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CandE Awards: An Interview With Kevin Grossman, Talent Board

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The 2017 Candidate Experience Awards, (or CandE Awards) are here.

This annual awards gala, hosted by the Talent Board, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to helping companies improve their candidate experience, honors hiring organizations that have gone above and beyond to provide job seekers with a memorable and engaging hiring journey.

Fifty companies across the country are taking home honors this year, including KPMG, American Airlines, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and AT&T, just to name a few.

We sat down with Kevin Grossman, Talent Board President of Global Programs, to learn more about their mission, and the importance of measuring candidate experience.

ConveyIQ: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Grossman: I’ve been in the HR space for 18, going on 19 years now. I love human resources, I love recruiting in particular, and talent acquisition. So over six years ago, right after the Talent Board had been formed, I was early on a volunteer and working on the technology side of the space.

ConveyIQ: What does the Talent Board do?

Grossman: Everything that we do is about what’s working and what’s not in recruitment today — from pre-application to on-boarding, with employers big and small, across diverse industries — all across the world. We also put a big focus on elevating and promoting a quality candidate experience.

ConveyIQ: What is the impact of candidate experience for companies today?

Grossman: Just in North America this year, candidates that have a one-star overall experience say that they will sever a relationship with a company 46 percent of the time — that’s huge. And just in our data, that’s tens of thousands of candidates.

“Candidates that have a 1-star overall experience say that they will sever a relationship with a company 46 percent of the time – that’s huge.”

Conversely though, when they have an overall great candidate experience and say they’re definitely going to increase their relationship with this brand…74 percent of candidates said they would do that. That’s 10 percent higher than last year. That’s the benefit you could reap, even if you only changed a few things.

ConveyIQ: Why is it important for companies to measure candidate experience?

Grossman: From a customer-centric vantage point, candidates are customers. And that’s whether you’re B2B, B2C, a small company, a high-growth, startup — all the way up to the global and international companies hiring thousands of people a year.

“At the end of the day, it’s a business transaction. It’s a messy, human one, but it’s a business transaction….And that’s tough.”

That experience of going through anybody’s recruitment process, from researching, to applying online — 99 to 100 percent of us are not getting a job. So that means there’s already a negative sentiment baked into the pie no matter how well you treat your candidates. At the end of the day, it’s a business transaction. It’s a messy, human one, but it’s a business transaction — and that’s tough.

ConveyIQ: So candidate experience is important to keep track of. But where do companies start?

Grossman: The first thing that a company has to be willing to do is measure. Because if they don’t have any other benchmark to how they’re doing compared to not only the rest of the marketplace, but to the industry they’re in and to themselves, they have no idea of where to start.

One of the big differentiators is communication and feedback loops. So even before anybody applies, there are companies today that are doing outreach, asking, ‘what do you think about our website?’ or ‘write a review about us’ before you apply. They’re starting to really put themselves out there and opening themselves up to try to create a more transparent and more competitive brand.

“All those things that have been applied to the business side of business, are now being applied to recruiting — and it’s working.”

It’s very reminiscent of marketing strategy. All those things that have been applied to the business side of business, are now being applied to recruiting — and it’s working.

ConveyIQ: But not all feedback is going to be positive. How can companies deal with the good, and the bad?

Grossman: Companies are resistant to giving too much feedback because they’re worried about things that may or may not come back to bite them. The key here is over-communicating. Even when you’re not doing a lot of direct phone or live conversations with the candidates, it’s still important to provide something — especially during the interview phase.

It’s all about fairness. Candidates want the minimum of two things: acknowledge that I’m interested in your company and give me closure when you’re done pursuing me — or give me an offer. Do those two things. Aiming above and beyond that is huge.

ConveyIQ: Is there such a thing as “too much” feedback?

Grossman: We’ve never run into survey fatigue. There are best practices and frequencies, who you’re targeting and why…but we haven’t run into that wall.

ConveyIQ: Once you’ve got your feedback, how can companies use it?

Grossman: If your candidates are telling you you’re taking too long in the whole process overall, and they’re telling you your hiring managers are cancelling too many of their interviews and having to reschedule — that’s a big impact on them.

“Candidates share wholeheartedly with their inner circles and they share, though not as much, publicly.”

If you know this, you need to address it. Because if you don’t, it’s just going to keep impacting your business and your brand.

Our data shows that candidates share wholeheartedly with their inner circles. And they share, though not as much, publicly. If you have the knowledge that something is broken and you’re not doing anything, and not convincing leadership you need the time and resources to fix it, it’s going to bite you. That’s just the reality.

ConveyIQ is a proud sponsor of the CandE Awards.

Are you interested in being featured in our ConveyIQ Spotlight Series? Drop us a line here letting us know how you or your company are making strides in Talent Acquisition! 

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