#Nextchat: The State of the Candidate Experience

Yes, the candidate experience at your organization is miserable.

You’d think that with all the shiny new technology, channels for communication and platforms for social media interaction, organizations would have figured out a way to create a kinder candidate experience. But in 2015, most companies continue to leave bad impressions and drive people away.

The aspects of the job search that seem to especially irritate candidates are the application process and the lack of communication post-interview. Bad job descriptions and hiring managers who take months to make a decision can also cause a lot of heartburn.

Apply. Interview. Rinse. Repeat.

Perhaps the reason for this persistent horribleness is that most organizations continue to use the same approach for every candidate. 

In the SHRM Online article “Job Candidates Still Seeking Personalized Recruiting Experiences,” Jim McCoy, vice president, ManpowerGroup Solutions and North America recruitment process outsourcing practice lead, states that “The impact that high touch—or human contact—has on a candidate’s recruiting experience cannot be overstated” and that “A one-size-fits-all approach to engaging prospective employees does not work. Organizations should evaluate their talent acquisition strategy and customize job seekers’ experiences based on their preferences.”

And how do you evaluate your talent acquisition strategy? A good first step is to actually apply for a job at your own organization. 

Test Drive

In “Black Hole Sun: Experiencing The Candidate Experience,” Matt Charney, executive editor for the website RecruitingDaily.com, suggests that a major part of the candidate experience problem is that recruiters have never audited their own processes. “You would not believe how many recruiters haven’t audited their own application process or even had the curiosity to try applying for their own jobs,” says Charney. “When you suggest that this might make sense, most will act as if this is the most astonishing thing that they have ever heard. The fact that most have not thought to do this is likely because they’re spending so much damn time on the back end, and not realizing that candidates actually have it just as bad as they do with the software governing the job search process.”

What’s your take on the candidate experience, and how is your organization working to make this part of your talent management strategy a more efficient and enjoyable experience for both candidate and recruiter?

Please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on April 29 for #Nextchat with special guest Matt Charney (@MattCharney). We’ll chat about why the candidate experience continues to be a big black hole for job seekers in 2015 and the ways in which organizations can work to turn it around.

Q. What is the biggest challenge or problem with the candidate experience at most organizations today?

Q. What are some of the most common frustrations or worst parts of the candidate experience as a job seeker?

Q. How does the application process impact the candidate experience? How can employers get better?

Q. With so much technology and so many communication channels, why do bad experiences still happen to good candidates today? 

Q. What does candidate experience say about a company's culture? Who's getting it right?

Q. Who owns the candidate experience within an organization?

Q. How does a negative experience impact your organization internally? 

Q. What role do career websites and employer branding play in the candidate experience? Any tips or tricks?

Q. Do candidates want a better experience? Have they just come to expect a bad one?

What's a Twitter chat?


To find out how your company stacks up, click here to register to participate in the 2015 Candidate Experience Awards. It's completely free, anonymous, and you'll get back the feedback and data you need to actually make a meaningful impact directly from your current applicants. And don't forget to check out the 2014 North American Candidate Experience Awards report for comprehensive findings and best practices from last year's winners.



The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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