Voice of the Candidate: Is Anyone Listening?


Vendor survey results, reports and whitepapers are self-serving. We know that, right? But vendor survey results, reports and whitepapers can also be sources of insight for HR professionals – as long as they understand that there’s an agenda behind the publication.

I read a SilkRoad report on some survey results last week that I thought was interesting. I don’t know anyone at SilkRoad but they sent me a link and I clicked on it. And found this:  2013 Employment Marketplace Survey Results: The Candidate’s Perspective. And I found that their results line up well with the work that Elaine Orler and Gerry Crispin’s Talent Board is doing with the Candidate Experience Awards* (CandEs).

The “Voice of the Candidate” is getting more and more powerful. And it’s clear from these results – and others – that organizations winning the talent game are listening to that voice. Those that aren’t listening are missing out on some great talent.

The report is a quick read but here are a couple of highlights:

SilkRoad 1c

Companies that invest in the commonly accepted components of “engagement” are more likely to catch the attention of job seekers. Period. The top five selected (this was a “check your top three” questions) characteristics are typically found in definitions of engagement. For good reason, as it turns out.

And this:

SilkRoad 2

The report describes the results of this question as the “halo effect” of web-based recruiting technology. It’s not just about the efficiencies of using the web for recruiting – it’s also about the assumptions candidates make about the use of web-based recruiting technology. According to the results, the majority of survey participants indicated that they believe the use of web-based recruiting technology means that the employer is innovative and progressive.

There certainly are a number of HCM providers with web-based recruiting technology solutions – and more being introduced nearly every day. If an employer has the dual purpose of increasing talent acquisition efficiency as well as improving the candidate experience, then listening to the “Voice of the Candidate” is the right place to start.

*The CandEs will be announced at the HR Technology Conference, October 7-9, 2013 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.



Filed under CandE Awards, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Elaine Orler, Gerry Crispin, HR Technology Conference, Recruiting, Recruiting Technology, SilkRoad

7 responses to “Voice of the Candidate: Is Anyone Listening?

  1. I totally agree that the candidate’s experience should be valued by the company. A company should not dismiss a candidate as a human being or a professional simply because he/she is not the right fit for a certain job.

    The job market appears to be gaining momentum and businesses will have to sharpen the competitive skills as this continues. This, IMHO, is a win-win. It keeps the employers honest and gives candidates better choices.

  2. Here here! The candidate experience is the first introduction to the company, and has a huge impact on the quality of talent coming your way. Additionally, sites like glassdoor allow candidates to rate their experience and have a real impact on employer reputation. Respect your candidates and be transparent in order to build a strong brand and also a more successful onboard process for new hires.

  3. This is a great article China, kudos to you…

    Employers far to often overlook the voice of the candidate as a key input to the recruiting process. And they are overlooked as a critical stakeholder. Recruiting processes are typically created around the hiring manager as opposed to architecting an experience around the candidate.

    Sophisticated talent acquisition organizations are starting to leverage the Net Promoter Score (NPS) as a means of measuring experience. It’s a quick way to measure experience by asking one simple question “would you refer”? If done correctly through a random process you can gain powerful insights into where you have issues in your process and whether or not it’s getting better by month.

    Savvy talent acquisition leaders can make the connection between candidates and customers by understanding what percent of their candidate population are candidates. There is no better way than to tell a COO of a fortune 500 that 40% of their candidates are customers are you are turning them off with a poor experience. This is a great way to secure funding.

  4. Nice post. The VOC (I love the Voice of the Candidate phrasing) is, IMHO, the measurable attitudes and opinions candidates form as a result of how they are treated during the entire recruiting process.

    The relevance to employers is really two fold: First and foremost is whether the treatment of candidates (from when they first become aware of a potential employer and begin researching them to the onboarding process after accepting an offer) actually improves or detracts from the quality of the decision that both the Employer or the Candidate make. Does it impact conversion rate? Retention? Performance? Potential? What? (Again in some measurable way).
    Second is the unintended consequence [actions] of how the Employer’s practices drive candidate behaviors that impact other prospects’ choices…referrals, purchases, reluctance to perform to full capability, mis-alignment with how employees are treated, etc.

    The problem collecting usable data…and enough of it to look at differences by age, gender, job family, job level and much more can be daunting. However, we now have the capacity to do it reliably. We have enough employers participating that we can replicate the findings and, with some effort, we more employers are validate the data they are getting and willing to share it openly.

    • I hereby bequeath you the VOC ownership rights! 🙂 As I mentioned in the post, the work that The Talent Board is doing to focus on this is impressive and important! This is the new frontier of talent management.

  5. In the UK, the National Online Recruitment Awards, which I founded in 2001, are set up solely for the purpose of representing candidate’s interests. We ask jobseekers to nominate job boards, employers, recruitment agencies and publications, which advertise vacancies online.
    Aside from our 12 awards for excellence, for our 13th awards in November, we have a one-off Wooden NORA trophy, which will be awarded to the recruitment website judged to be the most awkward, frustrating and downright awful in delivering a useful and easy to use service to candidates.


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