Does a great candidate experience bring in better candidates? Or more hires from a given set? Does it bring in referrals through the roof? There is no profound evidence to answer these questions. Even the most common key performance indicators (KPIs) for recruiters do not measure how they handle candidate experience. Instead, recruiter KPIs are mainly focused on time and money spent or the satisfaction of the hiring manager.
Then why care about candidate experience? Is it worth all the hype, or is it just a distraction that keeps you from the important recruitment-related tasks you should be working on instead?
Read on to find out!
Why Is Candidate Experience Crucial?
When a candidate has a positive experience during the recruitment process, whether or not they get the job, that good impression translates to the company as a whole in that candidate’s eyes. In other words, it’s good for the employer brand. For many companies, this is vital because their candidates could also be their consumers — the people who consume products or services offered by the company.
It’s common to find a candidate who carries promising potential for a future role but isn’t cut out for the role you are currently recruiting for. In that case, you could add the candidate to your talent pool and nurture them until the perfect role opens up. Given the fact that the talent market is tight, you want candidates’ experiences to be as positive as they can be. That’s how you guarantee candidates will continue to consider you for future employment, say good things about you, or even refer their friends to your roles.
A good candidate experience helps set the stage for a positive onboarding experience as they settle in to their new role.
How Do You Measure Candidate Experience?
There are ways to measure candidate experience beyond Net Promoter Scores and surveys, like the number of referrals you receive from both internal and external sources, the feedback you receive via Glassdoor, anecdotal stories, and future interest from candidates who were not hired for positions they applied to previously.
The major factors that influence candidate experience include:
• The time it takes for the recruiter to first contact the candidate after their application was submitted.
• The time it takes to complete candidate screening and get the candidate in front of a hiring manager.
• The duration of the interview process.
• The time it takes to extend an offer or notify candidates they have not been selected after the interview process.
• The efficiency and seamlessness of the tools used in the process (interview scheduling software, e-signatures, etc.)
• The preparedness of the people in the process, including recruiters, interviewers, panel members, hiring managers, and anyone else involved.
At the end of the day, a good candidate experience comes down to simple things like ensuring your process is as efficient as possible; offering realistic job previews; ensuring that all communication with the candidate is top notch; and engaging with the candidate throughout the entire process through their first day and beyond, even following up with candidates 30 days after their start date to check in on their experience.
A candidate relationship management software like Freshteam can be game-changing in this instance. It empowers recruiters to automate crucial recruiting routines such as screening, follow-ups, and interview notifications so they can focus on what matters most: people, networking, and relationships.
In conclusion, does candidate experience affect hiring? Let’s hear it from a practitioner:
“I’m not sure if it directly affects the quality of hire as I don’t have metrics to directly correlate that, but I would say that it ultimately does. People who have a good experience with us will tell others about their good experience, and that leads to stronger applicants. The opposite is surely true: If people have a negative experience with their recruitment process, word certainly travels, and that can prevent great candidates from applying. In addition, a good candidate experience certainly provides a great start to their career with us, which likely also reduces 90-day and first-year turnover, indicating a higher quality of hire overall.” — Susan Burke, talent consulting director, Providence St. Joseph Health.
Freshteam is a smart applicant tracking system for fast-growing companies. It enables recruiters to keep track of all candidate information and communication in one place, see which interview stages candidates are in and where responses are due, and do so much more very efficiently. The reports help recruiters optimize for candidate experience by giving them a bird’s-eye view of what’s happening with the candidates inside the process.
If you are interested in trying Freshteam, you can sign up for a free trial here.
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