When the Talent Board released its 2018 North American Candidate Experience (CandE) Benchmark Research Report earlier this year, I couldn’t wait to pore over every detail. It’s a must-read that offers tremendously helpful insights for any talent acquisition team committed to improving the experience they offer, whether that means evolving your processes, refining your employer brand messaging or purchasing a CRM for recruiting—perhaps even all of these. However, there are three aspects of the report that really stand out to me and the implications for talent acquisition.
• Corporate career sites are still #1. When it comes to researching an employer, candidates continue to identify the company career site as the most valuable channel by a substantial margin. More specifically, 60% of candidates identified it as such—nearly double the next most commonly cited channels, including employee, candidate or customer referrals. Further, the information most meaningful to candidates is no surprise. They want to understand the organization’s values, its culture and why employees like working there. This underscores how important it is for recruiters to own the career site experience, which can be accomplished with intuitive CMS software that allows them to update information regularly and develop segmented content in response to fluctuating hiring and target audience needs.
• There is a gap between the way candidates and employers perceive the rejection experience. In fact, the report identifies a 25.5% gap between the ratings given by candidates and employers. Unfortunately, far too many employers are still sending “do not reply” emails to candidates who have been interviewed as their means of informing them they’ve been rejected. Those with this practice in place only earned an average 2.5 interview rating (on a 5-point Likert Scale).
Digging deeper into the report, only 26% of employers say they’re using a talent CRM to engage with their candidate networks. This is a big miss for those who don’t, not just because the right candidate relationship management software can engage and nurture top talent that hasn’t yet applied, but because talent CRMs are also ideal for staying in touch with rejected candidates, especially those silver medalists who are already highly qualified and interested in your organization.
• Artificial intelligence is poised to become the backbone of the hiring process. Today, we’re seeing the application of AI across all aspects of the recruiting process. According to the Talent Board’s research, the greatest focus thus far appears to be on using AI to automate and improve assessment, from “pre-qualifying candidates from collective databases” (55.6%), to predicting job performance (50.8%) and team personality/cultural fit (60.5%). Less frequently, employers are using AI to source candidates from both internal databases and externally across the web. This will shift dramatically in the future given the rise in available AI sourcing technologies and the huge opportunity they present to TA teams that want to reduce the extraordinary amount of time they’re spending on low-value sourcing and recruiting tasks in favor of spending more time engaging candidates through high-value conversations.
A Final Word
As the report’s authors point out, the candidate experience among North American employers has trended upward over the past four years. At the same time, candidate resentment—defined as candidates rating their experiences a dismal “1” and expressing a “willingness to sever their relationship with the employer”—is on the rise. One of the biggest culprits from my view? Organizations may recognize the negative effects of the ATS black hole—both from a hiring and a customer perspective—yet they haven’t addressed it properly. Nearly half (46%) of all North American candidates reported that they had not heard back from employers two months after applying. Having dedicated a significant portion of my career to the development of recruiting technology that supports many aspects of the hiring process, including automated communications and custom workflows, I know that there’s absolutely no reason for this today. Together, we can do better.
Get your free copy of the 2018 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience (CandE) Benchmark Research Report today.