Even though unemployment in the US is stubbornly high, enterprises still moan they have trouble finding the right talent. These people are so much in demand they “are exhausted by all the options and are starting to modify or delete their online profiles so they won’t be inundated with more requests,” reports Elaine Orler, chairman and co-founder of the Talent Board, the organization behind the Candidate Experience Awards.
“Sourcing for specific talent is increasingly harder due to the shortage of that talent,” she reports. One of the primary reasons for the awards is “how companies interact with their candidates is becoming more important than ever.”
The Talent Board, whose mission is to elevate and promote the importance and need for a quality candidate experience, discovered a good way to find that elusivetalent: seek out candidates who already have an existing relationship with the company. The non-profit organization defines “existing relationship” as either being a customer or having friends or family members working at the employer.
Talent Board, a non-profit organization operated by experts and supported by HRO and RPO providers, awards deserving companies with the Candidate Experience Awards (CandE Awards) annually. Although the CandE Awards is a recognition program, it is also designed to provide confidential and specific feedback to the participating companies so they can improve their candidate experience efforts. The Talent Board then produces an annual report based on the awards data it collected. These findings came from that report, “Candidate Experience 2012.”
Why the candidate experience is important
“The relationship finding was an ah-ha moment,” says Orler, who is also the president and founder of Talent Function. “Before our report, companies told us they treat all candidates the same way. Now, we have data to suggest that they should be treating candidates differently.” As the report says, “there is a clear initial positive pre-disposition toward the employer, which suggests that positive association is ultimately the employer’s to lose.”
Source: Candidate Experience 2012
In addition, the study discovered referred job candidates are four times more likely than non-referred candidates to receive an offer.
Orler notes that candidates who aren’t hired can still become or retain their relationships as customers. That’s another reason to provide a positive candidate experience. The study found 73 percent of the candidates shared a positive experience with their inner circle. And 60.7 percent shared their negative experience with their inner circle. Ouch.
Another trend employers need to pay attention to if they want to attract the requisite talent is having a good reputation in the marketplace. Companies do that by communicating since candidates expect a quality response during every step. Orler says candidates “want to know where they are in the process and their probability of success going forward.” She adds if they are not the right person, they want to know ASAP, so they “don’t sit around hoping. It’s a bit like dating,” she adds.
Rejected candidates can also become the source of great referrals. The CandE Awards survey discovered 43 percent of the candidates said they were likely or highly likely to refer a friend to the company to which they applied.
Not surprisingly, most of the candidates used LinkedIn in their job search (65.3 percent.) But Facebook was crucial too (38.5 percent).
The CandE Awards
Orler says the CandE Awards’ mission is “to better understand the impacts of recruiting, screening and hiring processes from the viewpoint of every stakeholder, but especially the participant who historically has the least influence—the candidate.” She says CandEAwards winners are “raising the bar to let job candidates know their investment, time and interest in the company are valued.”
Winners included ADP, AT&T, Herman Miller and Hyatt, among others.
The bottom line: Companies with good hiring processes are more likely to attract hard-to-get talent and even increase their sales from the candidates they rejected—if they did it right!
How the study was done: The Talent Board facilitated a candidate survey that resulted in 17,500 candidate responses.These responses along with the employer survey, determined the winners. The Talent Board then used the data to assess new trends.
The candidates ranged from hourly workers (29.9 percent) to senior leadership (4.9 percent.) Sixty percent were male and 40 percent female. As for age: • Silent generation: .8 percent • Baby boomers: 29.6 percent • Generation X: 39.9 percent • Millennials: 25.7 percent • Generation Z: .8 percent
How do you communicate with your rejected candidates? What do you do to make their experience positive? How are you using social media to attract talent?