Candidates = Consumers

Great expectations. Organisations have become a victim of their own success. with the pace and depth of customer innovation:

  • We ask Alexa to turn on our favourite playlist,
  • Receive suggestions for movies we’ll like based on our viewing history
  • Make in-app purchases of things we’ve seen on our social feeds
  • Get a birthday present delivered in less than 4 hours.
  • Skip the queue at our favourite coffee place, ordering while on the go. 
  • Live chat with a GP
  • Apply for a mortgage in 15 minutes.

When we switch from being customers to being candidates, we expect the same velvet glove treatment – brands that deliver seamless, intuitive and personalised experiences.

However this is not always happening.

Bad experiences

When it comes bad candidate experiences and their consequences:

  • Nearly 60% of job seekers have had a poor candidate experience
  • Three quarters of them shared their experience on a review site like Glassdoor
  • 8 out of 10 candidates shared their poor experiences with friends and family.
  • And over half go on social media to vent.

 The bottom line

And if the reputational damage for an employer brand is a tough one to swallow, the financial impact is significant too. Poor customer experience cost one UK business £4.4 million  a year. And half of candidates said they would sever a business relationship due to a poor candidate experience.

However on the positive side:

  • 1-in-2 businesses getting their CX sorted saw revenue go up by more than 10%
  • The vast majority of candidates rating a company’s CX ‘great’ will buy more from them, according to IBM.

A way to go                                                                          

As part of our deep-dive research into the candidate experience we found that only 5% of candidates rated their experience as excellent. This hasn't changed from the same piece of research we did a decade ago!

So it’s really important, but yet the dial isn't shifting. All this fits nicely with Talent Board’s CX Report that said over half of candidates gave their experience a 2-star rating or worse.

But there are signs things are changing:

  • Over half of employers have reviewed their candidate experience in the last 12 months.
  • Nearly three quarters of employers have invested in, or plan to invest in, improving the CX for the next year.

People  talk about a recruitment funnel. As if all you have to do is open it and people will cascade through like apples falling from a tree. We’ve got to stop talking about it as a process. It’s an experience!

An opportunity to delight, to inspire, to fascinate. For all candidates, but especially when you’re looking to build a more diverse workforce.

The more love we put in here, the more people will feel able to be themselves. And who doesn’t want that?

Over the course of the next four weeks, I'm going to be sharing my thoughts on the different phases of the candidate experience step by step. Watch out for the next post...

Candidate Experience Diagnostic Tool

Our candidate experience diagnostic tool looks at your organisation’s recruitment experience through the lens of a candidate, up until the point of submitting an initial application. The diagnostic report provides a score of your candidate experience by looking for evidence of 40 key experience indicators. This will enable you to pinpoint and prioritise areas for improvement. We’ve split the candidate journey into 6 stages, with an overall score for each stage.  

Drawing on our years’ of experience in developing best practice recruitment processes for employers, our experience indicators model has also been informed by PeopleScout's proprietary research with over 1,750 recent candidates. This ensures the diagnostic is founded on real insight, giving a voice to the true expectations and preferences of candidates, and it provides a gold standard against which employers can optimise their own practices when taking steps toward candidate experience excellence.

We include a face-to-face meeting to share and contextualise the findings with supporting recommendation and actions to help you move forwards


If you’d like a candidate experience diagnostic report please get in touch by emailing me