Posts Tagged ‘candidate experience’

Three Messages from My Wife to Every HR Professional

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
Doug Blizzard, VP of Membership

Doug Blizzard, VP of Membership

Not to air my personal laundry, but my lovely wife who recently went through a trying career experience has some important messages for HR.  I had to hear these messages almost every night for six months, so now you’re going to hear them.  Enjoy!

Let me set the stage.  Her employer of 27 years was purchased and her job was relocated to another part of the country. Suddenly her very predictable, comfortable world was turned upside down.  Her employer treated her very well on exit, but suddenly she had to figure out what to do with the rest of her life.  Sound familiar?  She devoted her entire working life to this one company.  I realize I’m biased, but she offered an impressive set of skills to future employers.  Promoted frequently, she was a solid professional.   Finding a new job would be easy…so she thought.

Message #1: Are companies really looking for good people?  My wife applied for over sixty positions during her six month job search, most of which were lower level. She just wanted to get a foot in the door.  She didn’t receive so much as a thank you email or even an acknowledgement from ANY of the positions for which she applied.  Not one, ever. And she was applying to name brand companies…who frankly should know better.  Ask yourself if your application process works the same way and if it does is that the message you want to send good people?

Message #2: Dial back your Applicant Tracking System a little, you’re missing good people!  She clearly understood why a company would have an ATS, however her experience was that there were so many nit-picky questions and it was obvious to her when she would fall out.   When was the last time you reviewed your ATS screening process?  Have you dialed it too tight to weed out the occasional bad apple?

Message #3: Don’t be too busy to network like I was.  I throw this last message in because rarely does a week go by that I don’t hear from an HR professional who suddenly finds themselves in the same position as my wife.  While she was working, my wife didn’t make time to network.  When she lost her job she just couldn’t get her head around what networking meant.  Is that an event I go to?  Is it Linkedin?  I don’t have a lot of contacts since I didn’t work to develop them during my career.  I don’t feel comfortable asking help from people I haven’t talked to in awhile.  Sound familiar?  Here’s one easy way you can build your network – visit the MyCAI Forum everyday and answer someone’s question.  That’s it, five minutes max! You’ll help someone and become known as an HR problem solver, and suddenly everyone will want to know you.  And then when you need help…

So how did my wife’s story end?  Well she was pretty depressed with the job search.  One night we went to a party at a friends house (she didn’t want to go).  A friend asked her what she’d been up to.  He needed someone with her skill set to do commercial business development for his small business.  She’d never been in BD before, but had a lot of knowledge of and contacts in his industry.  She started six months ago.  His little company had it’s best year ever and is now the fifth largest provider in the country.  He attributes a good part of the growth to her.  Not bad!  And again, sixty other local companies didn’t even acknowledge her application.  Their loss.  Think about it!

Have any other helpful messages you’d like to send to HR? Let us know in the comments!

First Impressions Vital to Candidate Experience and the Bottom Line

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
Renee' Watkins, HR Advisor

Renee’ Watkins, HR Advisor

In today’s post, Advice and Resolution team member Renee’ Watkins shares the importance of creating a strong candidate experience and its positive impact on the health of your business.

The overall experience a candidate encounters during the interview process is very important to securing the candidate’s continued interest in your organization.   As competition for top talent continues to grow, and candidate expectations of potential employers expand, it is vital to make the best first impression possible.

According to a new CareerBuilder study, candidates who are turned off by a bad interview experience could go so far as to stop purchasing products or services provided by your company and may tell their family and friends to do the same.  According to the study of 5,000 workers and 2,000 hiring managers, candidate expectations are on the rise.

Here are a few specifics from the study:

The Bottom Line – A negative hiring experience can actually affect your bottom line.  Although eighty-two percent (82%) of employers felt there would be no negative impact to their bottom line as a result of a bad hiring experience,  58% of candidates indicated they would be less likely to buy from a company after a bad hiring experience. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of candidates said they would be more likely to buy from a company after a positive interview in which they were treated with respect.

Networking – According to the study, the average candidate researches an organization using as many as eighteen (18) resources during their job search.  Job boards, social networking sites, and online referrals are just a few of those resources.  Fifty-eight percent (58%) of employers fail to track how candidates learn about a position or how they researched the organization.  As a result, these employers miss a real opportunity to connect with candidates who are actively searching for jobs.

The “Black Hole” – The absolute worst thing an employer can do after interviewing an application is failure to follow up.  Candidates would prefer bad news over none at all.  Unfortunately, 52% of employers say they respond to less than half of their applicants, while 84% of today’s candidates expect a personal email response from their application, even if the answer is negative.  Do not let your candidate applications fall into the “Black Hole.”

Communication – Today’s technology makes it all too simple to send out a quick note via email to an applicant who has been through the interview process.  According to the study 41% of job applicants expect to be notified after the interview process if they were not chosen for the job opening. Seventy-three (73%) said they were never notified of anything post-interview.

KISS – We have all heard of the KISS method.  Keeping it simple is still the best way to keep candidates engaged in the hiring process.  A complicated application process can cause a candidate to lose interest and move on to another company they may be interested in.  Forty percent (40%) of applicants complain the hiring process has  become to difficult and 57% complain the process is too automated and lacks a personal touch.

Make Me An Offer – Making a good first impression during the hiring process can produce other benefits as well for the organization.  Seventy-seven percent (77%) of candidates surveyed said they would accept an offer 5% lower than their expectations if the interview process went well and left them with a good impression of the company.  Eighty-three percent (83%) said they would accept 5% less if the company had a great reputation as an employer.

Companies that have a strong reputation for an excellent hiring process and making a great first impression have a definite advantage.  Fifty-two percent (52%) of employers surveyed admit they do not have such a reputation, giving the other 48% the edge in acquiring top talent.

If you have any further questions regarding how you can develop or improve upon your existing talent acquisition process, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

4 Reasons the Candidate Experience is Lacking, and How to Fix It

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

right hire

Turns out the old adage of “earning respect by giving it” may actually be true. A recent survey conducted by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder reveals how a candidate’s treatment during the application process can make or break their impression of a company. The 2015 Candidate Behavior Study, which polled more than 5,013 workers ages 18 and over in February 2015, reveals the many facets of the candidate experience in which employers are falling short and ultimately damaging their employment brand. Here are four of their top concerns:

  1. Employer’s don’t understand the importance of the candidate experience.

A troubling statistic from the survey reveals that 82 percent of employers “think there’s little to no negative impact on the company when a candidate has a bad experience during the hiring process.” Candidates, however, feel quite differently: 69 percent of candidates polled said they would be less likely to buy from a company if they have a bad experience in the interview. This stark contrast in the importance of the candidate experience between the two parties could pose a serious issue for employers. By severely undermining the importance of ensuring a positive hiring experience, employers can leave candidates with an unfavorable view of the company and a disloyal customer base.

  1. Candidates desire ongoing communication

This survey found that employers are consistently falling short of candidates’ expectations regarding communication. Of the candidates polled in this study, 36 percent said they expected to be updated throughout the application process, but only 26 percent of employers actively communicate to candidates what stage of the hiring process they are in. This gap in expectations exposes an undercurrent of toxic resentment toward employers by candidates that can derail the application process to a negative experience, leaving a bad taste in the candidate’s mouth.

  1. Candidates are frustrated with the application process

According to the survey, 40 percent of candidates feel the application process has become “more difficult” in the last five years. Of those, 57 percent say the process is “too automated and lacks personalization” and 50 percent said it has “so many more steps than it used to have.” This clear frustration with the process shows that candidates and employers are out of sync. By attempting to truly connect with candidates, employers can help personalize the candidate experience and minimize the emotional disconnect many applicants feel pervades the process.

  1. Candidates are more likely to accept lower salaries from employers who left a good impression

In addition to earning respect, treating candidates well may also be good for your wallet. The study found that more than 3 in 4 of the candidates polled would be willing “to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process.” While a sense of professionalism and manners should be enough for employers to create a strong impression, this creates an extra incentive for employers to positively connect with candidates in order to ensure room for leverage in negotiating an appropriate salary for the company’s budget.

All these findings from the CareerBuilder study reveal a strong disconnect between employers and candidates in regards to the application process. By understanding the importance of making the process personalized and giving candidates the respect and courtesy of proactive communication, employers can develop a stronger and more durable brand for the company and make the candidate experience more efficient and enjoyable for both parties.

If you would like to discuss how you can improve your company’s hiring process, please call our Advice and Resolution team today at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.