The common quote by Thomas Gray, “ignorance is bliss,” has never been applicable to growing companies and their talent acquisition strategies. However, companies have certainly not cared as much about their talent acquisition processes until now. Today candidates have many public avenues to share their candidate experience. With new platforms such as Glassdoor or through traditional forums such as word of mouth, candidates are actively sharing their application experience with others. One statistic states that 27% of candidates would actively discourage their friends to apply to a company where they had a negative experience (source). Throughout this blog, our goal is to provide an understanding of candidate experience and its impact on growing organizations. Our next post will give you tools and case studies on how other industry leading organizations are tracking their candidate experience.

Did you know 50% of candidates never hear back about the status of their application? Or that 70% of online applicants never get any form of reply? These statistics are a small sampling of the data available in regards to negative candidate application experiences. Companies are focusing now more than ever on finding the right talent to move their organizations forward, yet there seems to be a gap in their understanding of a candidate’s experience throughout the application process. Even with the overwhelming evidence, some companies still are more focused on filling seats than they are the perspective of the candidate.

First things first… what is ‘candidate experience?’

Candidate experience is a culmination of every touch-point a candidate has with your organization during the talent acquisition process and their perspective of the process. It is important to note how your talent process is being portrayed to the candidate. A candidate’s experience can start with visiting your website or career portal or with a recruiter’s initial outreach email and continues throughout the entire process. Every interaction your company has with a candidate such as an interview, post-interview follow up or feedback call can all contribute to their candidate experience. These touchpoints with your talent acquisition team are the first impression a candidate gets of your organization and can give insight into your organizations overall brand. At ORS Partners, we say that our recruitment consultants act as your brand ambassadors, which allows for a seamless candidate experience, even with an outsourced talent team.

It’s important when investigating into your company’s candidate experience that you ‘see through’ the candidates’ eyes. How often is someone reaching out to the candidate during the process? What is the communication like? Are they given information to prepare them on what to expect during an interview? An easy way to facilitate a check on your candidate experience is to have one of your current employees go through a mock application process. After, our team member can help reveal gaps in the process.
Why do I need to know about candidate experience?

Your candidate experience and employer brand go hand-in-hand. If every candidate that interviews with you is having a bad experience this can cause a negative experience and frustration from candidates who were originally interested in your organization. Multiple negative candidate experiences can negatively impact your employer brand, which in turn can hurt application numbers, interest in your organization, and your ability to sell top talent on opportunities at your company. Your overall goal should be for every candidate to have a positive experience with you organization, so that even rejected candidates turn into your brand ambassadors.

Candidate experience is now a topic that must be top of mind for organization’s talent teams. The repercussions of a negative candidate experience may impact your organizations ability to find top talent. In our next post we will investigate case studies of how organizations are currently tracking their candidate experience and quantifying the information.