The disconnect between the applicant journey and how companies approach real-time communication with their prospective employees is Grand Canyon wide. Companies who think that their applicant communication processes don’t need improvement could find themselves missing out.
Highlighted in a new report by HCM research (and Brandon Hall), the term “candidate experience” has become a catch-all for numerous HR agendas, and fails to accurately depict the applicant journey.
The overuse of the word “experience” by marketers to describe almost everything in the modern world does not accurately convey how a person feels during a hiring process. Communication is a key part of hiring, and while the human touch may not always be possible, the onus is on companies to make people feel wanted by how they communicate with them.
Challenges and Roadblocks
According to HCM’s report, about 75% of companies deemed candidate experience to be the result of all interactions with applicants during the recruitment marketing and hiring process, and a vital part of their business operations.
Companies also recognize that their current process needs to be improved, citing the feedback to candidates on their progress or status, and collecting feedback from candidates on their experience overall.
“Organizations must pay attention to candidate experience because they are losing, on average, nearly two in five candidates from the time they start the online application process through the job offer," said Daria Friedman, Brandon Hall Group's principal analyst. "That data does not even include those candidates who visit the career site and fail to complete the application. Having an exceptional candidate experience improves organizations' ability to attract and hire quality talent.”
A Deeper Dive
Probably the biggest issue is recognizing that an applicant communication problem exists. Although they see room for improvement, many companies feel they’re providing adequate applicant services, and many don’t see it as a major issue. When the same questions are put to applicants, the story is much different with their most common issue being ghosted with no feedback or status updates.
More than likely the biggest reason for this disconnect is how companies extract applicant satisfaction sentiments. Most companies, if they survey applicants at all, ask for their input at the end of the applicant journey. Those few responding are typically the ones who were taken through the whole process and more than likely were finalist candidates. This feedback will certainly skew the results.
For companies to get a clearer picture of how the applicant journey is viewed, averaging survey responses after each applicant exit step (not advanced from applying, after phone/video screen and after interviews, for example), provides a more accurate understanding of how applicants actually feel about the overall process.
Companies need to recognize the applicant communication problem and, importantly, want to do something about making the overall hiring experience better for both sides. When you take into account that the unemployment rate in the United States is less than 4 percent, it could be argued that talent has the upper hand.
Ultimately, applicant communication should be a priority for any hiring company. Not every application will end in that person sharing jokes around the water-cooler, but candidates expect real-time and relevant updates. After all, we have become used to a world where instant or constant communication is the norm, so why should the hiring process be any different?
Find out how Convey IQ’s Applicant Communication Studio offers Applicant Surveys throughout the hiring process and delivers the right applicant message at the right time: