The 2014 Candidate Awards did more than merely open the recruiting books at some of the world’s greatest businesses, with several employers voluntarily subjecting their hiring processes to the extreme scrutiny entailed in being evaluated by approximately 95,000 application answers. It also yielded a wealth of information for a diverse group of candidates – and the recruiters tasked with recruiting them – from a wide range of verticals, talent, and market requirements, with the sheer sample size functioning as a microcosm of today’s job hunt.
This list of ten key takeaways is a statistical snapshot of where candidate experience stands today – and what needs to be done to improve it in the future.
- There are a total of one career site.
When investigating a firm, 64.5 percent of applicants found career sites to be useful. In comparison, only 19.9% believed review sites like Glassdoor were useful marketing resources, and social recruitment had an even lower grade (3.8 percent for Facebook, 1.9 percent for Twitter, and the much-vaunted talent communities at 5.9 percent ). This is wonderful news for recruiters because it signifies that applicants are flocking to the platform where they have complete control over the material.
- Your employer brand is defined by your values.
More than accolades like Best Places to Work Lists (12.7%) or corporate social responsibility (14.4%), candidates said the company’s principles were the most important marketing material influencing their decision to apply (13.8 percent ). This suggests that instead of the more complex and resource-intensive marketing tactics that employers presently use to demonstrate those principles in action, organizations would be better served by focusing their efforts on stating their beliefs. This result is paradoxical, at least from a marketing standpoint, but well outside the realm of possibility.
- Don’t bother with Big Data.
Prior to taking this survey, 75.4 percent of candidates had never been asked about their experience by an employer, indicating that, despite the fact that both big data and candidate experience are hot topics, nearly three-quarters of employers lack basic analytics to create basic benchmarks around how candidates perceive their process.
- Don’t Get Too Excited About Your Own Application.
The average online application takes 43 percent of candidates 30 minutes or more to complete. Even more than 10% spend an hour or more. Consider this for a moment. On the one hand, you’re placing a premium on passive individuals who are fully employed, yet expect them to squander up to an hour of their life filling out your silly forms? Put it out of your mind. A dysfunctional process will not be fixed by even the best recruiting marketing or HR technology, so stop adding complications and start focusing on simplicity.
- The Candidate Experience’s Greatest Weakness Is Interviewing.
Other than ostensibly a date and location, just 38.2 percent of candidates received any information prior to their actual interview1. While that percentage may appear insignificant, learning the name of the interviewer was the winning response to the question of what kind of “communication and preparation” employers provided prior to their interview.
- Silence Is The Most Damning Form of Rejection.
5.5 percent of candidates received feedback that they felt moderately beneficial from employers when alerted that they were not chosen; of that, a scant 2.7 percent of the candidates received “valuable and specific input.”
Furthermore, while the majority of you were never contacted after spending an excessive amount of time filling out your extremely complicated online application, only 13.1 percent were urged to apply again.
- Candidates Have A Pretty High Threshold For Pain.
From a best practices approach, repeat business is the best measure of success, and on this basis, employers are succeeding at candidate experience, even if they are largely ignoring it. 32 percent had positive enough experiences to definitely apply again, and 37.1 percent indicated they were likely, providing their previous encounter was “efficient and fair.”
- You’ll Pay for a Bad Candidate Experience.
Even though just 11% of applicants had such bad candidate experiences that they severed all relations with a company, the fact remains that, because candidates are customers, the majority of them have their purchasing decisions or brand sentiment influenced directly by candidate experience. This corresponds to a significant amount of potential income (and goodwill), demonstrating why candidate experience is so important.
- Job Boards Still Work
Social media and branding of employers might be popular, but if you are looking to get some bang for your recruiting process, turns out old school is still in. 62 percent of candidates reported employing job post aggregator Indeed in their job search.
- Your only chance to make a good first impression is through candidate experience.
47.7 percent of applicants had no past relationship whatsoever with a company before applying for a position there, compared to about 15 percent for both recommendations and existing customers. As a result, for many prospects, the encounter they have will be their first introduction to your business.