8 actionable insights for talent acquisition leaders from Talent Board’s 2018 Candidate Experience Research Report

Feb 12, 2019 - Cat DiStasio

Happy candidates become happy employees. 

Or, at least, that’s the idea.There’s no such thing as a perfect candidate experience. But companies that work to offer a better experience throughout the recruiting process have a better shot at improving hiringthe results. In fact, investing in a better candidate experience can improve the quality of an organization’s new hires by 70 percent, so the efforts are well worth the rewards.

Fortunately, understanding how to improve the candidate experience is no longer the mystery it once was. Talent acquisition leaders now have access to more candidate data than ever, making it possible to pivot strategies and techniques in response to candidates’ desires, even as they change over time.

Enter the 2018 Talent Board Candidate Experience Research Report, the latest treasure trove of data talent acquisition leaders can translate into real results. Now in its ninth year, the report compiled feedback from 130,000 job seekers on their feelings and experiences during the recruiting process.

Along with the report, Talent Board identifies top employers who are killing the candidate experience game. By looking at what the latest batch of CandE Award winners are doing, we gain valuable insights we can turn into strategic planning and tactical action. Overall, the report provides a roadmap for employers who want to improve the candidate experience, from pre-application all the way through to onboarding brand new employees.

Talent Board organizes the report into the three main phases of the recruiting process: attract, recruit, and hire. In this article, we’ll look at the key findings in each section and take it one step further by explaining how to use this data to transform your candidate experience.

Attract

Adopt a chatbot today. Right now, only 15 percent of all companies are using chatbots. Talent Board found a 69 percent increase in employers using a recruiting chatbot in 2018, and based on that hike, we expect to see much higher adoption rates this year. Employers are realizing that it makes sense to implement a recruiting chatbot to improve the candidate experience, especially when it can be as easy as dropping some code onto your career site.

Focus on fairness. Candidates expect employers to work proactively to create a fair recruiting process from the start. Talent Board’s report found a 128 percent difference between those who felt they were being treated the most fairly, and those who rated application fairness the lowest. Talent acquisition leaders need to set goals and design strategies to reduce implicit bias and ensure that each candidate is being evaluated—and treated—with fairness.

Make it quick and easy. A shorter application—15 minutes or less—makes candidates happy. Of the candidates who rated the application process 5 stars (the highest ranking), 42.5 percent said the application took less than 15 minutes. Employers should work to streamline applications to collect only the necessary information to screen a candidate for the next phase of the funnel, especially because over half (60 percent) of job seekers will quit an application if they think it’s too long. Adding AI tools to your recruiting process can help too, offering immediate answers to questions a job seeker might have about the application.

Recruit

Try out their skills. Employers want to find candidates who can handle the job, but basic interview questions won’t get you all the way there. What can help, though, are simulation exercises that help assess how candidates may perform once they are on the job, and more employers are using them. The report found that job simulations have increased by 16 percent from the prior year. Combined with other techniques for predicting future performance, recruiters can improve the chances at finding the right candidates, before the competition does.

Find a fit. Every organization wants new employees who will fit in with the company culture. Talent Board found a 17 percent increase in organizations using culture fit assessments to identify how well potential new hires will assimilate. This means learning about a candidate beyond their abilities, and asking questions about work styles and preferences—such as working alone or collaboratively, or the need to leave at 2pm every Thursday. Culture fit assessments are a simple way your recruiters can have better conversations with candidates and more accurately assess a candidate’s overall fit for your organization.

Don’t leave them in the dark. Giving candidates feedback after an interview is another great way to improve the candidate experience. Candidates who received job-related feedback by the end of the same day of their interview said they were 52 percent more likely to increase their relationship with the employer (apply again, refer others, make purchases if and when applicable). When there was no feedback, they’re more than twice as likely to drop out of the application process (8 percent vs. 2.6 percent). This is one problem AI can’t solve for us, and a great time for recruiters to focus on being better humans by being better to other humans. In this case, that means being honest with candidates about how they are stacking up.

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Hire

Let candidates strut their stuff. Just as employers want to assess a candidate’s future job performance, candidates want the opportunity to show they have what it takes. Of candidates who gave the highest rating for the screening and interview process, 73.8 percent were extremely satisfied with their ability to present their skills, knowledge and experience during the screening and interview process. Clearly, giving candidates a chance to demonstrate their abilities, such as with a job simulation as we discussed earlier, can give your candidate experience a big boost.

Candidates need closure. In recruiting, there is a lot of talk about the candidates being hired, and less about the candidates who didn’t receive an offer. Many candidates never hear back after an interview and common sense tells us that people don’t like being ghosted, especially after a job application, and that’s why many companies send an automated rejection email. Talent Board’s report gives us a unique finding we can really use, though: candidates want to hear rejection from a human being. Talent Board found the positive ratings jump upwards of 28 percent when candidates receive a phone versus the automated email rejection. Again, this is where recruiters need to worry less about technology and AI, and let their humanity shine.

Improving the candidate experience

Adopting these best practices can help employers strengthen their candidate experience as well as their employer brand. As the competition for top talent continues to heat up, employers need to thoughtfully prioritize the things candidates want and need during the recruiting process. This is how talent acquisition leaders can help happy candidates become happy employees.

The full report is available here.

If the recruiting chatbot adoption rates have inspired you to invest in the future of conversational recruiting, contact us to get a free demo of Brazen's recruiting chatbot

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