Getting to 85%

Key takeaways from the Global 2023 CandE Benchmark Research.

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Feb 14, 2024

After decades of thinking about playing the drums, and with only a few short-lived runs at starting to play but never following through, I finally picked up the drumsticks for good shortly after the Covid lockdown started. That was nearly four years ago, and since then, I’ve practiced for over 1,000 hours, averaging about five hours per week, usually playing after dinner. When I travel, I bring my practice pad with me and try to bang out some rudiments.

In addition to practicing rudiments and taking various lessons, I’ve also had fun learning to play many songs I grew up with and loved (and still love), nearly 120 songs to date. I get to 80% to 85%% proficiency, record myself playing, and then move on to another song, always learning two songs simultaneously. Early on I couldn’t always get the entire song down, but now I can.

No, I’m not starting a band anytime soon, but the point of all this ongoing practice is to improve and sustain my drumming performance. Hitting 100% isn’t easy, but consistency in proficiency is key. I’m also always adding wrinkles to my rudiments, the lessons I’m learning, and periodically getting feedback and lessons from a professional session drummer.

I’ve been beating a similar drum for years running the CandE Benchmark Research Program. Each year we uncover the rudiments that help TA leaders and their teams improve and sustain their recruiting performance, their overall candidate experience, and the positive impact on their businesses and their brands.

Our 2023 CandE Benchmark Research is now available and you can download it here. Meanwhile, here are three key takeaways to put into practice today:

Timely Dispositions Slipped, but Still a Differentiator

For the past few years, the highest-rated employers have been more consistent and timely with their dispositions. In fact, most had told us they were required to review applications within three to five days to reject or move forward. While this is still a differentiator for CandE Winners around the world, the overall percentage of top-rated employers doing this within three to five days has decreased.

For example, over 80% of the top-rated North America employers said they dispositioned within three to five days in 2022, but this year, that’s dropped to 50% or lower. Only 56% of all 2023 North America CandE Winners said they disposition within that same time frame, but last year it was 63%, an 11% decrease. The mix of participating employers does change each year, but the reality for many employers this year was that their applications increased, while their recruiting teams decreased.

Even if their rejection timeliness deteriorated somewhat, the top-rated employers are still more consistent about rejecting candidates than all other employers in our research. This is true in EMEA, APAC, and Latin America as well.

Structured Interviews and Next Steps

Employers that implement more candidate-friendly and fair interview processes, ones that are structured with a consistent process and set of questions across job types, help reduce bias, improve selection, and improve the candidate experience. In 2023, the highest-rated CandE Winners conducted structured interviews 19% more than all employers combined, and all CandE Winners conducted them 8% more often than all employers combined.

Structured interviews usually drive higher positive candidate ratings and a higher level of perceived fairness. Also, candidates’ willingness to refer others was 119% higher when they were provided with information on their job fit and candidacy status at the end of the interview day.

While a much smaller pool of candidates received this immediate feedback (over 50% were hourly candidates), it’s still a big differentiator for all companies as well as CandE winners. Recruiters and/or hiring managers at CandE Winner companies also establish follow-up dates with finalists and keep those dates 16% more often than all other companies combined.

Preboarding Engagement and Nurturing Can Increase Retention

More employers, regardless of whether they’ve won a CandE Award, struggle to invest in more communication and engagement preboarding activities with new hires before their start dates. However, the percentage of candidates who received a text from their hiring manager before Day 1 increased 19% since 2021, from 21% to 25%.

Moreover, the percentage of candidates who received a text from recruiters and/or HR before Day 1 increased even more — 80% since 2021, from 15% to 27%. This aligns with the increase of text messaging and automated outreach we’ve found in our research.

Also, when employers provide multiple options to communicate goals, meet key team members, answer questions prior to candidates’ start dates, candidates were 137% more willing to increase their relationship out of the gate, compared to 110% higher just because they accepted the job offers. Again, the more nurturing and engagement that occurs prior to the start date, the greater opportunity to improve new-hire retention from the beginning.

The Beat of the CandE Best-Practice Drums

The reality is that it’s not easy to improve and sustain recruiting and hiring processes, optimize recruiting technologies, and deliver a positive and fair candidate experience 100% of the time. But you can get to the winning threshold of 80% to 85% of the time with the beat of the CandE best-practice drums. Consistent and timely candidate communication and feedback are two of the biggest differentiators we highlight every year that add rhythmic continuity to improving candidate experience.

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