Candidate experience - what's missing?

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There is no doubt that the importance of candidate experience in recruitment is now widely recognised and accepted. Jobseekers are becoming increasingly discerning in what they expect in terms of engagement, and HR and recruitment functions are agreeable to accommodate.   

We have previously written on the fact that we should engage with candidates by offering them a consumer type experience which is on-par with that offered by leading retailers. However, while employers are making outstanding progress around branding, social engagement and candidate attraction when disseminating an EVP message, there is one area which is still often overlooked – assessment.

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A successful recruitment strategy relies on a consistency in candidate brand perception from beginning to end, and generic or historic assessment processes often serve to derail an otherwise perfectly crafted candidate journey.

The figures speak for themselves. A recent study by Indeed found that 30% of all candidates - and 57% of those earning over $100K (£80,427) - won’t spend longer than 15 minutes on an application. What’s more, companies with 45 or more screening questions are losing a whopping 88.7% of their potential applicants who abandon the process before completion. A sobering thought for anyone with talent management responsibility.

The truth is that many assessments simply lead candidates down the garden path. Most are not bespoke and, consequently, not relevant. They’re just slowing the process down. Add to that the fact that applicants are often thrown into an unexplained process where they don’t understand the timeline, structure or mechanism for feedback and it’s no wonder that so many are, at the very least, disengaged.  

With this in mind, it’s vital that HR leaders take a fresh look at their assessment processes – from the perspective of the candidate. In the first instance you must be clear what are you trying to attain and, to that end, what you are actually testing. What are you doing with the results of these assessments? What are you achieving? Are there any unnecessary questions? And where are the gaps?    

Efficient assessment processes not only improve the number of qualified candidates in your pipeline, but also clearly and accurately measure the suitability of each candidate. All while simultaneously helping to enshrine your employer, and therefore consumer, brand. 

It is worth noting that organisations with unusually high brand equity are more likely to offer particularly short application processes. According to further data from Indeed, Netflix, for example, has just five screening questions  - and a total one-minute time to apply - for vacancies at all levels, with Apple, Facebook and Amazon also recording some of the fastest application times.

For HR leaders battling to protect or improve their EVP, assessment may well be the enemy within.  An engaging, mobile-enabled, enjoyable process benefits not only the candidate, but also the organisation that’s hiring – is it the missing piece of the puzzle you’ve been looking for?  

About Liz weeks

Liz Weeks

Liz Weeks leads Alexander Mann Solutions’ Employer Branding and Attraction team globally. Her consulting experience includes employer branding, employee engagement, internal communications, graduate and student communications, managing the candidate experience, website development, social media, and people and organizational management. Liz is passionate about helping organizations develop employer value propositions that attract, engage and retain the best candidates.

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