Candidate experience is a trendy buzzword in today’s recruitment environment. Do you know what it is? More important, do you know how job seekers view the experience that you offer? Candidates that come into your recruitment process only to be treated poorly are likely to drop out of your talent pool. That’s bad enough, but do you want to take the risk of them getting on Glassdoor or some other public site and sharing that experience? You may not even be aware of gaps or broken part of your process. Here are just a few examples of real situations that have happened in recent weeks to people I know:
- Job seeker can’t apply to a job WITHOUT providing FIVE references (all must be previous managers, none more than a few years old). Most of the qualifying potential references for this person were deceased / out of town / lost touch, so there was no way to move forward in the application process. This is an onerous requirement at any point in the recruitment process, but it’s pretty hard to justify that five references are necessary just to do an initial screening.
- Job seeker must select degree and college/university from a predefined list. The job seeker’s school is not on the list and there is no way to manually add one. This is a required field, so again, no way to move forward. I would recommend NOT using a predefined list for this field. It’s going to be way too long and subject to change. Additionally, if your job posting requires a two-year degree and you *are* using a pre-defined list, you’ll probably need to add a ridiculously long list of community, vocational, or technical colleges. This is a terrible candidate experience – not only is the process broken, but the job seeker also feels as though their education “doesn’t count” or isn’t good enough.
- Frequent complaints from job seekers about resumes and online applications, such as:
- The upload link is broken and/or only takes PDFs. Make sure your software allows for Word docs as well.
- After uploading the resume, the job seeker has to manually enter most of the resume information into the fields in your online form. This leads to HUGE abandonment rates, which is a waste of money if you’re paying for clicks. Spring for parsing technology that will auto-populate your fields directly from the resume.
- A prominent and well-regarded employer in my city ghosted a candidate post-interview, when feedback was promised at specific intervals. Attempts to contact the employer directly were answered with a promise to have someone deliver the feedback, which never happened. Just a couple of months later, the company is advertising the same job as a new opening. The candidate that was ghosted is no longer interested in pursuing the employer.
- Just recently, I heard from one of our own members that a client rescinded their offer after the job seeker resigned from their current employer. The only thing I can say to that is YIKES. Please don’t do this.
Review your entire recruitment process. Consider whether things you think are critical are actually roadblocks preventing you from connecting with great candidates. Test out your online application process yourself. Walk through every step, on multiple devices, and make sure everything works. Fix the broken items immediately. Candidate experience will continue to gain in importance as long as the labor market remains this tight. Candidates have options, they have a lot of power, and there is a real risk of them sharing negative experiences in public forums.