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Employee Experience

The Future of Candidate Experience Transformation: A 2025 Outlook

September 4, 2018
7 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


Rising candidate controlled hiring environments are calling for complete shifts in how recruiters approach hiring. CareerBuilder surveyed companies across the globe to discover roughly 45% of businesses are unable to fill much-needed positions due to the dearth of qualified candidates; this is largely in part to the low unemployment rates coupled with heightened awareness among candidates in their power to examine a company’s employer brand. A few jarring numbers setting the stage for hiring strategies:

  • Roughly 3 quarters of employers (72.8%) are struggling to find relevant candidates.
  • 86% of the most qualified talent are already employed or not seeking new job opportunities.
  • 20.8% of recruiters are finding it difficult to meet new candidate demands.
  • Top candidates only stay available for 10 days before getting hired.
  • 55% of candidates abandon job applications after reading poor employer reviews online.
  • Over 14% of candidates said the most important employer marketing material influencing decisions was company values over Best Places to Work lists (12.7%) or CSR efforts (13.8%).
  • 50% of candidates won’t take an opportunity with a company who has a bad reputation, even if it means there’s a pay increase available.

Poor candidate experience is so much bigger now for future talent, and even for future business success. Reported out of a CareerBuilder study, roughly one-third of job applicants who had a poor candidate experience said they were less likely to buy products from the company in the future; 72% of candidates share their poor experiences with a company online; and candidates who are not informed about their application are 3.5X less likely to re-apply in the future.

These numbers will only improve if companies start to step up their hiring game and really start to rethink their candidate experience strategies. We’re going to unpack a few upcoming trends we believe companies can’t ignore in the coming years to start improving overall candidate experience.

Set Expectations

This is a huge communication tool many talent acquisition teams are missing out on. Co-Founder of CareerXroads, Gerry Crispin, said, “If you set expectations, you will be rated higher,” in reference to the NPS score discussed in our candidate experience maintenance plan.

We live in a world of technology-enabled expectation setting. You can watch the icon of your Uber car as it travels toward you or track the status of your food order on Seamless as it’s prepared and delivered or - name any other awesome consumer experience.”

Candidates typically spend between three and four hours preparing, researching, and submitting their information for a job application. In turn, 65% of candidates say they never, or rarely, receive notice about their application, which leads to 85% of candidates doubting a human being ever reviewed their application.

Consumer brands have already given customers the power to be notified of every step of the process they’re engaging in through technology - it’s time hiring does the same. A few examples from Crispin:

  • Give candidates an estimation of how long the application will take to complete.
  • Notify candidates how long it takes to make a hiring decision for your team.
  • Give candidates a “deadline” or “max limit” so they know when you will stop accepting applications.
  • Show candidates how many applications have already been submitted to the same job they’re applying for so they can see how big or small of a pool they’re up against.
  • If possible, notify candidates who they will be speaking with during their unique hiring process.
#DYK 45% of businesses are unable to fill much-needed positions due to the death of qualified candidates? Check out these answers to #hiring roadblocks:

These are small starts, but they provide huge relief and a mental visual for candidates. The job search puts candidates in a vulnerable state; giving candidates minor time details and putting faces to the process gives them a small slice of security during a process that’s so uncertain to begin with.

Employer Branding is Still Relevant

Earlier we mentioned how many candidates won’t even follow through with the application process if a company is perceived poorly online. To get started on making improvements to your employer brand online, evaluate how you are perceived versus how you are actually following through by asking your employees. Think of your Employer Value Proposition (EVP) and the values you’ve developed based on it. It’s important to see if your people agree. In order to do so, create an anonymous survey for employees in which you ask questions about their feelings on current workplace policies, perks and culture you feel you’ve created.

Analyze this feedback paired with the feedback you’ve collected from online reviews (look at Glassdoor and Indeed for your average score) and take it to heart. Pay careful attention to what managers say versus what department employees are saying.

Getting Started: Employer Branding Basics

Similar to the “setting expectations” section, transparency is your biggest ally in creating an employer brand your candidates can agree with. Open communication is vitally important to your employer branding efforts in both attracting the right talent and in keeping current employees engaged.

The study by Dale Carnegie and ClearCompany, “How Leaders Grow Today,” reported less than 6% of companies indicated they communicate goals on a daily basis. This is vital for companies of all size to keep everyone on the same page and working toward a consistent set of goals. Candidates and employees want to know and understand those goals so they can self-evaluate to see if they too can reach those goals with your company.

The future of hiring is all about #Transparency. Give your candidates the power to truly see what you’re all about, like this:

Improve Hiring Success with Employee Referral Programs

With qualified talent reporting to be so scarce, consider building an employee referral program to help bolster your hiring efforts. Employers report that referred candidates are 55% faster to hire, compared with employees sourced through career sites. Not to mention, are 45% of referred candidates stay for 3 years, yet only 6.9% of resumes come from referrals. This is cohesive with goal communication - when your employees understand exactly what goals need accomplishing, they can refer applicants who are best suited to help reach those goals.

Build up both potential employees and current employees to connect with your employer branding. The secret potion lies within your willingness to be transparent and making visions and futures clearer for everyone to see.

Video Interviews

As the world of business technology expands, recruiters can’t ignore the benefits of video interviewing. Between the ability to review talent at your leisure with pre-recorded interviews and the capacity to assess candidates who otherwise would be disqualified due to distance, video interviewing solves a number of recruitment concerns. One of the largest roadblocks in moving onward and upward in candidate experience strategies is lack of time; recruiters are struggling to meet the needs of candidates to create an optimal experience. Tools like video interviewing give us a lot of both automating and candidate experience power.

Perks that Speak to Your Hiring Bottom Line

  • Candidate feedback

Currently, only 52% of managers reach out to less than half of their candidates after an interview. Even if your company decides against a candidate, feedback is a vital piece to employer brand building. Creating a positive link also populates your [talent] pipeline for future hires,” said Career Specialist, Mark Swartz.

  • Candidate resources

This speaks to the expectations portion of our discussion in this section. Interviews are nerve-wracking enough, and even if your candidates have gone through hundreds of video interviews, each platform and process will be unique. 46% of candidates have never even participated in a video interview; recognize this is a new process to the industry, offer lighting tips, give suggestions on how to avoid connection and sound issues and emphasize the nature of the interview is exactly like an in-person interview.

  • Pre-recorded interviews

Here’s that big time saving piece of the technology that will give your team some room for the more interactive pieces of the hiring process. Pre-recorded interviews give hiring teams a sense of leisure and candidates a bit of a fair advantage. Only 2% of candidates who submitted an application receive an interview, which means some promising candidates are left out. Hiring teams can sift through interviews after they’re completed and evaluate the best answers to questions and use them to identify higher quality candidates at a faster rate.

Video interviewing integration seems innovative now, but it’s the future of hiring and candidate experience. Especially with remote hires and global teams, it stands to reason that video interviewing is the glue that keeps successful hiring and employee retainment together.

Prepare for the future. Evaluate how you’re being perceived as an employer by your candidates and use that as a tool to engage them in a referral program. Use a touch of technology to lift some of the hiring responsibility off your hiring team’s shoulders and create a more transparent process with set expectations.

Your candidates are out there, we’re here to help you find, attract, engage, hire and retain them. Take a look at how ClearCompany’s Video Interviewing tool can bolster the future of your hiring success.


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