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Here's what we found interesting on the subject of CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE: Talent Leaders Connect Feb 2015

Kristina Donauskyte

Talent Leaders Connect Feb 2015

Talent Leaders Connect Roundtable DiscussionsSome after-thoughts from the event, and tips on creating a great candidate experience.

A genuine interest in the subject of creating a great candidate experience was demonstrated at The Job Post's Talent Leaders Connect 2015 event - best proof that the subject remains top priority for recruitment and HR professionals.

Despite a great number of tips and best practice examples shared on the day, the subject of 'a great candidate experience' is still far from being exhausted. We've distilled the highlights of the day in this article for both attendees and those who weren't able to make it to the event. Next time we hope!



Many speakers noted the 'power shift' towards the candidates. An increasing number of companies are re-focusing on selling themselves to the candidates rather than the other way around: it's no longer an employer choosing the candidate but a candidate choosing who they want to work with. Intel's interviewing practice is the best example of this shift. They use what they dubbed as a 'flip interview' - an interview when a candidate gets at least 20 minutes to interview their prospect employer during a job interview. Innovative eh!

The audience survey ran during the event by The Job Post revealed what objectives companies had for improving candidate experience. 27% said they wanted to improve their employer brand, 24% - reduce the cost of poor hiring decision, 26 % - improve time to hire, 24% - improve the quality to hire. Interestingly, only 50% of attendees said they actually measured the impact of poor candidate experience. Could measuring be the start of the journey perhaps?


Emy Rumble-Mettle, Head of Talent Acquisition at GroupM, argues that hiring managers should change their approach from judging a candidate to coaching, which should improve not only a candidate experience but also help during an on-boarding phase.

Another key way to ensure a good candidate experience is ironically simple. It's about good old consistent communication with a candidate. Emy Rumble-Mettle of GroupM, noted that even 60% of the candidates haven't heard back from an employer after a job interview and almost a third of the applications (29%) never got acknowledged. Naturally, this cannot leave a good impression on a company. So, the first step in your recruitment process should be establishing a basic level of communication with your candidates. Blisteringly obvious but I wonder how many companies actually audit their own behaviour...




Emy Rumble-Mettle suggested that instead of seeking to ask questions we should seek to engage with the candidates, take them for a coffee and have a two-way conversation in a relaxed environment which will enable to see the true personality. Now the reality of that high touch approach is harder to achieve - but by engaging with the right candidates, then this should be realistic.

Onboarding was identified as one of the key areas overlooked in a recruitment process - only around 50% of UK businesses have an onboarding strategy. One of the reasons, argued Sam Wormald-Smith, Director EMEA at Kelly Services, was that no one owns it: from HR, recruiters through to Hiring Managers - everyone assumes it's someone else's responsibility. According to Sam, 1 in 5 of new starters have not got a warm welcome on the first day, 48% didn't receive an induction plan and only 4% received a welcome gift. These are some very alarming statistics which show how little companies invest on retaining their employees from a get-go. So consider - is this element of your approach, falling between the gaps?




According to Emy Rumble-Mettle of GroupM it takes only 90 days for a new starter to decide if he or she wants to stay in the business. Small things such as taking your new team members for lunch or providing them with an FAQ handbook can make a huge difference to making someone welcomed, argues Sam.

A strong employer brand was noted as one of the most important assets in 'selling' a business to the candidates. Social media is now seen as one of the strategic tools to engage not only consumers but also candidates. However, you need to find your own authentic voice and know who you want to attract (i.e. who is your target audience): 'Make it resonate with people who want to do it [a job],' says Matt Buckland, Head of Talent at Forward Partners. Otherwise, your brand may get lost in the jungles of the social media. Could you define the tone you should deploy to all of your candidate communication?



Apparently start-ups are particularly successful in engaging candidates - more often than not they will have a clear identity and know exactly what types of people they want to attract. What stops a large corporate from behaving like a start-up!


A good job description is still a valuable asset. After all, it forms the first impression of your company and the job and if you don't invest time into creating a compelling job ad, how can you expect to attract top talent?


So - hopefully this sum up has been useful. We think the subject of 'candidate experience' is top priority for recruiters - and should be seen as an essential rather than 'nice to have' mandate for their processes. If you feel the same, call us to talk more! : 0207 183 0418: I'd love to hear from you.


Digital Strategist at LaunchPad

Kristina Donauskyte

Digital Strategist at LaunchPad. We believe in seeing more of a person, of a company of an impact by building influential video screening, assessment and engagement technology that fits within the employment lifecycle