Sometimes, it can feel like the idea of “improving the candidate experience” is a concept owned by HR, whereas “benefits to the employer” — i.e. revenue gains, etc. — are concepts owned by other departments (Sales, Operations, the C-Suite) and, sadly, never the twain are expected to meet. But this is an outdated way of thinking.
In reality, your employer branding strategy — in part, how you make candidate experience better — can be a huge benefit to the employer.
Here are a few ways.
Speed of job search
Time-to-hire and time-to-fill are big metrics in talent acquisition, and probably becoming increasingly important. As more organizations move towards “road map” methodologies, budgets are more and more tied to project completion dates — so if Project A falters, Project B is now behind, which means Project D is way off the radar, even if it’s the fourth most-important thing you need to work on.
That means that, as every new project is about to roll forth, you need the right people “on the bus.” This makes speed metrics in hiring important.
You can make the counter-argument, of course — that hiring should be less about speed and more about thoughtfully thinking through who you really need — and that argument has been made by Malcolm Gladwell and others — but the reality of most hiring processes is that speed matters.
A faster job search can get you interested candidates before your competitors do, which gives you a better shot at finding employees who will remain engaged with the work they do for your company. This can secure your road map, which can drive product/service innovation. And just like that, the employer starts seeing the rewards of their hiring initiative.
Pro Tip: Discover how candidate experience can affect talent discovery.
The bottom line and candidate experience
OK, so there’s the obvious way this ecosystem works:
- You apply for a job.
- The candidate experience is horrible.
- You vow never to buy from that company ever.
Yes, I know this is an oversimplification, but it does happen.
The other obvious link between candidate experience and revenue generation is this bouncing ball:
- People who go through a positive candidate experience usually are more-engaged employees when they begin working.
- And more engaged employees can help a company perform upwards of 202% better than competitors.
Think about it like this in broader talent acquisition terms
Per some salary.com research, 23% of people are looking for a new job every single day. Close to 41% of people globally in white-collar work are changing companies each year, and oftentimes they begin those searches in the first six weeks of working at a job.
Six weeks. Let that sink in.
Six weeks is not a long time at all. That’s one week of intros, one week of meetings and more intros, and four weeks of doing actual work.
And at that point, you’re already looking at new openings?
If the candidate experience was strong, you’d never be that disengaged at six weeks.
Here’s how to get ahead of those numbers:
- Have a great candidate experience
- Have a great onboarding process
- Have better managerial training
- Do more regular check-ins (consider this 90-day plan)
- Figure out why people are leaving — sort this intel by manager, by role, by department, by reporting structure, by responsibilities, etc.
Back to that speed idea in talent acquisition again…
… how can you get your posting discovered quicker than competitors do?
Not easily, and very few have perfected it, but here are a few approaches:
- Look at which platforms your job postings perform best on
- Look at the ones where it doesn’t perform well
- Think of your ideal types of candidates
- Where would they hang out? What would they be doing when surfing the Internet casually?
- Target those sites and platforms
- Think niche too — a Remote Jobs site might be better than LinkedIn or Indeed depending on what you’re looking for
- Please, please, please don’t just “Post and Pray” — all that does is begin a recipe for 100s of subpar candidates to throw resumes at you digitally, stresses out your recruiting team, and doesn’t get you closer to “good candidate experience” or “employer branding strategy”
Think strategically and think niche.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
This is the cornerstone of everything related to both candidate experience and employer branding strategy.
If you don’t understand why, you need to think in these terms:
In an advanced capitalism (most of North America), your job determines the quality of life you can have. We don’t always fully acknowledge this, but it’s true. You may have an inheritance or you might have investments or equity, and that’s great. But most of us still need to work.
Is your candidate experience helping or hindering your hiring efforts? The McQuaig Candidate Experience Grader can tell you in 90 seconds!
So when we are job-seekers or candidates, we want to know where we stand. This process is important to us. It matters a lot to our lives.
How many companies respond to this:
- Automated emails
- No check-ins
- Limited context
That’s bad candidate experience. Really bad, in fact. Because the more out of the loop your candidates are, the more likely you are to miss out on some standout potential.
The sooner you can find employees who are internally motivated to do great work, the sooner your company will start to benefit from their efforts. Productivity and profitability come from having the right people on your team, and if your hiring strategy is effective, you’ll be more likely to find the right people sooner.
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