• Shana Lynde

Can We Fix the Broken Candidate Experience?

Updated: Apr 11, 2019

The process of hiring new employees is not what it used to be. In the early 2000’s you could post a job on Monster.com (or one the few competing job boards) and count on a substantial, yet manageable supply of well-suited resumes to appear in your inbox.

In the past couple of decades, HR technology has rapidly advanced, but employers and recruiters are still working under the same post-and-pray job board model. Get enough resumes to eke out a semi-decent hire. Of course, that’s only after spending countless hours digging through piles of resumes, and multiple rounds of interviews over several weeks.

Even when using the updated job board models of Indeed, ZipRecruiter, or even ATS-models like Breezy HR, age-old recruiting and hiring challenges often persist:

  • Hundreds of the wrong resumes flood your inbox.

  • Candidates' backgrounds are a complete mismatch for the job. "Did they read the job description," you often wonder?

  • Timing misaligned: candidates want jobs now, but the process drags out.

  • Competition for top talent is fierce, from small and large companies alike.

The list goes on.

It’s no wonder employers are spending their valuable time reaching out to a select few, leaving the majority of applicants in the dark. They have no time; they can barely look at all of the resumes sitting in their inbox, let alone respond to each applicant personally. Many are simply exhausted and fed up with the lack of well-suited applicants. Once the interview process is underway, top candidates fall out of the interview process as a result of these long hiring timelines, lack of contact, and competitive job offers.

Some of our colleagues are wiser to the times and realize the numbers game is a losing game, so they are taking to tech. To shore up these challenges, employers are integrating high-tech, machine-driven tools into their hiring processes. Enter AI and ML-driven human resource management: chatbots for conversing with potential hires, AI assistants as stand-in initial contacts, AI facial recognition replacing resumes, video selfies, recorded video interviews, and much, much, more. On the surface, these tools seem to benefit both internal and external recruiters alike by providing convenience and saving time.

But at what cost?

Candidates Pay the Price for Efficiency

In today’s virtually connected age, recruiting is a mighty marketing platform pre-and-post hire. 78% of candidates say their experience as a job seeker is an indicator of how a company values its people (Career Builder). The way a brand is perceived before, during, and after the hiring process can make or break their ability to recruit top talent, and ultimately, the right customers. The perception of a brand, as a result of the hiring process, is not up to the brand at the end of the day. Ultimately, it is the candidates who take part in the interview process, and employees who work at a company, which shape a company’s perception to a large degree.

How does this happen? Candidates, by nature, are micro-influencers because they take to social media and other online platforms to share their opinions about an interview process - positive or negative. If companies were woke to the truth of the candidate experience, they would probably be more tuned into their recruiting process, how they interact with candidates, and many would overhaul their approach to the candidate experience. Consider these stats:

  • 60% of job seekers report they quit an application due to its length or complexity (Recruiting Brief)

  • 78% of job seekers report never having been asked for feedback on their candidate experience (Lever)

  • 65% of job seekers say they never or rarely receive notice of their application status (Lever)

  • 51% of those who receive notification say that it takes at least one month or more (CareerArc)

  • A shocking 60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience

  • 72% have shared their experience on online employer review sites such as Glassdoor.com (LinkedIn)

The troublesome part is that the majority of companies don’t seem to care. Most employers are utterly oblivious to job seeker reviews, and only 46% of employers make regular improvements to their recruiting process (every six months).

How does this affect companies and why does it matter? Severely. For the average US company, if 10% of candidates are unhappy with their experience, they will lose 22,000 customers and $2.2 million annually. That’s a heavy hit. You can calculate your own company’s risk in your city and country with this Candidate Experience Resentment Calculator.

Happy Candidates = Happy Companies

So candidates can make a significant dent in your company’s bottom line, and something needs to be done to create a more positive candidate experience. What next? Doesn’t all the new HR tech help mitigate the candidate resentment and poor candidate experience?

Well, yes, a little. If your goal is efficiency so you can pamper every candidate, then yes, any tech that enables hands-on candidate catering is excellent. However, most recruiters and employers are merely trading tech for time. We are living in a candidate-driven market where the best candidates are passive, and it takes a lot of time and effort to compete for top talent.

The way to turn things around is to humanize the hiring process, which seems counterintuitive to the current recruiting landscape (not enough time, too many candidates, etc.) and our current tech. A recent article by Sujo John at Monster.com, entitled “Where’s the Human Touch in Recruiting,” highlights this point very nicely, yet comes up with no solution.

If you want the best of both worlds, where do you turn? Until now you had to piecemeal something together. Find tech you like and then insert yourself and a very personalized touch into the recruiting process to ensure a quality candidate experience. Then we are back to a much older recruiting model to some extent. But what if there were a different option?

There is. A new HR tech startup is bridging the gap to merge efficient, machine-driven technology with human connection for a superior candidate experience. Janeous is an ML-supported talent platform that matches the right candidates with the right companies for live video interviews. Automation, meet your human interviewer and interviewee, with a whole host of thoughtful ways to connect with candidates that ensure a quality experience. Everyone wins.

Have you considered your candidates’ experience recently? How will you integrate a human touch in your hiring process? We'd love to hear from you, please share with us your experience.

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