At a recent conference on the recruiting industry, there was an interesting consensus amongst the attendees and presenters. Simply, that the most critical and overlooked failing of most employer's recruiting & hiring processes involved overlooking "candidate experience." This is an incredibly broad area, covering everything from the impressions of the the passive candidate who visits your corporate hiring Web site just to poke around, to the candidate who fills out your application forms and goes through a battery of interviews.
This is huge. Worthy of an entire blog on its own. I just want to highlight two aspects of it.
The first point worth noting was well covered by employment industry expert Gerry Crispin who started with a remarkable story about his experience with a well known company that had recently gone to extraordinary lengths while fulfilling a $2 mail in rebate. Gerry asked a question that really deserves an answer: if companies can and are willing to go to such great lengths to keep a customer "in the loop" over a $2 coupon, how can we possibly justify the indifference and disrespect that most candidates experience from most potential employers?
His point is valid. Thanks to the web and other technologies, incredibly powerful and customized "one to one" marketing and communication has become relatively accessible and economical. It can be done. It is really unbelievable that it isn't being done.
But, what a great opportunity for an employer to differentiate themselves! Which leads me to point number two. Which predictably (if you've read my other postings) is about employer branding. Here's the thing. Candidate experience informs word of mouth, which is the primary channel through which your employer brand (good or bad) is being disseminated. You can give candidates a really terrible experience to share with everyone they talk to. Or, you can give them an extraordinary experience to tell everyone about. Or, of course, you give them a mixed experience that they just won't much talk about at all.
Some employers think that the candidates they don't hire aren't worth worrying about one way or another. I really question that assumption.