Why Candidate Experience is Important and How to Measure It
Bruno Martin, the Human Resources Manager at EBANX, explains the importance of Candidate Experience and his methods for measuring candidate engagement.
Today I was checking my LinkedIn feed and I read a funny comment of a dialog between a shopper and a shoe salesman. The shopper asks the price of a pair of shoes and the salesman answers with a question “How much are you willing to pay?” – The commentor of the dialog made an analogy about his feelings in a Recruitment & Selection process and when he asked the recruiter what salary grade the company would offer for the position.
I laughed and got the feedforward. It reinforced my desire to briefly explain my knowledge about this vague subject, that I’ve always tried to measure and improve, but never found a name for it; until now, Candidate Experience.
I borrowed the idea from the concept of User Experience (UX), that pursues excellence in user attendance and interaction. In regard to R&S, my mission is to implement the best experience for the candidates, but it comes with a lot of responsibility and challenges HR to reach another level of professionalism.
Since I became a Business and HR professional, I’ve been seeking for better ways to communicate and engage people, specifically customers, merchants, and employees.
However, lately I’ve asked myself, what about the candidates? Have I positively interacted with them?
When you think about a candidate in a R&S process, generally you picture an anonymous person, and if the candidate has no solid referrals, depending on the position, the applicant is just another number among thousands. But this image is too simplistic, the candidate is a unique professional, he or she applies all kinds of strategies to show his or her skills and experience throughout the hiring process. They want a job, they train, they prepare. They memorize the company career page, call a friend for insider information and wait for the opportunity to sell themself very well. Similar to buying and selling in a marketplace.
As sales professionals, recruiters must have a pipeline and map of candidates. We must inform the candidate what is going on or if we are not continuing with a negotiation. Lastly, we must make the candidate feel involved in the process. We have to be creative in order to inform and involve all candidates, not just the ones on the shortlist.
In a fast growing company, hiring often and filling a high volume of new positions, it’s easy to imagine how crazy the R&S process can get. The recruiters try to organize all the hiring manager’s desires for their orgstruct, and generate a fast and accurate pipeline. Generally, time urges more positions than planned.
Unfortunately, the bottom line is that you won’t have time to attend everyone carefully that applies for positions in your company. For the candidate, the process is a blue ocean, they don’t care what happens inside, they want to know how to keep afloat and get the job, or at least say by the end that the company is not good enough for his or her capabilities. So, why bother to involve and inform 100% of the candidates in the process?
Respect and reputation. That is a big pillar for your company brand.
I am a recruiter that works hard on maintaining a mutual respect between the candidates and the company. I try to insist on the importance of this concept to others, but I still encounter uncomfortable situations where candidates complain about a lack of communication.
My formula below yields the engagement level of the candidate and HR in the R&S process:
It’s a subjective calculation but it helps me construct a better strategy and keep track of my volume. I’ve also realized that if I don’t put my ATS (application tracking system) to operate automatically on a daily basis and run the process smoothly throughout all phases, I won’t be able to maintain on-time communication. This delayed communication could easily lose great candidates and hurt our company reputation. Do I have enough time to answer everyone daily? An average of 40 candidates per recruiter—No I don’t. But I push to reach scalability and to increase metrics for follow-up.
Creating an ATS automation and developing a great team to seek and attend candidates are some easy practices to put in place. However, understanding that the R&S process is a relationship between candidates and the company and not a manufacturing process is more difficult to grasp.
As Business and HR professionals we must mindful of all the actions we take during the process.
A candidate is not a number among thousands but a person with contacts, experience, and opinions. When they enter your company they deserve respect and warm interactions. Ultimately, they should exit the R&S process with more respect and esteem for the company than when they entered.
In conclusion, all companies in today’s market must be aware of Employer Branding and pursue best practices for the most positive outcomes. Employer Branding is key to the Talent Attraction & Retention Success; with it in place, the company inspires admiration and easily attracts highly skilled professionals. It’s also essential to communicate company values via Job Posting Campaigns, Channels Communication, University Partnerships, Internal and External Events and now, the Candidate Experience.
Original article published by Bruno Martin on LinkedIn.