How many times have HR Professionals heard Gerry Crispin discuss the importance of providing an outstanding candidate experience? How many companies truly act on his recommendations? Not enough. To evaluate how your company fares, check one of Gerry Crispin’s presentations or make sure to catch one of his talks. If you believe that your company is ahead of the curve, apply for the Candidate Experience Award.
The HR Copernican Revolution: Caring about Candidate Experience is not just “nice to do.” It’s mission-critical for all of a company’s departments. Look at it as a mandatory HR Copernican Revolution: Your company is no longer the center of the universe — candidates are. While companies may still believe that it’s a privilege to “offer” a job to a candidate and that candidates should abide by whatever rules companies decide to set, Gerry Crispin opportunely reminds that “candidate experience is what THEY say it is, not how you think you’ve designed it.”
Many companies still have the mindset that people should just be happy to get a job, especially at times of significant unemployment. Sure, unemployed persons will see the opportunity to land a job as a godsend. Will a positive result make them necessarily forget about their painful experience to get it? Unlikely. They may just leave for another company at the first opportunity, simply because they never had the personal feeling of being truly valued and desired in the first place: companies spend fortunes hiring, but the costs of talent churn are outrageous!
Candidate Experience is even more important for candidates that do not have the right profile for the job at a given time. It’s key to send a courteous rejection letter; however, not all companies do. That’s a huge oversight:
- Over 50% of job applicants are unlikely to buy from or recommend a company that mistreated them.
- Even more importantly, candidates have all the capabilities to tell their stories, and not all of them are just disgruntled creeps. They are human beings, and may become the talent that will make your competitors shine.
Embrace the universe! Keep your candidates informed at all times in the process and go even further, welcome the universe onto your own planet! Welcome candidates into your “TalentCircles.” The candidates for whom you don’t have a position today may be people you need tomorrow. Why “re-source” them when a little bit of forward-looking thinking might drive your time-to-hire to almost nothing down the road. Candidates that you will never hire are valuable: they can still admire your company and refer people that are more useful to you! Even at a time when everybody is high on “big data,” the world is actually small if you look at it from a network standpoint.
Candidates are people. Just as customers expect a good experience when a company cannot accommodate an immediate need, candidates demand a good experience even when they don’t land the job. A rejection letter is great. Giving the opportunity to a “rejected” candidate to remain in your circles and still help you is even better: candidates will forget about the disappointment and, instead, feel empowered with a purpose. They can become your ambassadors and eventually find you better people than who they are without feeling belittled. They may even be enchanted: as Guy Kawasaki likes to say “nobodies are the new somebodies.”
In fact, treating people well is not just good business, it’s often excellent business!