Building benchmarks for candidate experience (CX) that are scalable and sustainable across a recruiting function is an essential starting point on any company’s candidate experience roadmap. When recruiters are focused on strategically compelling candidates to work at their organization as opposed to a competitor, then companies have a good start for measuring and optimizing CX. Knowing what top talent really thinks and knowing how to convert passive candidates into active applicants means adopting some marketing best practices for monitoring and measuring candidate behaviors throughout the talent attraction and application process.
The question is, how? To address this, we wanted to share a great resource for building CX benchmarks. It highlights the raw truth about managing CX and provides actionable tips for measuring it. You can find the full article, “No Quick Fix: Why HR Technology Can’t Fix A Broken Candidate Experience” here and follow the author, Ray Tenenbaum (@rayten).
Listening to candidates is a straightforward and simple first step to building a baseline for benchmarking candidate experience. By combining qualitative data as well as anecdotal experiences through personal follow ups and automated surveys, you’ll get a better sense of what you’re doing right right now, and what you can be doing better today to create the kind of candidate experience you’ll need to win the top talent of tomorrow.
Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to more robust enterprise tools like Formstack or Slack, there’s very little financial risk involved in reaping the rewards inherent to continuous market research and consumer surveying.
While these technologies make surveying candidates simple, using these tools presents a unique set of challenges. When assessing potential survey platforms, it’s important to concentrate less on the content of the survey, focusing more on any potential issues involving process automation, systems integration, data aggregation and predictive analysis that might arise before or after implementation.
To reach the candidates you need to get the information you want, any surveying solution should seamlessly integrate into any candidate management tool, CRM or other enterprise wide candidate communications platform your organization might already be using.
From adding calls to action into the acknowledgement e-mails automatically generated by your ATS to following up with pipelined candidates or targeted prospects through a talent community or recruiting network, it’s critical that all candidates have the chance to provide insights and information on their own experience at some point in your process, and that you’re collecting this sort of data at every point in the hiring process.
Once you have enough responses from a wide enough representation of your candidate population, you’ll need to take a step back and spend some time crunching the numbers to see what kind of story the data is telling you about your people and processes, and the focus areas you should be prioritizing to ensure a consistent, world class experience for every single candidate, every single time.
You might be surprised at the disconnect between what you think, and what the numbers show; you’ll never know how well you’re really doing in terms of candidate experience until you actually ask your candidates, something too few employers have taken the time to do. Don’t make the mistake of making assumptions.
By applying established online marketing best practicesto your candidate experience strategy, you’ll be able to actually quantify how effective your candidate experience really is (or isn’t).
As you’re probably already aware, the talent acquisition funnel is almost completely congruent with the consumer sales funnel; online recruiting, like ecommerce or SaaS solutions, requires breaking through the noise of a crowded, cutthroat marketplace and making sure you’re being heard. The only way to do that is by knowing what your candidates are actually listening for, which, again, is why big data is such a big deal.
Looking a little more closely at the recruiting funnel, we have the “consideration” stage of the process, where a qualified, interested and available potential candidate is trying to decide whether or not to formally apply for a position or opportunity at your organization.
Every employer needs to accurately measure not only the source of every applicant, but also the percentage of application starts to submissions, and where in the process that drop-off is occurring. By measuring things like bounce rates, applicant drop off rates and the problems preempting candidates from at least entering your recruiting funnel, you’ll be able to identify specific process areas where your investment in candidate experience tools and technologies are the likeliest to have the biggest impact on your business and bottom line.
Collecting this kind of data is similar to what marketers are already doing with tools like Google AdWords, tracking and optimizing candidate click through and campaign response rates in real time, all the time; by adopting these proven B2C best practices, recruiters can lower bounce rates, increase engagement, and improve conversions throughout every stage of the candidate lifecycle.
Much like survey software, there are a ton of free or low cost point solutions out there for measuring where candidates are coming from, where they’re dropping out and what you need to do to capture and convert the top talent your organization needs. In addition to the aforementioned AdWords, a few of the more popular providers in this category include solutions like Mixpanel, Optimizely, Qualaroo and KissMetrics each of these solutions, as well as the other software providers in this category, are built to capture usage data across both mobile and desktop experiences, an increasingly critical capability for employers today.
After implementing one of these solutions, you’ll at least have the data and visibility you need to know where to identify the issues you’ll really need to address, and the most imperative people and process problems you’ll have to overcome, to give the candidates your organization needs the experience they expect – and deserve – throughout every step of your sourcing, screening and selection processes.