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.

Bill