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A Great Candidate Experience… but at what price?

In Keith Robinson, Our Authors, Sourcing, Talent Acquisition & Recruitment, Talent Insight by MartinLeave a Comment

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As someone who had the great fortune to meet Gerry Crispin back in the mid/late 90’s whilst he was at Shaker Advertising – hearing him talk about “electronic recruiting” and how the Candidate Experience would suffer – I’ve been an advocate of the concept that your Candidate could be your Consumer (and, indeed, that your consumers might become a candidate)

The growth of the concept aligns with the growth of the Cande Candidate Experience Awards, which again Gerry has been hugely involved in. And through my involvement in those Awards, I’ve been privy to some very interesting debates on the subject, including “do companies really believe in this, or is it about vanity and winning awards” – and the killer question: “does it really matter?”

The question I’ve always posed is “what price a superior candidate experience?” By that, I mean how much would your company invest in to ensuring that you deliver a quality (to be defined), measurable (to be agreed) and manageable process?

One of the key issues on the subject is where does the “candidate experience” begin and end? Is it the quality of the first line of touchpoint communication e.g. a job posting, your career site, your stand at a Jobs Fair? Is it the Application Process? How the interviews are set up and managed? The communication into on-boarding? Or even your “rejection experience”? The answer is, I suspect, at every one of those points – and more.

Here and now, I’d like to focus on just one of those key “experience moments” and share a thought-provoking article from Craig Fisher at CA Technology:

“No one ever contacted me.” Most people who have ever applied to jobs online have experienced this.

Statistically, only 25% of completed job applications will ever get reviewed by a hiring authority at an employer. Very few will ever receive a response from a real person.

In an effort to improve our candidate experience, based on feedback from job candidates in 2014, we audited our process to find only 12% of the 100k applications received annually were being reviewed.

We thought we could do better than that.

Our solution? In January of 2015 we implemented a small team in our Hyderabad office, called Talent Assessors, to review and vet each application and respond to the applicant with a personal note letting them know if they would move on in the process. The program was spearheaded by Becca Sil, Operations Manager from CA’s Talent Acquisition team.

We now have 3 resources on the team personally responding to every applicant within 2.5 days.

We soon began receiving feedback from applicants that indicated we were on the right track. We published one such note in an article on Linkedin that received some interesting awareness.

Hi Craig,

I had every intention of completing the CA job applicant survey, but did not do it in time. Sorry for that.

I had such a positive experience recently that I wanted to take a second and provide feedback (even if unsolicited.)

I have applied for a few positions with CA over the last 2 years. Each time in the past I applied online (some say it’s a dead end and pointless) and never heard anything back–positive or negative.

This weekend I saw something come through from CA’s candidate community newsletter that caught my attention and I applied online. This morning I received a response back from Jyoti Pundir that they would not pursue my application any further. I LOVED IT!

No one likes rejection, but the fact that I know someone actually looked at my application and responded (good or bad) is amazing and a true testament to the desire for exceptional customer service (and I don’t use the word exceptional very often… you have to really earn it.)

Kudos to you and your team for doing what you need to do and providing a response in a timely manner.

You have managed to bring dignity back to the online hiring process.

I hope more companies are paying attention and you should offering lessons to the industry.

Because of the nature of how it came about, I cannot go online and sing your praises… but know I am singing them to myself and I wanted you to know.

Cheers, J.

 

The article was noticed by social media company, Hootsuite. They requested we develop a case study of our Talent Assessor program as a contribution to the open-source HR initiative (HROS.co and #HROS).  We obliged.

 

Here are the results:

  • 100% job applicant response within 2.5 days.
  • 25,000+ applications have been reviewed to date.
  • 60 hires have been made from this pool that might have gone previously un-reviewed.

“The Talent Assessor program has helped to improve the overall candidate experience at CA Technologies, by ensuring that every candidate, qualified or not, receives a personalised response from a member of our team. We now have much more meaningful data to allow us to focus our marketing strategies in the most effective areas,” said Becca Sil.

“No one ever contacted me.” That doesn’t happen here anymore.

So what is the price of improving the candidate experience? The answer: three Talent Assessors based in India who contact everyone who applies, making sure the results are measured and shared.

Is the superior candidate experience worth the price? That’s for you to decide, but I’d get my budget in soon.

We Are Resource Cent

Resource Central is a unique people engagement and resourcing solutions service firm. Created from the focus and desire of its founders. We are all experts from the Job Board, HR Communications and Recruiting industry, bringing a wealth of expertise and knowledge of specialist and large corporate campaign hiring projects across the recruiting markets of Europe.

Martin
Client Services Director @ Resource Central Ltd
As part of our team I help companies develop, build, implement and manage people engagement and experiences that deliver ‘ real value’ across the Talent and HR business needs of Talent Attraction, Talent Acquisition, Talent Engagement, Talent Community Retention and Employer Value.

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Martin
Client Services Director @ Resource Central Ltd
As part of our team I help companies develop, build, implement and manage people engagement and experiences that deliver ‘ real value’ across the Talent and HR business needs of Talent Attraction, Talent Acquisition, Talent Engagement, Talent Community Retention and Employer Value.