When you have more than enough applications, is candidate experience still important?

A colleague once described a recruitment campaign as a weapon of mass rejection – 99% of the 25,000+ applicants regretted at various stages of the process.  With only a slightly higher percentage having any kind of individual contact with the recruitment team, what impact does that have on the brand? Does the experience of the 99% matter more or less than the 1%?

In a survey conducted by PeopleScout (but not on candidates or clients working with PeopleScout, I hasten to add) only 5% of candidates rated their experience during a recent recruitment process as “excellent” and worse still 66% of candidates had never been asked to provide feedback. Furthermore only 12% of employers make changes to improve the experience following any candidate feedback. 

Does it matter to you? 

Well, if it doesn’t you may be causing your business a problem.   If we take the 24,750 rejected applicants I talked about earlier and we say just 6% (and it will be more depending on their experience) become disengaged from your business because of their recruitment journey; then this could take close to £1m off your bottom line annually. This assumes each candidate has an average monthly value to you of £50 – directly (based on a particular study conducted by a large telecommunications company). Indirectly, through reputational damage, brand perception and value of a customer over time, the cost could be much higher.  Obviously, this depends on your business, but the stark reality is that a poor candidate experience could be costing your business a lot of money. And the answer to the question “Does the experience of the 99% matter more or less than the 1%?” is probably “More”.

So, what should we all be doing? 

There are many, many things you could do to improve your candidates’ experience but let’s just start with some basics that PeopleScout encourages and supports.   

  • As a minimum, measure it! (preferably at every point of the process)
  • Talk to candidates if you can – telephone surveys, focus groups
  • Analyse and share the data to see if different groups feel differently at different stages
  • Involve the people who understand the experience best – the candidates, of course, but as importantly those that support their journey, your front-line teams. Do we value them enough and do they realise what impact they have?
  • Each candidate is an individual - treat them as such. Make it personal!
  • Expand the channels of communication/support for candidates at every stage  

And if you believe you haven’t got time to do any of this, think again as you simply cannot afford not to.

Contact us at PeopleScout. We can help you.