Candidate Experience? One Company Is Thinking About the Applicant Experience

Close followers of the talent-acquisition field know that there has been a lot talk of the candidate experience; some folks have thought about redefining the term to include people browsing around a company’s website before they’re even a candidate … passive candidate experience, anyone?

Now, one startup is quietly working on a different take on all this: the part of the experience after someone’s a candidate: when they are an applicant.

Alan Walker is a UK long-timer in the recruiting field, including a stint as a talent-acquisition director at the learning company Pearson. He now has a year-old company The TalentFinders.

Walker and The TalentFinders started thinking six months ago about the candidate experience, where of course a long list of technology companies offer systems to manage applicants, and another long list are doing “candidate relationship management”: Beamery, SmashFly, CareerBuilder, getTalent, Avature, Candidate.ID, and TalentCircles, to name a few. (Not to mention that some companies are now offering both applicant tracking and CRM.)

Anyhow, for five months Walker researched what is viable to add into that space between the ATS and the CRM.

Development of TalentPulse, as the applicant-experience tool is called at the moment, has been going on for just weeks. The goal is to help companies push content to candidates, particularly after they apply for a job. Upon application, an applicant might get something like a “thanks for applying” type of email. But as they progress further through interviews, the content would get more custom: a video by the hiring manager, for example. Maybe a video featuring people they’d work with at a specific job.

Walker says this isn’t about keeping people informed about where they are in the hiring process, though that’s a part of it. Instead, it’s about encouraging and motivating candidates, providing information and a sense of excitement and interest about the job. It’s likely to include silver and bronze medalists for a job, too.

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A university CHRO and three talent-acquisition leaders at large, well-known companies are advising Walker on TalentPulse. He says that when he put up a short LinkedIn post asking people if they want to get involved in this in any way, 500 people signed up in 24 hours. About half of those were job candidates wanting an improved candidate experience, he says; about 10 percent were investors, and the rest recruiters of various sorts.

He’s aiming for a launch in roughly the first quarter of 2018.