I am always surprised by the percentage of organizations that do not consistently gather feedback from candidates or new hires about the candidate experience. Based on Brandon Hall Group’s latest Employment Value Proposition research, only 21% of organizations consistently gathers feedback from candidates declining offers and only 29% consistently gathers feedback to assess the quality of the candidate experience. The bulk of our respondents (45%) gather feedback on an occasional basis.

candidate feedbackI can’t imagine a marketer of a consumer product or service company not surveying their customers to understand satisfaction with the product and/or service. In fact, consumer marketers consistently incorporate research practices throughout ideation, research and development, purchase experience, and more. To them, due to the investment in the product/service, the costs of production and marketing, the size of the market, and the brand impact, the risks are too high to make decisions without making a concerted effort to conduct sound market research. That approach is ingrained in their business souls.

Yet, talent acquisition does present a risk to organizations, and research is often not incorporated into the talent acquisition process.  The EVP research showed that roughly one-third of organizations consider attracting talent (34%) and employee engagement (30%) to be a big risk in terms of organizational readiness.

I am not sure why organizations do not obtain candidate feedback on a consistent basis.  It could be related to process, confidentiality, staffing, resources, not understanding the best practices around gathering that feedback, or something else. However, I do know that valuable insight can be gleaned from new hires and candidates not accepting an offer.  Here is a sample of the kinds of topics that can be explored:

  • How candidates researched the employer and learned about the opportunity
  • Reasons candidates want to work for the organization
  • Reasons for accepting/rejecting the position.
  • Online application experience
  • Career site experience
  • Interview experience
  • Suggestions for improving process

Additional in-depth information can be learned from new hires, such as other types of positions and/or employers considered during the job search and reasons why your organization was selected over other opportunities.

This type of research, conducted correctly, can greatly benefit the organization. It provides insights on employer brand strengths, competitive brand positioning and messaging, the effectiveness of recruitment marketing and the interview process, and the impact of technology on candidates, specifically the online application, CRM, and career site.

On the other hand, not conducting this research is risky business. It is better to get a realistic view of the candidate experience and develop strategies to improve the process than to lose quality candidates and possibly impact the corporate and employer brand.  Candidates can be customers, too.

If you are not getting candidate feedback, start the new year out right and start asking your candidates and new hires for feedback about the candidate experience.

Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition,
Brandon Hall Group

Daria Friedman

Daria Friedman is the Principal Analyst overseeing the talent acquisition practice for Brandon Hall Group. Prior to Brandon Hall, Daria led the research practice for Bernard Hodes Group, a recruitment solutions agency, and Findly, a talent acquisition software service provider. Daria’s focus is on conducting talent acquisition research on topics such as candidate experience, employer value proposition validation, onboarding, candidate experience, retention, internal communications, career site messaging, talent pool assessments/supply and demand, employee engagement, campus/graduate recruitment, brand perceptions/positioning, best practices, diversity, market/competitive dynamics, talent acquisition metrics, source-of-hire/job search dynamics, employer preferences, employee benefits, technology purchase preferences, and more. She has produced many thought-leading and award-winning research studies at Hodes, including: Healthcare Talent Metrics, The Growing Value of Employer Brands, RNs at Risk, The Collegiate Career Mindset, The Employment Conversation - How Employers and Talent Meet on the Social Web, and Playing for Keeps/Recruiting for Retention. Daria developed Industry Matters, a monthly newsletter that provides insight on the talent landscape from both an economic and talent acquisition trend perspective. She has conducted research globally across many industries, such as Healthcare, Technology, Insurance, Finance, Hospitality, Telecommunications, Defense, Law Enforcement, and Retail. Daria is skilled in quantitative, qualitative and secondary research methodologies. Daria has an MBA in Marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a BA in French from Montclair State University.

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