Candidate experience means: Making sure your candidates have a good time during the total application procedure. How hard can it be, right? Well, I actually do think it’s not that hard. The problem, however, is that we tend to focus on the wrong aspects and undervalue Candidate Experience as a business driver.
After reading this blog you have learned:
- What Candidate Experience is actually about;
- How Candidate Experience affects your hiring quality;
- How to improve both your Candidate Experience and hiring quality early in the process.
What is Candidate Experience actually about?
Before talking about Candidate Experience, it’s important to understand that this has nothing to do with Employer Branding. Employer Branding is all about how you present yourself as a company; Candidate Experience is focused on the next stage, namely the application procedure.
The funny thing is that most of our time we’re very busy with working on Candidate Experience during different stages of the application process. However, that’s not where the magic happens. This piece of magic (Candidate Experience) happens between those stages.
So the very first moment where you can make it or break it is not after the candidate applied; it’s at the point where your candidates start their application.
These are some examples of Candidate Experience elements during the different transitions:
- Ready to apply – Applied: Candidates should experience the application itself as a pleasant experience (i.e. understandable, not too long, cool to do, etc.).
- Applied – 1th Interview: Candidates shouldn’t be waiting for days until you get back to them and they also deserve some feedback.
- 1th Interview – 2nd Interview: It should be clear for a candidate what to expect in this second interview and it should be scheduled quickly after te first one.
- 2nd Interview – Offer: If you promise someone an offer, please do this fast and don’t negatively surprise this person with the content (i.e. salary, etc.).
So where many people focus on the recruiting stages itself, Candidate Experience is actually all about how to deal with the transitions between those stages.
How does Candidate Experience affect my hiring quality?
Quality of hire. The value that a new hire brings to your organization. Without a doubt, this is the most important metric for every recruiter. And it’s becoming even more important these days, because there are ways to become better in it.
In my opinion, quality of hire goes hand in hand with predictive hiring. Once you get better at analyzing data, making choices and learning from those choices, your quality of hire will raise for sure. But indeed, we need data. A lot of data. While it should also remain comfortable and ‘easy’ for candidates. Let me get back to this point in the third and last topic of this blog, because first it’s important to know the relation between Candidate Experience and Quality of hire.
One bad Candidate Experience: This is how it will hurt your hiring quality
Multiple things can go wrong during an entire application procedure that will hurt your Candidate Experience. And I think it won’t surprise you that the biggest pitfalls are hidden between the start of your application and scheduling the first interview:
- Maybe the application itself was the most boring experience ever;
- Or maybe there were many things quite unclear during this process;
- Maybe you need to wait for one or two weeks before a recruiter comes back to you (if this person comes back to you at all);
- Or maybe it completely lacks any form of feedback to you.
A few months ago I wrote a blog that explains how to calculate the cost of one single bad hire. In case you’re not in the mood to read this entire blog, this is the short version of it:
Let’s say company X has 50.000 job applicants yearly. 20% of these candidates is unhappy. This means that 10.000 job applicants have a bad experience, of which 40% will share it with other people (4.000 job applicants). Those 4.000 people share their story with 4 other people and they share it with 1 other person. The result: every single bad experience will reach 9 other people.
Now 36.000 potential candidates (4.000 * 9) won’t apply for a job at your company again. That’s 72% of your whole candidate pool. Ouch.
So the most simple explanation of how Candidate Experience affects your hiring quality is that every bad experience reduces your talent pool. Due to this reduction, your shortlist to choose from becomes shorter and shorter. Pretty high chance that one of your A-players actually just got herself/himself from the list due to a bad experience. The result: your chance of a bad hire increases and maybe you start settling for less. And please don’t forget: this is a snowball effect. If you don’t work on your Candidate Experience, your pool wil keep reducing and your quality will decrease twice as fast.
How to improve both your Candidate Experience and hiring quality early in the process
Okay, now that you know how Candidate Experience and hiring quality are related, let’s go back to the first steps of your applicant procedure.
Like a mentioned before, quality of hire goes hand in hand with data. With the rise of pre-hire assessment tools we’re slowly getting better and better in predicting a candidate’s potential. However, the high need for data (and actually as much data as possible) shouldn’t result in the fact that the application itself is getting longer and more intensive.
So we want the best possible quality, that makes sense. And we also want to create the best possible first impression for candidates – which is the application itself ánd the feedback after the application.
Within Equalture, we focus on the following three principles when it comes to Candidate Experience:
- Understandable: It should be loud and clear what’s expected from a candidate during the application.
- Fun: Applicants should finish the application with a smile on their face.
- Rewarding: Applicants should receive something in return for their time and effort.
This is how Equalture combines Candidate experience & Hiring quality
I’d like to explain to you how our product tries to achieve this. Not to sell you our product, but just because examples bring words to live.
Equalture is a pre-hire assessment tool that helps you predict an applicant’s job success and cultural fit so that you can focus on the applicants with the highest potential. So yes, we’re also one of those companies that’s addicted to data. We want to gather as much information as possible from candidates: experiences, educations, (soft) skills ánd personality traits.
The thing that makes us different is that we don’t work with resumes. We just let you connect your LinkedIn profile, share the information you’d like to share and we test your skills and personality through neuro-assessment games.
Our biggest challenge is how to gather all these data within losing track of the three principles mentioned above (Understandable, Fun and Rewarding). This is how we try to do that.
Create an understandable journey for your applicant
We believe applying should be easy, comfortable and without any surprises. Understandable. Before a candidate starts his/her application, we tell exactly how this application works, what the different steps will be, which information will be asked ánd of course how long it will take to finish the application.
Make it Fun!
Candidates put quite some time and effort in applying to one of your jobs, so the least you can do is making sure they have fun while doing this.
We want to gather as much data as possible about a candidate’s (soft) skills and personality. However, we don’t want them to fill in endless, boring questionnaires. Our solution: games!
We use neuro-assessment games (which is not that scary as it sounds) to measure these things. Every game takes about two minutes (candidates play on average 2 to 4 games) and they are really fun to play for candidates. So in a few minutes time we can gather an enormous amount of information while candidates are having a smile on their face. Win-win, isn’t it?
Make it a rewarding experience
And last but not least, we want to give candidates something in return for their application. We gather a lot of data, so why shouldn’t we share the outcome of this data? Take for instance the games. It’s super interesting for candidates to see how they actually performed during the games.
We provide our clients with a candidate profile for every candidate who has applied. Upon completing the games, candidates receive their results with interpretations.
So that’s it. By making the first application understandable, fun and rewarding we can achieve a better Candidate Experience while rocking the hiring quality.