The Long-Term impact of the Candidate Experience on Your Bottom Line

I recently interviewed Tim Keningham, Global Chief Strategy Officer and EVP at Ipsos Loyalty. Tim is co-author of a terrific new book titled The Wallet Allocation Rule. At one point, our conversation focused on recruiting, and more specifically, the candidate experience.

Here’s a transcript of what Tim had to say:

Tim: I was speaking last week in San Francisco about the book to a bunch of Fordham University alumni and there was a gentleman there who graduated from Fordham in like the ‘60s or something. He was a retired lawyer but he started out as a chemist. And he said that he knew that he wasn’t qualified for one of these jobs with a big company and I won’t name them because I don’t want to embarrass anyone. But they didn’t treat him well when they rejected him. He understood why they rejected him but they treated him poorly. Well, in his new job, he made a point of designing the specification in such a way that it would specifically exclude that firm from being able to work with them, and those specifications, he said, are still in existence today. I was like, that’s 40 years! And he worked for a very large manufacturer. He said, “But that just one thing. Remember that you’re leaving an impression for people regardless of how it goes.” You want to make sure that they go, “Okay, I understand that I’m not going to be right for every position but I was treated with a level of respect.” I’m not going to have some guy in the future be in a position where he can ultimately punish me.

Peter: Right. Yes, I am a member of the Candidate Experience Awards Council and this is the kind of thing that we talk about all the time. It’s really important how you treat candidates. And then you get into a whole conversation, too, Tim, of who is a candidate? Well, a candidate is anyone who thinks they’re a candidate, whether you think they’re a candidate or not.

Tim: That is exactly right. How many resumes go into Google every year and they can only take how many people, right? There are people that aspire for positions and you want to make sure that they’re treated with respect because not only that, they’re your customer.

Peter: That’s right.

Tim: They’re going to be your customer, too. So all of these things have a ripple effect and this is where you’re more likely actually to have people either try to punish you or try to speak ill of you because when it’s your career, it’s a very, very personal experience. And they are willing to talk whereas some things are less likely to have a conversation about, okay, here’s an easy example, one of the most loyal things that customers buy in a grocery store is toothpaste. They consistently buy the same brand because they just do. They pick a brand and they go with it. How many people talk about toothpaste despite their high loyalty to the brand by demonstrating that they buy it over and over again? Nobody. I’ve never seen a water cooler talk about toothpaste.

You can find the entire podcast interview with Tim here.

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Comment by Gerry Crispin on April 24, 2015 at 2:18pm

Neat. I've been reading Tim's book, carefully, because he is a strong crtic of NPS as a measure (for customers) and we've been trying to adopt an appropriate metric for Candidate Experience


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