Heroes Most of the time, people talk about improving the candidate experience as if it requires hardly any effort. When it comes to the candidate experience, few understand the process, and even fewer find success with it. Not to purposely be the bearer of bad news or anything, but according to a MysteryApplicant.com infographic, just 5 percent of applicants rate their candidate experience as excellent. Awkwardly enough, 34 percent of applicants rate their experience as poor. Courting candidates is not easy, but it certainly becomes even more challenging if candidates are experiencing an awkward courtship process.

Measuring the candidate experience goes way beyond analyzing a face-to-face interview. The candidate experience is meant to be a demonstration of an organization’s cultural virtue and a display of its business spirit. It’s a time for hiring managers and all of those involved in the hiring process to strut their stuff. Take a look at these three reasons why every organization should start to care about candidate experience.

The Waiting Game Hurts

Raise your hand if a hiring manager has ever kept you waiting around long enough that you eventually lost interest in the position or organization. While the hiring process is generally a lengthy one and there are multiple variables at play, why can’t we do a better job of minimizing the wait times? Apparently, 58 percent of candidates say they did not receive regular updates about their application during the hiring process. And it gets worse: 52 percent of candidates feel they were not treated like individuals during the process. Forgetting to treat people like they’re real can have disastrous long-term effects. Good luck getting candidates to stick around when this starts to happen. Having an experience like this isn’t likely going to turn them into productive worker bees that buy into your workplace culture.

The Word-of-Mouth Effect

Throughout our history, the small technological advances we’ve made have caused us to take giant evolutionary sociocultural leaps forward. Take the word-of-mouth effect for example: it’s no longer what it used to be. It’s even better! News travels so quickly now through media outlets that it often leaves us playing catchup. Social media happens to be a media outlet that 64 percent of candidates use effortlessly to share their candidate experience. Organizations that care about their employer branding understand that a small step like this can cause them to take a giant step backwards. It has been said that “any publicity is good publicity.” This may be true for reality stars, but it’s not for your employer brand. A bad candidate experience only sheds light on poor hiring standards and potential skeletons in the closet.

Bad Experience Means No Talent Pool

Some industries have an easier time than others when it comes to locating talent. Some talent pools are greater than others. Regardless of the industry, building a talent pool does not lead to any negative side effects. Amazingly, 43 percent of candidates that are hired because of referrals stay three years or more. A good candidate experience helps organizations find better candidates that will stay around longer versus candidates that were hired from job boards — only 14 percent of whom stick around after three years or more. Building a strong candidate experience not only leads to making better hires, but it can also allow employees to build a better organizational culture through collaborative recruiting. And why not? Referrals can make a difference.

Learning To Care

If you haven’t read Gallup’s report on the State of the Global Workplace, then I’ll get straight to the point and let you know that only 13 percent of global employees are engaged at work. There’s not enough caring going around, and it’s sorely needed. While improving the candidate experience doesn’t fix everything, it’s where the healing process begins. Showing candidates care from the get-go is about starting off on the right foot. Treat candidates to a fun and creative candidate experience. It will resonate better with candidates, and the results should show it. Measures should be set in place to analyze the kind of candidate experience candidates are having, even if the candidate is not hired. Every step taken during the candidate experience should be a step forward. Each step should be focused on building a better candidate experience, which can lead to a better and more viable working experience that embraces employee happiness and fosters productivity.

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