Why Candidate Experience Matters
Talentegy recently released our latest 2019 Candidate Experience Research Report in May. We’re getting some good follow-up from the HR tech media and analyst community on the business impacts and thought it might be helpful to quickly recap some of the more business-related statistics we came across when compiling the results. Granted our report is a lot of information to consume at nearly 100 pages, including a wealth of individual and generational insights, but for this blog post, I wanted to focus on those most critical to a company’s bottom line.While it is not news that we all know the mantra of “your candidates are your customers,” the research data does illustrate the impacts of a negative candidate experience. Other organizations have also been reporting on candidate experience in various ways for several years now, and our results correlate closely with them in many cases. However, our research took a different perspective and focused more on the “behaviors and perceptions” on a broader career search and hiring process versus that of a one-to-one relationship. Companies often fair better on the later when compared as that is a relatively small number of employers who may already have specific candidate experience initiatives in place.
Sometimes HR is just too close to its processes. When was the last time you applied to your jobs? If I were to ask you the last time you had a great experience as a customer, it probably wouldn't take you long to come up with the story of how the lasting impression of the experience made you happy and satisfied. And the same goes for a poor customer experience, too -- you could probably think of the story and reason within seconds, and how the feeling afterward was just the opposite. You probably felt angry, upset, annoyed, frustrated, or any combination of these negative emotions.
A positive customer experience not only results in making your customer happy, but it can also lead to additional revenue. The best marketing money can buy is a customer who will promote your business -- because they'll refer their friends and family to you, free of charge, as well as expand their own purchases and brand loyalty. And all of this can be true for YOUR CANDIDATES EXPERIENCE too!
Where the Rubber Hits the Road
At Talentegy, my team and I admittedly struggle with helping our prospects see candidate experience with the same urgency and importance as those embraced by customer experience management. It is often regarded as a “nice to have” initiative and not a “must have” in their crowded list of HR priorities. But I know all Sales and Marketing leadership would think customer insight isn’t a “nice to have” but rather visibility and analytical data into what can “make or break” a business and a company’s competitive advantage. For me, I like to simplify my responses into these marketing terms or buckets when I talk through the strengths of our solution, which align nicely to some of the research results.
How much is a negative brand reputation impacting your business? Do you know what the difference a 4.0 rating on Glassdoor or Indeed can deliver to your candidate pipeline in comparison to a 3.5? Our research shows that most candidates spend at least 1-2 hours and some up to 3-5, researching your company BEFORE they even apply. These scores could already be turning off a large portion of your recruitment marketing traffic spend before you have had a chance to ever meet them in the first place.
Across all generations, over 68% of candidates who believed they were treated poorly, are likely to never reapply again. It seems so much easier to fix the candidate experience fallout, then it is to continually market to more prospects who will surely encounter similar experiences if not improved. Top of the funnel is not the problem; it is getting the right candidates through the process to convert. Simply asking for feedback, over 65% of job seekers said they would provide feedback if asked, can increase your conversion rate significantly saving thousands, if not millions, of dollars depending on your company size. Don’t let them slip away due to a technical issue, user frustration or a confusing application process. Gathering feedback along their journey can bubble up unknown deterrents or questions that can proactively be resolved once known.
Over 69% of job seekers overwhelmingly said they would share a negative candidate experience, and over 82% if positive. That equates to a lot of perceptions a company will need to deal with, regardless of whether they put urgency around them. And with the transparency of social media and employer review sites (which are growing every month it seems), it’s hard to get them back once released. In the end, you can’t track what you don’t measure, and you can’t improve what you don’t track. As with applicant flow above, asking for feedback can produce significant results even with the smallest movement in percentages.
Over half, 54%, of the job seekers who experienced a negative candidate experience said it would impact their decision to buy a company’s products and services. That’s a major repercussion for employers with consumer-facing brands, and let’s face it, there’s a lot more today than ever before with the digital transformation that has taken place. Creating positive candidate experiences effects the bottom line not only to retail brands like GE Appliances and Tractor Supply (a few of our clients), but it equally applies to other industries like healthcare, banking, manufacturing and high tech where competition is extremely tight.
With over 4,000 job seekers surveyed, and their opinions charted, they have merit in the reality of the perceptions most still experience today during the job search and apply processes with employers. See how you can improve your candidate experience and get deeper insights into the content and communication needs driving your best return on candidate engagement. Download a complimentary copy of the full report here.
Co-founder and CMO