Deliver a Better Candidate Experience to Deliver a Better Bottom Line

Investing in a better candidate experience yields results that resonate throughout the organization in terms of productivity, performance and profitability

Gal holding an umbrella over yellow background

Think fast. Who’s your best employee? What value does that star performer bring to the business? What would your organization have lost if that individual had dropped out of your talent pipeline before getting hired? It’s a likely scenario as nearly two-thirds of all job candidates abandon the process early.

The majority of those that continue tend to be dissatisfied with their experience. Improving how you connect with job applicants can lead to a 42% increase in candidate engagement. It can also establish a strong foundation for employee engagement, and that can lead to a 23% increase in profitability.

When you invest in a better candidate experience, one that offers personalized communication, a seamless experience and real-time responsiveness, the results can resonate throughout the organization in terms of productivity, performance, and profitability.

Do It Right Instead of Doing It Over

“Learn from your mistakes” is a wonderful platitude, but “measure twice, cut once” is smarter. Ask any business leader who has expended time, effort and dollars to fix a problem, and they will be quick to tell you, it is better to get it right from the start than to go back later to mitigate an error. Whether it means recalling a product, re-engineering a process or retraining a team, eliminating the need for rework is the better course.

In terms of talent, that means attracting more star performers to your team. It isn’t necessarily realistic for a business with limited resources to simply focus on recruiting rock stars.

A smarter strategy is to create a talent intake process that delivers a positive candidate experience for those you hire and even those you don’t. When you show respect for every candidate by offering timely, personalized communications, you build your employer brand, shorten the hiring cycle, and create raving fans, willing to share their experience and admiration with others.

What Candidates Want

Some of the most significant changes in job searches over the past decade can be linked to technology. Candidates want to be able to apply for a job as quickly and easily as they can order an Uber ride. They want more communications. They want transparency. Consider what candidates said in the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Survey:

Why It Was a Good Candidate ExperienceWhy It Wasn’t
58% Great communications42% Lack of communication
49% Easy application process26% Took too long
44% Easy interview scheduling24% Complicated application process

Why Candidate Experience Matters

When the experience is good, word spreads. When it’s bad, people talk about it as well. As reported by the Talent Board in the 2020 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, 77% of candidates shared their positive experiences with people close to them, and 52% did the same when their experience was bad. The numbers decrease (57% for good and 31% for bad experiences) when we look at online sharing, but the impact is significantly multiplied when candidates comment on review sites or post to social media.

The Financial Impact of Candidate Experience

Can the impact of good vs. bad experience be expressed in dollars and cents? A number of years ago, Virgin Media took steps to find out. They discovered that a bad candidate experience put $5.4 million (at a minimum) in annual revenues at risk. Reversing that trend was expected to generate nearly $7 million in new annual revenues. Beyond the quality of the candidate experience was the propensity for people to talk.

Kimberly-Clark translated a good candidate experience into a $300 million revenue stream when it handed discount coupons to every rejected applicant.

Not sure these examples apply to your business? The Talent Board offers a candidate experience resentment calculator that allows you to find out what a bad candidate experience might cost you.

Linking Candidate Experience to Employee Engagement

For 20 years, Gallup has been tracking the relationship between employee engagement and business performance. Since high employee engagement starts with high candidate engagement, a good candidate experience has the potential to drive higher productivity, performance and profitability. Consider these findings from the latest Gallup study of employee engagement and performance:

  • 23% higher profitability
  • 18% higher sales productivity
  • 64% fewer safety incidents
  • 81% less absenteeism
  • 41% fewer quality defects

As reported by PwC, a study by CEB underscores this positive impact, noting engaged employees put forth 57% greater effort and are 87% less likely to resign.

How to Transform Your Candidate Experience

The fastest way to transform the candidate experience is to take advantage of technology to reduce friction in the process, making it faster and easier for candidates to apply for jobs and schedule interviews. Automation can facilitate personalized communications and real-time responsiveness at scale to boost engagement with candidates. It can help you increase recruiting capabilities without adding more recruiters.

We help employers leverage automation for their candidate experiences with Sofi, our AI conversational bot. Sofi engages with candidates when recruiters cannot, answering questions, adding transparency to the process, and helping candidates forge a connection with your brand. The result is a more positive experience for every candidate, those you hire and those you don’t.