Nextchat: The Candidate Experience


The job description was inaccurate, the mobile application was time-consuming, the receptionist was rude, the interviewer was 45 minutes late and HR never communicated that you didn’t get the job—or why. You never hear from the company again. After all this, you’re glad you didn’t get the job, and you relay your entire horrible experience on Glassdoor to warn others.

This is just one example of what a bad candidate experience looks like, and how it can damage an employer’s reputation.

Competition for talent continues to drive organizations to innovate their talent acquisition strategies. And one of their key targets is the candidate experience.

In her SHRM Blog post Candidates as Customers: Emphasizing the Candidate Experience in Talent Acquisition, post-doctoral fellow in SHRM Research Valerie Streets writes that there are a few key themes that shape the candidate experience, such as employer branding, procedural justice and communication. Feedback and analytics are also important. Streets says that “Seeking feedback from candidates allows employers to understand candidate perceptions of the overall organization, the staff involved in hiring, the user friendliness of your online application, and virtually any other component of the talent acquisition process. Not only will this information allow you to better refine your talent acquisition processes, but seeking feedback keeps candidates engaged and provides another point of communication between the two of you!”

While attention is usually directed at the application process or interviews, few employers consider how candidate rejection can affect not only the candidate experience, but their employer brand. The SHRM Online news article How You Reject a Job Candidate Defines Your Recruitment Strategy, online manager/editor Roy Maurer advises that, “An organization’s HR team can create advocates out of any applicant—even the rejected ones—by ensuring each candidate has a positive experience. … When candidates are rejected in a dismissive manner—or worse, if they never hear back from an employer at all—that news travels fast. … Experts agree that HR should be trained to consider the candidate rejection process a vital piece of the company’s recruitment strategy, with immediate and long-term benefits to the company, if done well.”

Have you ever applied for a job at your own company? The experience may shed some light on why you’re having trouble attracting and keeping the best talent.

If a bad candidate experience is ruining your ability to fill jobs, or if you’d like to make a mediocre experience much better, please join @shrmnextchat at 3 p.m. ET on November 15 for #Nextchat with special guest SHRM Research Post-Doctoral Fellow Valerie Streets @ValerieNStreets. We’ll chat about why the candidate experience continues to alienate so many job seekers and how organizations can work to turn it around.

Q1. In your experience, where are employers failing when it comes to the candidate experience in 2017?

Q2. As an employer, what is your biggest challenge with creating a better candidate experience?

Q3. What is your organization doing to improve the application process for a better candidate experience?

Q4. How is your organization improving the interview process through manager training or other process or procedural changes to create a better candidate experience?

Q5. Communication is key. How is your organization changing the way you communicate with applicants—and all passive and active external job seekers—to improve the candidate experience, from the time you post the job to the time you send the offer (or rejection) letter?

Q6. A robust careers site is a critical component of the candidate experience because it communicates the employer culture and brand. What are some unique ideas for building a compelling careers site?

Q7. How does your organization conduct candidate experience analysis or solicit feedback to improve the process?

Q8. As a job seeker (past or present), what advice can you share with employers about how you think they could make the candidate experience better?

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