Improving the candidate experience

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Describes the impacts and the ways to improve the candidate experience

Describes the impacts and the ways to improve the candidate experience

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  • 1. Improving the candidate experience in recruiting © Dr. John Sullivan www.drjohnsullivan.com
  • 2. Topics I will cover today1. Defining the “candidate experience” (CE)2. Negative impacts if you get it wrong3. Action steps to improve your candidate experience 2
  • 3. A quick definition of…“the candidate experience”? 3
  • 4. A quick definitionA quick definition of “the candidate experience”1. A candidate’s experience begins with their researching the company and its jobs2. It then continues through every “touch point” or interaction during the recruiting process3. It ends after the decision is made with their lasting memory of the total experience4. The output of the candidate experience is…how applicants now act… as a result of their perception of how well they were treated 4
  • 5. The benchmark firms to studyBenchmark firms1. Zappos2. DaVita3. Microsoft4. Facebook What makes their candidate experience good? 5
  • 6. 10 characteristics of a great candidate experience1. Rapid response2. Flexible to your needs, not rigid3. They don’t waste your time (a real opening)4. They are honest5. They listen6. No unpleasant surprises7. They solicit feedback and change as a result of it8. They keep you updated9. They explain why10.A WOW you will remember 6
  • 7. Why should recruiters and their managers care about “the candidate experience”? 7
  • 8. If you were applying for a mortgage loan, how would you react if…The bank… lost your applicationIf you called and… no one called backIf you showed up for the loan interview and themanager… had not even read your applicationDuring the interview the manager was distractedIf at the end it the interview you asked how you did?And the only answer was… will see and don’t callus we’ll call youIf you were rejected and… they wouldn’t tell youwhat you had to do to improve 8
  • 9. Do people remember a bad candidate experience?A quote… how long do they remember a bad one?I had an interview 20 years ago that I have neverforgotten. I was then offered the job and I turned itdown because even at 19, I knew that if they couldn’ttreat me well during the interview, they wouldn’ttreat me well as an employee. Caron Osberg on ERE.NetThey never forget… and they also tell others 9
  • 10. Candidates deserve to be treated like customersThe candidate’s investments in a job search1. Hours researching your company and job2. Hours spent in preparing the resume3. Hours associated with actually applying4. Hours of preparation for the interview5. Travel time and costs6. Lost work hrs, $ and family time for interviews 10
  • 11. What is your estimate of the dollar value of an applicant’s investment?“I estimate that the average professional candidatevoluntarily spends or invests more than $1,000worth of their own time and money in preparing forand participating in an organization’s hiringprocess.Given that level of investment, they deserve to betreated like good customers.” 11
  • 12. “Applicants are volunteers. They arevolunteering and investing their time when theyparticipate in your selection process.Smart companies realize that fact upfront andthus, they “treat them like volunteers” throughoutevery step of the hiring process.” 12
  • 13. The key lesson to learn is that…when any applicant makes a heavy investment in a selection process… you must proportionately raise the level of customer service and the “candidate experience” 13
  • 14. Why focus on the “candidate experience”?What % of your prospects/ candidates… are also current or potential customers? 14
  • 15. Now shifting to the possible negative impacts of the bad candidate experience Why should an individual recruiter care about the candidate experience? 15
  • 16. Reasons why recruiters should careImpacts on individual recruiters may include:1. The #1 reason why candidates reject offers is…2. The loss of top candidates - the greatest impact will be on those in the highest demand, including top performers, innovators and game changers that can simply remain at their current job3. Mid-process dropouts – frustrated individuals that do not see their “job switch criteria” being met or that encounter one of their “knockout factors” will simply drop out (lie to you why?) 16
  • 17. Reasons why recruiters should careImpacts on individual recruiters may include:4. A loss of return candidates – finalists that would have been hired (if a super strong candidate wasnt in the final candidate mix), will likely never reapply. Neither will “soon to be qualified” candidates that were rejected merely because they didn’t have quite enough experience5. The loss of applicants due to word-of-mouth – friends, family and colleagues of a poorly treated applicant/ candidate will now never apply themselves 17
  • 18. 8 reasons why recruiters should careImpacts on individual recruiters may include:6. Loss of referrals – you will see an increased recruiter workload when many employees will simply stop” doing some of your work” (making referrals) once they hear how their highly regarded colleagues were treated7. Higher interview drop out rates due to scheduling – because employed candidates can’t easily schedule during normal work hours 18
  • 19. 8 reasons why recruiters should careImpacts on individual recruiters may include:8. More hiring mistakes – confused, tired , surprised and frustrated applicants just dont perform as well during interviews. Bad hires means that later on you’ll just have to rehire for the position 19
  • 20. Now let’s shift to…broader impacts on the entire recruiting function 20
  • 21. Reasons why recruiting managers should care10 impacts on the recruitment function:1. Employer brand image damage – “others” now own your employer brand image. They can easily spread rumors, stories and recommendations against working at your firm to complete strangers on social networks and sites like glassdoor.com2. Higher agency fees –you may need to use more agencies, because of their advanced capabilities for attracting and selling top candidates 21
  • 22. Reasons why recruiting managers should care10 impacts on the recruitment function:3. You’ll need more recruiters – lower application and higher candidate dropout rates will require you to spend more on recruiters4. You will lose quality recruiters – recruiters will be frustrated and the powerful relationships that your top recruiters built will be lost the minute that the candidate experiences the abusive process5. Higher website drop rates – they aren’t authentic or designed around candidate decision criteria 22
  • 23. Reasons why recruiting managers should care10 impacts on the recruitment function:6. Fewer global hires – a fragmented process may confuse those that are unfamiliar with Canadian hiring processes (it may offend some cultures)7. Managers and recruiters will aim lower – because they wont really know the reason why they are not getting hires, they may mistakenly assume that “there are just no quality candidates out there” and settle for poor quality hires 23
  • 24. Reasons why recruiting managers should care10 impacts on the recruitment function:8. Loss of career counselor referrals – career counselors at schools may stop referring9. Loss of recruiting budget – when executives hear of your negative impacts, they’re likely to reduce your recruiting budget10.As the power shifts, you will be forced to change 24
  • 25. And finally…the business impacts of a bad candidate experience 25
  • 26. The business case for the candidate experiencePotential revenue and sales losses include:1. Angry people mean lost sales among themselves, family, friends & their network (Especially in retail)2. It may also indirectly hurt your product brand3. If they work in our industry, it may hurt B2B sales4. Loss of a competitive advantage – losing top candidates to competitors means that they get more innovation & new products, but we do not 26
  • 27. Reasons for improving the candidate experienceTwo additional negative business impacts5. Decreased retention rates - hearing friends and colleagues “badmouth” their firm will also reduce their loyalty. Some new hires may take the job because they need it but decide the minute that they accept that they will continue looking and leave at the first opportunity6. A weakened corporate culture – because the recruiting process conflicts directly with a firm’s values (i.e. integrity, transparency and honesty) 27
  • 28. Having a bad candidate experience could soon get much more painful with sidewiki > 28
  • 29. What if anyone could add commentsto your displayed webpage (sidewiki) 29
  • 30. During what steps of the recruiting processdo most candidate experience problems occur? 30
  • 31. Where do most CE problems occur?10 areas where most problems occur1. Job postings/ descriptions – they are painfully dull and are purposely not authentic (worse than the real job)2. The corporate website – overly corporate, not authentic and no chance to ask questions3. Application receipt – no rapid personalized acknowledgment of every application4. Applicant inquiries – “don’t call us, we’ll call you” attitude, applicant or candidate calls are not returned and questions are not answered 31
  • 32. Where do most CE problems occur?10 areas where most problems occur5. Build a relationship - CRM software isn’t used to periodically communicate with top prospects6. Interview scheduling – candidate inconvenience is not weighed heavily enough7. Pre-interview education – candidates are kept in the dark about the process… including who they will interview with and why and what specifically you are processing them on 32
  • 33. Where do most CE problems occur?10 areas where most problems occur8. Interviews – one-way communications, too many interviews and the same questions repeated9. Tracking their progress -- they can’t call or track the status of their application on-line10. After the decision – slow rejection notifications, no honest follow-up on how they did… or how to do better next time 33
  • 34. And finally, some things to do 34
  • 35. There are 3 possible CE outputs to aim for3 possible results of a candidate experience include1.You created employer brand ambassadors – the ultimate output, at this level applicants and candidates become your evangelists and a referral source2.You created neutrals – At this level, they say little & soon forget the experience3.You created lifelong enemies – At this level, they become a lifelong enemy and they proactively spread the word against you 35
  • 36. Some action steps to considerGoals - set and measure these goals1. To make each one a brand ambassador2. To build and measure trust levels3. To excite them4. To sell them by making hiring a sales process… as well as a assessment process5. To develop processes that are designed to calm their nerves and then measure whether it worked36
  • 37. Some action steps to considerStrategic action steps1. Make an individual accountable2. Calculate the cost of offending candidates3. Involve customer service in the design process4. Identify all touch points and the problems at each5. Learn CRM and its related software6. Use the Internet/ technology to save time/ money 37
  • 38. Some action steps to considerMore strategic action steps7. Use “interview Friday” to speed up the process8. Capture their e-mail early on… so that you can ask pre-application drop-offs “why?”9. Consider a small gift for top candidates (Checking acct)10.Create an applicant “Bill of Rights”11.Negotiate service-level agreements and responsiveness timelines with managers 38
  • 39. Some action steps to considerLimit the # of applicants that you must be nice to1. Proactively reduce the number of applicants that have no real chance (list absolute minimums, list knockout factors, list success rates etc.)2. Prioritize jobs and focus on the critical ones3. Search your own customer database to identify which individual applicants are also customers 39 and then prioritize them
  • 40. Some action steps to considerUnderstand and listen to the applicants1. Ask candidates what they expect during the hiring process (also tell them your expectations)2. Ask them for their job acceptance criteria and “deal breaker” factors, and then provide information on each of them3. Realize that global experiences must vary4. Have a process for asking questions5. Have a process for anonymous complaints 40
  • 41. Some action steps to considerIndividual recruiter actions1. Develop and use a CRM/ CE checklist2. Educate applicants about the volume, so they expect less (Google and time to fill)3. Ask them periodically what they need “more of” and “less of ”4. Convince managers to interview faster5. Convince managers to avoid “death by interview”6. Thank them 41
  • 42. Some action steps to considerMetrics and information-gathering1. Search social media and the Internet to find negative comments about the customer experience2. Search Twitter/ Facebook 30 minutes after their interview to find out what they are saying3. Survey them 6 months later to identify problems4. Use mystery shoppers to identify problems (Publix)5. Track and widely distribute ranked “CE” metrics and reward those that exceed their goals6. Do postmortems on all failures 42
  • 43. The key lesson to learn is that…When any applicant makes a heavy investment your selection process… you must proportionately raise the level of customer service and the quality of your “candidate experience” 43
  • 44. If you were applying for a mortgage loan, how would you react if…The bank… lost your applicationIf you called and… no one called backIf you showed up for the loan interview and themanager… had not even read your applicationDuring the interview the manager was distractedIf at the end it the interview you asked how you did?And the only answer was… we will see but don’tcall us, we’ll call youIf you were rejected and… they wouldn’t tell youwhat you had to do to improve 44
  • 45. Candidates deserve to be… treated like customersBecause candidates invest a lot in a job searchThey spend Hours researching your company and job Hours preparing their resume Hours associated with actually applying Hours of preparation for the interviewPlus… travel time and costs, lost work hrs/ pay and missed family time for interviews 45
  • 46. During what steps of the recruiting processdo most candidate experience problems occur? 46
  • 47. Where do most CE problems occur?Areas where most problems occur1. Job postings/ descriptions – they are painfully dull and are purposely not authentic (worse than the real job)2. The corporate website – overly corporate, not authentic and no chance to ask questions3. Application receipt – no rapid personalized acknowledgment of every application4. Applicant inquiries – “don’t call us, we’ll call you” attitude, applicant or candidate calls are not returned and questions are not answered 47
  • 48. Where do most CE problems occur?10 areas where most problems occur5.The relationship building process - CRM software isn’t used to periodically communicate and build trust with top prospects6.Interview scheduling – candidate inconvenience is not weighed heavily enough7.Pre-interview education – candidates are kept in the dark about the process… including who they will interview with and why and what specifically you are processing them on 48
  • 49. Where do most CE problems occur?10 areas where most problems occur8. Interviews – one-way communications, too many interviews and the same questions repeated9. Tracking their progress -- they can’t call or track the status of their application on-line10. After the decision – slow rejection notifications, no honest follow-up on how they did… or how to do better next time 49