These days, it feels like everything is labelled as an “experience”. User experience, employee experience, candidate experience – it’s a commonly used term. But when I check a thesaurus in an attempt to find an equivalent word, nothing else seems to work. No other word seems to encompass all of the actions, events, emotions, thoughts, and sensory input that are involved in an entire, well… experience. We’ve all heard that positive customer experiences can be a great boost to an organization, and that negative experiences can hurt productivity, profitability, and much more. But what does it look like when we’re specifically talking about candidate experience?
Let’s start with the negative: a bad candidate experience could affect job application rates through word-of-mouth. Workopolis states that “three in five job seekers are lost during the application process, thanks to everything from lengthy forms to overly-complex questions.” That means that 60% of your job applicants might be gone before you even hear from them. And in this Forbes article, it’s reported that 72% of candidates who have a negative experience decide to share tell other people about it. These are big numbers, and they’re directly related to elements of the candidate experience.
Now, it’s true that more isn’t always better. More applicants doesn’t necessarily mean better applicants. But do you ever really want to deter people from applying? More likely than not, you’ve got a number of processes in place to screen out unqualified candidates. ATS providers offer solutions to help sort through the collection of applications. Your pre-screening interview can help to create a shortlist of top candidates. But these strategies can’t help if your top applicants are dissuaded from continuing along the hiring process due to a poor candidate experience.
But let’s move away from the negative, and start looking at how a positive candidate experience can impact your hiring success. The far-reaching impact of candidate experience by IBM states “People who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer.” And in this infographic from OfficeVibe, it’s noted that “15% of candidates who have a positive hiring experience put more effort into the job.”
Plus, while a negative experience might create a small dent in your employer brand, a positive candidate experience can likely fix it. From Workopolis:
“81 per cent of candidates will share a positive experience with family, friends, and peers, and 51 per cent will share their positive experience on social media sites like Glassdoor or LinkedIn.”
This is all good news, and it’s proof that improving candidate experience can have tangible benefits for your hiring process. By investing in potential employees early on, you’re more likely to be rewarded with employees who are the right fit and more eager to work with you. And a positive candidate experience can snowball by word-of-mouth and online reviews, making it easier to source talent for future open positions.
Working to improve candidate experience is a strategy that absolutely benefits job applicants – but it benefits your company as well. Not only are you more likely to have your top candidate accept your offer, but they’ll tell other people about the great experience they had applying to your company. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, for you and your employees.