Candidate Experience

Rethinking Mobile Apply #CandEUK

This might seem a bit of a change in direction. I’ve always championed mobile integration in to recruitment process, and apply by mobile has been a big part of the conversation. At risk of being controversial (as if I would), I have been rethinking my position on this. First off, this doesn’t mean I’m changing my mind about the importance of mobile, the numbers show that mobile is social, and is fast becoming web. Mobile should be the first consideration in buying or building technology, building mobile to web rather than the other way round.

Over the last 3 months I have been spending a lot of time going through the data for the Candidate Experience Awards, UK Edition, known as the CandE’s. When you look at the hard data from a wide range of companies, the learning points are quite clear. To give you some idea of the headlines that are going to be included in the white paper:

> The average job gets 80 applications for each post filled.

> 70% of candidates are unqualified for the job they apply for

> Only 20% of applicants see a job description before applying, and this includes the minimum requirements.

When you look at these numbers, it does make you question if this is desperation or a lack of research on the part of the applicants. Whilst the process might well be painful, as is well documented, killer questions are being left to the end of the process, (if at all), rather than being stated before starting the application process. It seem that all the emphasis has been on talent attraction rather tan recruiting, as recruiters have rushed to become marketeers. With these numbers, any level of candidate experience for already overloaded recruiters becomes a problem.

This brings me on to mobile apply, or any type of apply for that matter. The smart companies in the survey have started separating out candidates and applicants, with different processes to provide the best experience for each. My definitions are:

>  Candidates

Anyone connected with the company in a network. This could be a talent network, a LinkedIn follower, a Facebook fan or similar. A candidate should be able to declare their interest with one click, giving access to their data, enabling notification of relevant content and opportunities matched to their profiles. A candidate stays a candidate as long as they choose to be connected. This replaces concepts like silver medalists, or the win/lose application process.

> Applicant

Anyone actively in the application process for a job or jobs. A minimum requirement of this should be that the applicant is aware of the minimum requirements and has seen a form of the job spec, not the job ad, but the job spec. Rejected applicants become candidates for future messaging, sourcing, matching and consideration. My thinking on mobile is that this should be for the candidate process only, though the process of moving from candidate to applicant can be mobile enabled via the talent network, with mobile landing pages and related data sent to those candidates who match the minimum requirements based on the candidate data submitted.

My thinking now is for a mobile candidate process, and that a mobile apply process on its own might just make the situation worse. The #CandE UK WhitePaper will be available for download soon. Any company interested in getting their own process benchmarked against other EMEA employers can register their interest free to take part in the 2013 survey. There is no maximum number of companies who can be awarded the kite mark recognition, or achieve distinction, and all companies get a complete report. If you are serious about candidate experience, take part!


PLEASE NOTE: The opinions expressed in this post are mine, and not an official #CandE communication.

Find out about the CandEUK 2013 Awards HERE

What impacts on candidate experience? #CandEUK #trulondon

I haven’t blogged for the last few weeks, having been out-of-town at #Sourcecon, and in San Francisco for a week working with social referral start-up RolePoint. It was a great trip with lots of learning, and new tech to look at. Over the last few months I’ve also been busy helping to judge the UK edition of the #CandEs, the candidate experience awards, which has meant ploughing through plenty of data and feedback, as well as interviewing the companies involved. Next Tuesday we are going to be recognizing the winners at a presentation in London. Good practice in this area deserves recognition, and the #CandEs UK presents the perfect opportunity to do this. I’m also delighted that we will be sharing the findings, as well as case studies from the participants at #trulondon on the 6′th and 7′th March.

Whilst I can’t share the outcomes yet, I have drawn some clear learning points on what impacts on the quality of the candidate experience. Lots of recruiters have good and honest intentions to treat candidates well, but process and volume of work ties them down. These are some of my thoughts on candidate experience:

  • The quality of the experience has a direct relationship with the quantity of applications.
  • The more involved in the end to end recruiting process the hiring manager is, the better the experience.
  • Few people consider recruiter experience, but the two are massively related.
  • When hiring companies use agencies, feedback is  least likely.
  • The candidate and applicant process should be two different things
  • Talent networks keep people and companies connected beyond the transaction
  • Killer questions in an ATS should be asked before applying.
  • Search should always come before broadcast
  • Technology is used as a barrier rather than an enabler

These are just a few of my thoughts. A headline in a newspaper today announced that over 1,700 people applied for 8 jobs at a branch of Costa Coffee in Nottingham. How can those applicants have any kind of experience, except a bad one. These are for jobs just above minimum wage. Surely there was a better way of attracting applicants, (like asking for referrals), than posting ads and getting flooded. Companies need to be doing more than talking about candidate experience. All of these applicants in Nottingham could well be local and customers of Costa. Don’t treat them well and they will be looking for their nearest Starbucks, and that would prove very costly.

I will be sharing the specific feedback after the awards. Join us at #trulondon to discuss candidate experience in more detail, from the #CandE UK awards and from candidates first hand.


Care About Your Candidates? Time To Find Out #CandEUK

A conference doesn’t go by when someone isn’t talking about candidate experience. Every event, every roundtable and plenty of blog posts from the great and the good. It is one of the most talked about topics, almost to the point of boredom. We all agree that most recruitment processes are not really that good when it comes to candidate care. It seems everyone agrees, but what is actually happening about it?
If you really want to change what you do, build on the good bits and identify the bits that need fixing then you need to take a diagnostic approach to understanding your process through your candidates eyes. This means applying for a few of your own jobs yourself stepping in to the candidates shoes. The other option if you are really serious about finding out how you do is to enter the Candidate Experience Awards UK.
What I like about these awards that were launched in the US last year is that the application process is centred on candidate research to get real feedback. The feedback is used to complete a report that anonymously benchmarks all of the entrants. This means you can see what you do well, and build on that as well as those areas that you really need to improve on. The report should form the basis of your talent attraction and recruiting strategy, as well as giving you some ammunition if you need to get some backing or budget for your plans.

Some key facts about The Candidate Experience Awards:

> Entry is FREE. There is no cost for the report, award entry or a dinner you have to buy a table for.

> The application takes 60 – 90 minutes to complete, the organisers do all the research and leg work.

> Entry closes in September, though spaces are limited and close to full (Don’t wait.)

> Entry is open to any company in EMEA who have some recruitment activity in the UK.

> Entry is open to Agency and Corporate Recruiting Teams.

> You could win a shiny new award and global recognition for your recruitment process.

The report will enable you to:

  • Understand exactly what candidates expect as part of good candidate experience
  • Provide a rating of candidate experience that will compare you to your peers
  • Indicate how different generations experience your process
  • Learn how responsive your recruiting teams are
  • Tell you what candidates are using to educate themselves
  • Learn why candidates are rejecting your company
  • Tell you how candidates receive your feedback

Gerry Crispin, who is part of the TalentBoard who founded the awards comments:

The subject of the Candidate Experience has become prominent on the strategic agenda for Heads of Talent Acquisition; indeed the first Candidate Experience Awards were held in North America in 2011. The CandE Awards are to recognise companies who set a high standard for how they engage and treat candidates.

“As the independent voice of talent acquisition, we are proud to have been asked to bring these awards to the UK and are delighted to be  the principal sponsor of the Candidate Experience Awards UK 2012.

“The CandE UK Award process is open to organisations that recruit in the British employment market.   It is a great opportunity for organisations to benchmark and improve their candidate experience.   Any organisation that is interested in improving its candidate experience, regardless of sophistication, will benefit by participating in the award process.”

I don’t often ask for your help, but I think this could prove to be quite important. It is our opportunity to get a benchmark of the real candidate experience, to highlight best practice and change things for the better. If you really care about your candidates then it is time to start doing. I’m proud to be involved. i hope you will get involved to by entering the awards or sharing this post. The more we can get behind these awards, the bigger difference we can make to the real candidate experience. Please play your part!



About The Talent Board

The Candidate Experience Awards 2012