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The Candidate Experience Playbook – 2020

BY Antonia Macrides

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Candidate Experience 

Hiring with heart is good for business: candidate experience in C-19 times. PredictiveHire announces the launch of its Candidate Experience Playbook, which is an insight into the changing face of the candidate experience. 

If there was ever a time for our profession to show humanity for the thousands that are looking for work, that time is now. Unemployment in Australia has passed a two-decade high. The trend is similar for other countries. That means there are a lot more candidates in the market looking for work.

With so many more candidates, the experience of a recruiting process matters more. How are candidates feeling? How do they feel when applying to your organisation? Are candidates left feeling respected – regardless of whether they got the job or not? Is their application appreciated, and are they acknowledged for that?

If not, this may be the time to rethink your candidate experience strategy.

 

Here are the two big reasons to prioritise improving candidates’ experience in 2020:

 

1. There is a MUCH higher value attached to it – both for candidates and your organisation. 

This story won’t be unfamiliar to you:  An Australian based consulting firm advertised for a Management Consultant and decided to withdraw the advert after 298 candidates had applied. That was in their first week of advertising.

When candidate supply outstrips demand, that is bound to happen – inundation of your Talent Acquisition team becomes an every-day thing. Employers are feeling swamped with job applications.

Being effective is much harder when there are more candidates to get through every day.

High-volume recruiting issues become further aggravated when two additional dynamics come into play:

>> When the role for which you are hiring requires a relatively low skill level.

In the example provided above, the Management Consultant role had several essential requirements which theoretically should have limited applications – yet included in the applicant list were hoteliers, baristas, waiting-staff and cabin crew (it’s heartbreaking). So when it comes to roles with a much lower barrier to entry, the application numbers can quadruple.

The traditional ‘high-volume low-skill role’ has now become excruciatingly high-volume. This trend is being seen across recruitment for roles like customer service staff, retail assistants and contact centre staff.

>>When your organisation is a (well-loved) consumer brand. 

Frequently, candidates will apply to work for brands that they love. Fans of Apple products, work for Apple. Fans also apply to work and get rejected in their millions. So, how do you keep people as fans of your brand when around 98% of them will be rejected in the recruiting process? That’s not only a recruiting issue – it’s a marketing issue too.

Thousands of organisations and their Talent Acquisition teams are grappling with both dynamics right now.

The combination of unemployment and being in Covid-19 lockdown means that consumer buying is being impacted. Consumer confidence is down. Buying is also, on the whole, down. With people applying more for jobs and spending less as consumers, the hat has somewhat switched. For many who were consumers (just a few months back), they have now become candidates – and that may be how they are currently experiencing your brand. As candidates first, customers second.

If customers are candidates and candidates are customers, is there a reason for their experience to be fundamentally different? 

Candidate experience is defined as the perception of a job seeker about an organisation and their brand based on their interactions during the recruiting process. Customer experience is the impression your customers have of your brand as a whole throughout all aspects of the buyer’s journey.

Is there a difference? It’s all about how the human feels when interacting with your brand. A person is a person, regardless of the hat they are wearing at the time!

It’s about the human experience.

Millions, even billions, of dollars are spent each year by organisations crafting a positive brand presence and customer experience. Organisations have flipped 180 degrees to become passionately customer-centric – focused on customer’s experiences and promoting positive word-of-mouth. It makes sense to do so: put your customers first, and that goes straight to the bottom line.

What is perhaps less recognised is the loss of revenue and customer loyalty which is directly attributed to negative candidate experiences.

What about those loyal customers who want to work for your brand? They eagerly apply for a job only to get rejected. What happens then?

How many candidates do you reject each year? Have those projections been upped given the times in which we are living? How do those candidates feel about your brand after their application experience?

 

2. Candidate Experience improvements have become SUPER easy to implement.  

For those who have tried in the past, you may well know that it can take an extraordinarily long time to ‘define’ a Candidate Experience strategy, create its metrics, find a budget … and then execute on it.

Have a look inside the ‘too hard’ basket and there you may well find many thousands of well-meaning ‘candidate experience’ initiatives, that are still lying dormant! For so many who want to focus on candidate experience, they may shy away from doing so because it’s perceived as time-consuming, expensive and could shift focus away from other competing priorities.

Plus, right now there is so much on which CHROs need to focus … it’s trying times. From ensuring workers’ wellbeing to enabling remote working – who has the time to also worry about the experiences of candidates?

However, that has changed. Boosting candidate experience is no longer too hard, too expensive, nor too time-consuming.

Technology becomes more manageable, quicker and cheaper over time. Also (borrowing from Moore’s law), its value to users grows exponentially.

This has happened in the field of improving the candidate experience.

Suddenly Conversational AI has exploded on the scene and made ‘that which was tough to master’, really easy to perfect now! Gartner says: “Common applications exist in HR, IT help desk and self-service, but customer service is where chatbots are already having the most impact, notably changing the way customer service is conducted. The change from “the user learns the interface” to “the chatbot is learning what the user wants” means greater implications for onboarding, productivity and training inside the workplace”.

Now the only question left to ask is … “What’s the total cost of NOT improving the candidate experience?”


Candidate Experience Playbook 2020 – Hire with Heart

The good news is that for those organisations who genuinely want to improve candidate experience, it has become much easier to do so. It is now straightforward to give great experiences at scale while also driving down costs and improving efficiencies.

The win-win is easily attainable. In the PredictiveHire Candidate Experience Playbook, read how organisations are hiring with heart – creating positive experiences for candidates while also decreasing the workload for the hiring team.


 

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