I don’t know if your candidates’ experience is great or terrible. And you might not know either.
Research shows that only 26% of companies are frequently gathering feedback about their recruiting process.
When’s the last time you surveyed your new hires about their experience during the recruiting process? Whether interviewers were respectful of their time, the career site answered all of their questions, or candidates always understood the next steps in the hiring process?
When’s the last time you surveyed the candidates who didn’t — or didn’t want to — make it through the recruiting and hiring process?
And have you recently gone through your company’s recruiting and application process posing as a job-seeker, assessing both candidate experience and hiring effectiveness?
In the study, “The Worker Shortage Is Partially Self-Inflicted,” only 39% of people think they would definitely make it through their company’s hiring process if they changed the name on their resume and applied for their current job.
The point of these questions and statistics is to highlight that, much of the time, we really don’t know how candidates feel about our processes. And hidden in those blind spots are likely to be both some serious problems and fairly easy solutions.
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For example, imagine you asked every candidate who started, but didn’t finish, their application, “What was the most frustrating part of the application process?” You might discover that they hated having to upload their resume and then also write out their job history in another part of the form. Perhaps they couldn’t find any information about the company’s culture or values on the career site. Or maybe there wasn’t any detail about how to follow up once they submitted their application.
Think about what you might learn if you asked every candidate who didn’t accept your offer, “What was the most frustrating part of the hiring process?” You might hear that they never understood where they were in the hiring process. Or that they felt like interviewers were disorganized and disrespectful of the candidate’s time. Perhaps they heard wildly inconsistent answers about what it’s like to work at the company. Maybe the company where they accepted a job just did little things like providing them a detailed agenda for their interview, including the names and titles of everyone with whom they would be speaking.
You could even ask those same folks, “What’s something you felt was missing from our offer?” They might not have been comfortable telling you all of their compensation and benefits desires directly, but after they accept that other job, you might learn that the other company offered them 12 months of maid service. Maybe that other company did a better job of explaining their processes for job growth and career advancement, or offered a four-day workweek.
It’s not always pleasant to learn about all the problems and breakdowns in your application, recruiting, and hiring processes. But every one of those flaws can lead to a more compelling candidate experience for the next person who applies. And given how few companies are doing candid assessments of their candidates’ experience, you can stand out just by being one of the few organizations that care enough to ask the hard questions.