We’ve all heard about the value of the candidate experience. If you lose focus, it can hurt your brand, flood the talent pool with negative rumors and become really expensive. In other words, it’s important but so are many other things as well. The question is, how should it be ranked among all other strategic initiatives that are on a talent director’s table. Can you afford to prioritize a first-class level experience on a full scale without risking other opportunities?
Before we elaborate on the importance, we need to start by aligning on what a candidate is and what the experience really means. Are the ones that you want to keep happy the thousands of visitors to your career page, or is it the happy few that made it to an interview? And the experience? It will most likely start with seeing job ads and end with some kind of feedback, but we need to keep a few things in mind. First, all parts of the process are not equally important. And second, your commitment does primarily level up when you have a mutual contact.
Just like in marketing or business development we need to segment our “customers”. In some cases, it’s worth the investment to spend a large amount of time on a candidate, in some cases you could invest that time where it gives a higher impact on the business. After identifying those candidate segments that you really want to invest time in, you also need to decide on what level you want to do it. Frankly, if you have a remarkably high candidate experience, you’re probably missing out on other opportunities (unless your primary business is just and only happy candidates).
So, how do you bring value to the process and keep candidates happy while investing a reasonable amount of time? It can be spelled with three words: expectations, automation, and segmentation.
- By being clear about what the candidate can expect throughout the process in terms of feedback, assessments, and timing you remove the risk of making your candidates disappointed.
- Launch a nice UI and keep the candidates informed through automated processes, and save the time for those that you really might want to hire. Note though that automation not per default means boring, you can still send your rejection emails with a sweet twist. A couple of hours spent on a rejection email can be a good investment in your brand if it makes you stand out among all other standardized “thanks, but no thanks” that a candidate receives.
- Segment your candidates, all are not equally likely to get hired. Decide on when in the process you really want to add extra white glowing and to what extent. By knowing when and how you want to invest, you have also narrowed down to what you should measure in order to claim to be successful.
So, let’s create a good candidate experience, but do also view it as one of many business investments. Work from both ends with expectations and quality to make sure that your investment in the segments is according to the output.