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.
I 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.