Why Candidate Experience is King (and How to Make Sure yours is Competitive) | Thomas.co

Candidate experience is a jobseekers’ perception of your company as a prospective employer, based on the touchpoints and interactions they have with your organisation throughout the recruitment process. In the current recruitment market, positive candidate experience is a business imperative. The global skills shortage and the ‘Great Resignation’ have created a laser focus on recruitment. With employer branding essential to recruitment success and candidate review platforms making candidate experience public, companies can’t afford negative candidate experiences.

Why is candidate experience so important right now?

On top of the existing skill shortage, the pandemic triggered a seismic shift in employee expectations and an unprecedented wave of resignations that further contracted the available talent pool. Reversing 2020’s unemployment trend, in the wake of the crisis, half the world’s workforce was on the move (Microsoft). We have entered a candidate-driven market. As technology continues to advance, the global skills shortage is only likely to become more acute. In fact, research by Korn Ferry consultants suggests that by 2030, the global talent deficit may top 85 million positions.

The same Korn Ferry study revealed a direct relationship between highly engaged employees and higher sales and revenue. A high-quality candidate experience means better business outcomes down the line. But while 73% of organisations say that candidate experience is crucial for their business, less than half believe their current processes are effective at creating a positive one (Brandon Hall Group). Poor candidate experiences will cost you top talent, and as many as 50% of jobseekers say they have declined a job offer due to poor candidate experience (Echevarria). 

Poor candidate experience can also damage your company’s reputation and brand attractiveness. Negative reviews from unhappy candidates on career sites like Glassdoor can dissuade other candidates from considering your company as an employer. 55% of jobseekers say they have avoided a company after reading negative reviews online (HCI). Since 60% of the talent pool uses social networks to discover new opportunities (LinkedIn), negative candidate experiences are also likely to inhibit your ability to attract top talent going forward. Recruitment statistics show that negative candidate experiences can also lead to a significant loss of revenue (HCI).

Is your candidate experience competitive? 

Values alignment

Establishing values alignment is at the core of positive candidate experience. According to research by consultancy Leadership IQ, 90% of attrition in small and medium-sized businesses is poor fit with the organisation’s culture, contributing to a huge 50% failure rate for new hires within the first 18 months. Given the centrality of values-alignment to the candidate experience, publicising progress against corporate social responsibility objectives can be a crucial differentiator for your brand in the eyes of top talent.

A Personality assessment is a quick and accurate way of determining the degree to which a candidate’s values aligns with those of your organisation. The assessment indicates how likely an individual is to succeed at work, measuring the factors most strongly correlated with job success. Using psychometric assessments in recruitment signals to candidates that your organisation invests in its culture. Doing so has been shown to increase stock prices by as much as 900%, compared with just 75% for companies that fail to invest in culture (Forbes).

Demonstrable diversity

Demonstrating your organisational commitment to all diversity is also vital. 83% of job candidates say diversity is an important consideration when deciding whether to accept a job (Yello). Generation Z actively seek out companies that value diversity, with 77% looking for evidence of diversity in prospective employers early in the application process (BuiltIn). Another study by Careerarc found that 63% of jobseekers will go as far as checking social media to assess the level of diversity at a company.

Instead of relying on CVs which are inherently biased by social inequalities, organisations must measure what matters - candidates’ speed of learning and cognition. Objective science can help you hire diverse candidates who are highly capable in specific role requirements, whilst demonstrating your commitment as an employer to fair hiring practices.  For example, assessing fluid intelligence (or speed of cognition) at the screening stage reliably predicts future performance in workplace contexts. It can also widen your talent pool and save time whilst ensuring hire quality.

Insightful interviews

Video interviews are the norm for more than half of employers, who say they have continued to conduct video interviews after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions (Forbes). While video interviews help to expedite the recruitment process, they can create challenges for candidate evaluation, and may make it more difficult to gain an accurate picture of a candidate.

Meanwhile, a huge 70% of candidates say they have missed out on a job opportunity due to technology problems during a video interview (Glassdoor). Due to the time pressure on recruitment processes and professional life in general, speed is crucial. The insights provided by psychometric tests can help interviewers can probe beneath candidates’ surface characteristics, opening up deeper discussions and more rigorous evaluation of a candidate’s natural tendencies in relation to the role.

Feedback and transparency

Feedback is the most important factor in a candidate’s long-term connection with your brand (LinkedIn). Although 98% of recruiters say they always give feedback to unsuccessful candidates after an interview, 30% of candidates say that they have attended an interview without receiving any feedback from the employer (Workopolis). The transparency created by platforms like Glassdoor means that feedback can no longer be avoided. The fact is that 86% of employees and jobseekers research company reviews to decide on where to apply for a job (Glassdoor).

Providing candidates with feedback on the results of psychometric assessments creates lasting value for them. Taking less than ten minutes to complete, psychometric tests such as Behaviour and Personality assessments demonstrate investment in candidates and help to differentiate your brand from competitors in the war for the best talent. They provide candidates with the kind of feedback they will understand, integrate and be engaged by. This establishes a positive working relationship from the outset, accelerating integration during onboarding and maximising the value that new recruits bring to your company throughout their tenure at your company.

For more insights into how to ensure that your candidate experience competitive, download our free guide to Candidate Experience.