Category Archives: The Talent Board

Do You Know What Your Candidates Are Thinking? (And I don’t mean Bernie and Donald!)

data point tuesday_500

It’s here! The 2015 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Research Report was published a couple of weeks ago. And if you have any interest at all in the relationship between the experience your employment candidates in the application process and your ability to actually hire the right talent, this report is a gold mine! Written by Madeline Laureno and Kevin W. Grossman, it’s a great read and full of useful data points.

As far as research reports go, it’s well laid out, the graphics are strong, and the data are Cand Exp 2015 3incredibly useful. The table of contents breaks out the data into 3 overarching categories:

  • Attract
  • Recruit
  • Hire

And then within each of those three categories, each has the following sections:

  • What Candidates Want
  • What Employers Are Doing
  • A Candidate Experience Case Study
  • Key Recommendations: What CandE Awards Winners Do Better

This is a very useful structure that makes the research actionable. Case studies from CandE Awards winners include Capital One, AT&T, Cumming, Hydro Québec, Comcast, and Sonos. Each of them is full of detail about what they actually do. These are among the most useful case studies I’ve seen in a long time.

The top 10 key takeaways from the 2015 North American CandE Research Report are:

  1. Most employers are not making a first impression with candidates.

  2. Candidates are becoming more sophisticated.

  3. Job boards are not dead.

  4. Mobile apply is still lagging.

  5. Communication with candidates is very weak.

  6. Employers do not offer enough opportunities for candidates to showcase skills, knowledge and experience.

  7. Employers are letting more candidates through the funnel.

  8. Employers are making interviewing more efficient.

  9. Employers are automating the onboarding stages.

  10. Onboarding is still a missed opportunity for the candidate experience.

Here’s a great example of the ease of getting to the useful data from the Attract/What Employers Are Doing section. It opens with this observation, “Employers often have little insight into what the candidates want and what they find valuable.” And follow it up with this chart:

Cand Exp 2015 2

This is pretty interesting and helpful information for organizations who are ready to step up to the challenge of being better and more effective talent attractors. There are a number of these kinds of aha! data points in the report that will not only get you thinking. They’ll get you acting.

The Talent Board is the brain child of Elaine Orler, Ed Newman and, of course, Gerry Crispin. With these three big brains behind the action, it’s no wonder this is such valuable information. I encourage you to download the report here. I’m guessing you’ll make more than one change to your talent acquisition processes as a result.

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Filed under Big Data and HR, CandE Awards, Candidate Experience, China Gorman, Data Point Tuesday, Ed Newman, Elaine Orler, Employee Referrals, Gerry Crispin, HR Analytics, HR Data, Human Resources, The Talent Board, Uncategorized

Candidate Experience vs. the Black Hole

data point tuesday_500

A couple of months ago I shared some data from an Aberdeen Group report about benchmarking quality of hire best practices here. It’s a great benchmark list of outcomes.  But how about the inputs?

More specifically, in terms of quality of hire, how about benchmarking the quality of the candidate experience? Call me crazy, but it seems to me that a higher quality candidate experience translates into a higher quality of hire.

As background, The Talent Board was formed in January 2011 to assist recruiting organizations in understanding and evaluating the experiences of their candidates.

“While there is an inherent dissatisfaction that comes with rejecting employment candidates, the Talent Board believes that it is possible to:

  • Treat all employment candidates with professionalism and respect
  • Shrink the recruiting “blackhole” effect on candidates.”

The Talent Board founders, Gerry Crispin, Elaine Orler and Ed Newman and their colleagues have just produced the 2012 Candidate Experience report from their survey and awards program.   In its second year, the research was based on survey responses from 90 companies (up from 57 in 2011) and more than 17,500 completed candidate surveys (up from 11,500).

To be clear, that’s 17,500 candidates for employment answering questions about their experience as an applicant in four defined phases of the talent acquisition process:

  1. Candidate attraction
  2. Expression of interest
  3.  Candidate dispositioning before the finalist stage
  4. Candidate evaluation & selection

The report gives data from the employer questionnaire as well as from the candidate questionnaire.  As examples, here are two such questions.  Interesting to note the differences between employers and their candidates.

CandE Emp #34 Cand #20

But for most, the topic of most interest is the infamous “black hole” – that old familiar experience of applying for a job by filling out an application on line, attaching a resume to an online application or email, or using snail mail to send in a resume … and never getting a response.   Worse, the black hole could happen after a phone interview.  Or after a face-to-face interview.  At the entry level.  At the professional level.  At the executive level.  Yes the black hole is everywhere. In every industry, geography and size of company.  We’ve all experienced it. And we’ve all derived meaning from it.

The 90 employers that participated in the Candidate Experience Survey last year are paying attention to the black hole.  And while a boilerplate email message from a “do not reply” address notifying an applicant that they won’t be a candidate is only a smidge better than the black hole, bad communication is better than no communication and it’s a baby step in the right direction.  The report goes on to show guarded optimism that while some employers are beginning to provide feedback to disposed candidates when asked, not many are making it a standard practice.

But here’s the kicker:   fully one third of candidates from employers who care about the black hole were provided no specific feedback about their application. And nearly half received a standard email template with no specific information.

CandE Candidate Question #36

One third got no feedback. Zero. Zip. Nada. That’s a massive black hole, right there. And think what meaning is derived from it about the employer’s brand, culture, management, products and services. Connecting those dots isn’t hard.

So.  While a few employers are connecting the dots between quality of hire and quality of candidate experience, it’s clearly not enough.  If your organization is beginning to look at quality of hire metrics, don’t forget the candidate experience.  I’m not sure you can improve one without improving the other.

And check out the process for participating in the 2013 CandE Awards program.  You can’t improve future performance without a clear understanding of current performance.  That includes quality of hire – which surely includes the candidate experience.  Time to get rid of the black hole!

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Filed under Black Hole, CandE Awards, Candidate Experience, China Gorman, Connecting Dots, Data Point Tuesday, HR Data, Quality of Hire, Talent Acquisition, Talent pipeline, The Talent Board