candidate journey and their touchpoints and make sure your marketing messages align with the tone of voice and brand experience across all these touchpoints.
  • Make sure you communicate throughout the hiring process providing candidates with feedback or informing them of next steps and dates when they will hear about their application.
  • Take into consideration the rejected candidates too. If you are receiving large volumes of applications and the majority being rejected the experience of these candidates is highly important.
  • Make sure feedback is not stock feedback but instead as constructive as possible giving reasons on why they haven’t got the role.
  • If you have large volumes where personalised feedback is not possible such as HMRC receiving around 7,000 applications try and segment candidates with similar reasons on why they were rejected and create feedback based on this.
  • Use tech to help for example automating the process where possible simplifying it for both candidate and HR team and freeing up the time for HR to assist candidates throughout the process.
  • Offer candidates the opportunity to get in contact with you I.E. using slackbots to offer candidates the chance to speak to a member of the team.
  • ask candidates for feedback throughout the process so you are able to gather feedback on each stage of the process and work out with section needs addressing or enhancing.

Who exhibits a great candidate experience?

  • Trivago has innovated the application process with candidates expressing interest in the companies and filling out talent forms with their skill sets with the company then contacting them if a role is suitable.
  • Barclay’s approach with military veterans. Veterans take part in a 12-week programme assessing skills and competencies. After this they are then advised which role they would suit.
  • Zappos. Made a 3 day business pledge to get back to candidates within 3 working days of resume submission. They also built a talent community where candidates can access content, Google Hangouts and discussions with recruiters and hiring teams.
  • Microsoft. If a candidate gives a feedback score of less than 7/10 then someone at Director level will give you a call to find out why and understand what they could improve.

It’s important to note that the focus candidate experience does not stop after the hiring process. It needs to be reflected in onboarding and a candidate’s experience working within the company. If what was reflected about a company is not mirrored within, you’ll have issues with retention. It’s important to engage teams throughout the business in placing focus on candidates and their experience with a company and in return you’ll get more engaged and loyal employees.