And the Award for Best Candidate Experience Goes To…

If you don’t care a whit about candidate experience, then you aren’t likely to be much interested in being recognized for it. For everyone else, this one’s for you.

I had a chat with Gerry Crispin today and I can assure you he is passionate about the experience job seekers have as they navigate through a corporate career site in pursuit of information. So passionate, that he approaches the subject with near missionary zeal.

Yesterday he, his partner at CareerXroads Mark Mehler, and a group of friends released a monograph on the issue of the candidate experience. I posted about it here, but could not detail every valuable morsel in the paper.

Now, the group is hoping to take the matter to a higher level. Crispin, Elaine Orler, and Ed Newman want help with a survey about what it would take and how much information you would be willing to share to create an industry award around the candidate experience.

There’s 11 questions, two have multiple parts. It should only take a few minutes to complete. You can answer it without having read a word of the paper or my post. But if you don’t read the report do yourself a favor and go there now. At a minimum, head to page 4 where you’ll find such blunt, useful, and data-driven observations as:

  • “Delays at any stage of the recruitment process are almost guaranteed to negatively impact candidate reactions — and this is especially true of better quality candidates!”
  • “Two characteristics recruiters exhibit to successfully generate more influence with applicants are: perceived ‘warmth’ (enthusiastic, personable, empathetic, and helpful) and knowledge about the job. Nothing else they (recruiters) do seems to matter much to applicants.”
  • “Hiring managers influence the applicant more than recruiters.”

If that last one made you say “Duh,” then why do you just turn them loose on unsuspecting candidates? That was rhetorical, so no need to comment about the realities of working with hiring managers.

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The point of this post, however, is not simply to double-dip the issue. (But I will take a moment to note that a job-seeking acquaintance of mine suggested a better title would be “Candidate Mistreatment.” And he’s not even one of the bitter seekers who email me about their experience.)

My shameless self-interest in promoting the survey is the hope that the team does  establish some form of recognition for candidate experience. Because then there would be detailed data about how the candidates and the window-shoppers saw things.

The survey is open until March 15 and whether you have any intent of applying for an award or not, Elaine, Ed, and Gerry want to know what you think.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.