Candidate Experience. Finally Getting the Recognition It Deserves…Sort of

There has been a lot of buzz around candidate experience lately. Many organizations have begun to realize that if they want to attract top talent, they need to provide a positive candidate experience throughout the application process.

Industry thought leaders Gerry Crispin, Ed Newman, and Elaine Orler have even created The Candidate Experience Awards, or CandEs for short. It’s a competition that rewards all organizations that meet the 2012 standard of candidate experience excellence.


So one would think that offering a positive candidate experience has become a priority for most HR professionals and recruiters.


Then you hear a story like this:


I recently witnessed an interesting discussion at an industry conference event. All names have been withheld to protect the innocent, or not-so-innocent. 

Attendee #1: We’ve been having problems accepting applications from candidates. When they create an account and try to apply for a job by filling in all of their information, as soon as they push submit, they receive and error message and must start the process all over again. Is anyone else having this issue?


Attendee #2: Yes, we had a similar issue but we found a workaround. When a candidate experiences this, we instruct them to first create an account, log-off, log back in, search for the job again, and then enter in their information again. This usually solves the problem.


Attendee #1 & others: Nodding their heads. Yeah, that works.


Me: Surprised expression. Thinking…Wow, Really?


Can you image how many candidates an organization would lose by adopting this process? Their drop-off rates would be huge. Not to mention they are essentially self-selecting only the most desperate ones that would go through the process the first time, fail, contact the organization about not being able to apply, and then go through the process once again. The best candidates with lots of options couldn’t be bothered. Not only are they losing candidates, they’re losing the best ones. Then there’s the issue of how it negatively impacts their employer brand…but you get the idea.


Obviously candidate experience is still a major issue for many organizations and some of them don’t even realize it yet. If you’d like to learn tips on how to improve your candidate experience, signup for this free webinar. It’s targeted at organizations using an Oracle or PeopleSoft system, but the best practice tips are useful for anyone.

Views: 528

Comment by David Smooke on August 2, 2012 at 8:08pm

Let's talk - in person - about how to avoid stories like this.

In the SF area, if you want to sound off or learn more about Candidate Experience, you should attend on Aug. 8 SmartUp on Candidate Experience, featuring a panel of CEOs (of Simply Hired & SmartRecruiters), Talent Consultants, and Job Seekers!

Comment by Jeremy Haskell on August 3, 2012 at 9:32am

How many recruiters are tracking the number of applicants that start the process, but then fall off?  I have been working with a group who is looking for solutions to this problem from the perspective of job boards, who are in some cases unfairly being credited with low candidate referrals.  The metrics show that a number of candidates are being referred properly, but are abandoning the process because they either receive errors, or it just becomes too cumbersome.  I would appreciate any feedback on how you, as recruiters, are tracking this metric, and what, if anything, you're doing about it.


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