Candidate Experience: The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

logo4As I enter my ninth year working as a professional within the Staffing & Recruiting Industry, I have witnessed one common negative theme: CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE of a prospective employee is not a priority for the consensus of firms and organizations. In my opinion, there is nothing more discouraging to job seekers than for a firm or organization to engage with a prospective employee that has invested hours of time/energy throughout the application and/or interview process only to fall into the cold, dark abyss. I am willing to wager that the majority of you are nodding your head “yes” right now.  Below is a sample of my experience in this industry that showcases The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, as well as some suggestions to improve the candidate’s experience.

The Good: Once a position has been approved, there should be a “kick-off” process between the hiring manager/clients and corporate recruiter/staffing partner. This access not only allows for intimate details that could prove vital, but also expedites the hiring process. During this conversation, you should coordinate calendars to block interview times 1-3 weeks in advance. Both parties have to set expectations. Keep information and feedback transparent regardless of content. Open and diplomatic dialogue is always appreciated from those interviewing. Depending on the type of role and interview process, the typical hiring process should have offers extended generally within 30-45 days, but not later than 60 days.

The Bad: Organizations believe in practicing and promoting positive candidate experiences, yet, at times, they fall short. Unfortunately, those of us involved in the hiring/recruiting process, myself included, have allowed this to happen. Although some of this may be simple to address, a candidate may grow tired of hearing “Sorry, but I do not have a status update for you.” The key to keep individuals engaged is to pick up the phone and have a discussion rather than email.

The Ugly: Every single one of us have had a horrible experience, which typically happens when the organization is not engaged and is unresponsive to a candidate, despite that candidate doing all that is asked of him or her. For example, they could be asked to come in for a last minute interview; make themselves available for a quick phone call; workout their schedule to do early morning/afterhours interview; or even agree to a seventh face-to-face interview. Then, all of the sudden……zero feedback. No status updates. Recruiters and Hiring Managers have gone dark and become unresponsive. Finally, three months later, the candidate receives a canned, template email saying “Thanks, but No Thanks.”  Further, such an email may or may not contain your correct name or a have a name listed! This is unacceptable!

In conclusion, even those of us that strive to provide a great candidate experience have room for improvement. Certainly, I am not here to toss stones into a glass house, but rather to implore us all, including myself, to commit to this simple, personable act of strengthening communication with candidates because it is the right thing to do. Let’s strive to put the relationship back into human capital. Feel free to briefly share a Good Candidate Experience as we all welcome the positive vibes.

Chris Lyons
Vice President
SCOUT Solutions Group



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