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Candidate Experience: Heaven or Hell

Candidate Experience: Heaven or Hell

Getting a candidate to say “yes” to the job offer isn’t just about the salary and benefits package recruiters are able to present. At the end of the day, it’s also about making an impression throughout the entire hiring process. Even though the recent economic downturn has shifted the job market, companies that deliver inconsistent and frustrating candidate experiences risk potentially losing out on high-performing talent, while those offering best-in-class candidate experiences may be more likely to attract and hire their pick of applicants.

Why Is Candidate Experience Important, Anyway?

Two of the key factors that can turn potential new hires away are negative candidate experiences and a negative company reputation, according to Glassdoor. And these two aspects are often linked.

#1: Candidate experience impacts job acceptance rates

Top employers garner a 99% job-offer acceptance rate, while average companies experience a 94% acceptance rate, according to data reported by Forbes. A lengthy recruitment process can have adverse consequences, with otherwise engaged candidates dropping off and accepting offers from companies that advance to the final stage faster, explains Forbes. More than three quarters (83%) of candidates say a negative experience may make them change their mind about working for a company, according to LinkedIn data.

#2: Candidate experience impacts employer reputations and decreases recruiters’ chances of attracting future candidates

The ripple effect of one candidate’s negative experience can be far-reaching, according to data from HCI. More than half (60%) of all job seekers report having a poor candidate experience, and a majority of these individuals (72%) say when that happens they post about their candidate feedback online. Subsequently, when future potential candidates encounter these types of negative reviews online, more than half (55%) say they avoid engaging with companies that receive these types of complaints.

#3: Poor candidate experience can complicate an already costly business expense

Hiring employees is an investment for companies, one that costs about $4,000 per open position, according to Glassdoor data. Streamlining the experience has the power to help companies save exponentially per new job opening created.

Two Factors that Lead to Candidate Experience Heaven or Hell

What separates companies with the best and worst candidate experiences? How efficiently they can move potential employees through the process—and how transparent and open they are in communicating from the point of first outreach to final updates about the role.

#1: The length of the hiring process

On the job seeker’s side of things, the search process can be a painful one, taking an average of five weeks for unemployed individuals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 24 days for individuals overall, per Glassdoor data. U.K. stats are similar, with the timeline also takes about a month, according to staffing agency Robert Half.

On the other side of the table, the average recruiter spends 13 hours per week identifying candidates for a single position, reports Forbes.

This time-consuming process is one aspect Robert Half cites among reasons potential employees turn down job offers. Not only that, but employers may also be losing out on talent much sooner: Top candidates are often only on the job market for just 10 days before being snatched up.

#2: Poor communication during the hiring process

Finding a job often usually involves enduring gaps in communication and even ghosting. By Human Capital Institute (HCI)’s count, three-fourths of candidates never hear back after submitting an application and more than half (60%) don’t get a response after landing an interview.

Candidates want to stay informed throughout the recruitment process, according to LinkedIn data, with timely follow-ups:

  • On interview day (47% of individuals desire this)
  • Whenever companies have a critical update (59% of individuals desire this)
  • About interview feedback (94% of individuals desire this)

How Can Recruiters Save Time to Focus on Candidate Experience?

Designing a seamless hiring process with a consistent employer brand isn’t easy. For recruiters, the path to scouting the best talent is filled with email overwhelm and information overload.

One way companies are managing to both save time and improve recruitment is by investing in technology. The Society for Human Resource Management reports that 60% of companies are planning to increase their use of AI in recruiting to improve efficiencies.

Ready to improve the candidate experience?

Headstart’s recruiting software has helped clients like Accenture, Smiths, and more generate positive candidate feedback throughout the recruiting process, all while eliminating painful bottlenecks that tend to slow things down. To speed up the hiring pipeline, we help our clients automate up to 82% of the process.

Not only does our recruiting software do the heavy lifting to automate workflows, it can be implemented in a human way, with employer branding built-in.

Freed up of these otherwise tedious and time-consuming tasks, recruiters can instead focus on more strategic initiatives, like employer branding, candidate experience, and investing in diversity.

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