Does the candidate experience harm quality of hire?
In a time of considerable scarcity on the labor market, the candidate experience is of great importance, right? All barriers that a candidate encounters on his / her journey must be removed, right? Or are we exaggerating? And is the quality of your hires decreasing? If you fear that, here comes the good news: High-quality selection and candidate experience go well together! In this blog, I will elaborate on the dilemmas and I will offer you some practical solutions as well.
To improve the candidate experience, selection barriers are lowered or removed. This increases the quality of hire. However: good quality selection and candidate experience go well together! Read more about the dilemmas and concrete solutions.
Candidate experience: zero barriers please!
Scarcity has made us addicted to the candidate experience. Under the guise of candidate experience, candidates are made as easy as possible to be employed. At FB we pretend to be a hip employer, we use cool-sounding language and we instruct interviewers to be friendly and to sell the vacancy and organization well.
Recognizable? Then I add a little extra: furthermore, recruitment presents poorly-selected candidates for a job interview to hiring managers who have to be nice (and don’t feel like it). And if you finally hire those candidates, you motivate the real top performers in your organization to leave. And they can start anywhere anytime.
“If candidate friendly is the same as candidate experience, staff turnover may unexpectedly increase”
Candidate experience improves conversion. What conversion?
The labor market is exploding and we don’t want to reject anyone. We have gained similar experience during 2006 and 2007. Every non-hire was a missed opportunity. Cést l’histoire, qui se répète. And that is the point: the talent pool is empty, recruitment needs higher conversions and all those selection filters: pfff a little bit less, please.
With a candidate-friendly approach, conversions will increase in the short term. As a percentage, more candidates are moving on to the hiring phase. Well done!
But what’s the effect on other KPI’s on the longer term, that is the question. Does it benefit the performance? Top performers perform at least 50% better than average. What about sickness absence? Turnover figures? Customer satisfaction? Competitiveness? Execution power? These figures came under pressure in 2007-2008. The recession only strengthened that effect. Will history repeat itself?
Candidate experience without the disadvantages.
Is that possible? Certainly, a good candidate experience can easily be combined with a thorough selection. I am not going to mention exhaustive options here. But I will share 3 experiences, follow me:
The learning experience
First of all, we have experienced that a positive candidate experience does not mean that you have to avoid a firm selection. During 2018H2 we asked thousands of candidates to participate in a step-by-step online assessment to see which talents matched a career in IT. I am talking about a random audience. And without insight into their resume. We received a huge number of applications, we achieved very high desired conversions and selected absolute top talents in the final round. How did we do that? This is so obvious: by offering relevance. Our candidate experience was peppered with relevance. Relevant proposition and especially relevant feedback, after every round. So that candidates got to know themselves better after each step. And became more curious about the next round. Our candidate experience did not become a nice trip, but a learning experience!
The cost-me-zero-time experience
In addition to offering an instructive experience, you can look into making selection filters more accessible. Let me share you a few tips from our daily practice:
- If you want to test candidates online, only collect data that really matters. First, determine for yourself what you need to know and what is only nice to know. As a result, the candidate will experience an online assessment as both short and relevant.
- Use step-by-step assessment programs. With a step-by-step approach, a candidate does not have to make all tests and questionnaires at once, but at different times. The 1st stage is short and filters on one core quality. For candidates who score above the norm, stage 2 is indeed longer, but it is more relevant and educational. With a step-by-step assessment, you dose invested time by the candidate and the learning experience they receive. Giving and taking is in balance. Candidates who score above the norm will not drop out because such a selection filter offers them a relevant and educational experience.
- Use adaptive testing and questionnaires to shorten testing time up to 50% compared to traditional test and questionnaires.
The fun experience
finally, you can also focus on making selection filters very fun. And yes, gaming comes into my mind. In 2019 there are different (sharp) edges to gaming. What about a game of which only the CEO thinks it is incredibly cool, and the target group … ahh … boring. Or a game where you don’t know exactly what it measures? The bar is set high! It is not done to launch a game like a cartoon with a thin storyline and some unclear questions about entrepreneurship.
Anyway, we have quite some experience in gaming combined with psychological expert systems. I have a few tips though:
- Use recruitment games only to promote your organization. The game must ensure the candidate that he can select your organization and not the other way around.
- You can use an assessment game if you want to discover one specific skill or psychological construct of the candidate. Such a game has a narrow scenario and is based on a clear knowledge domain or psychological concept.
- In general, games stick better with young target groups up to Bachelor’s level. Fun is just a little more relevant here than learning experience.
- Read our blog about the differences between recruitment and assessment games before you start thinking on one.