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Why a Great Candidate Experience is Your Employer Branding Weapon

This is a guest post by Ken Kwan, Founder of Career Prophets, a Global Talent Management Consultancy.

One of the key components to organizational prosperity is the ability to attract and engage talent on a consistent basis. Over the years, organizations have geared up their talent teams with state of the art sourcing tools and capabilities, as a way to hunt down top tier talent. In more recent times, organizations have shifted their focus to creating better candidate experiences.

The candidate, who once was a number, is now a vital cog to successful branding. Why is this so? Research conducted by CareerBuilder in 2015 found that 82 percent of employers felt there was no negative impact to the business if a candidate had a less than stellar experience going for a vacancy. But in fact, 69 percent of candidates said they were less than likely to buy from an organization at which they had a negative experience. Nine percent said they would inform others not to buy.

What’s more? Virgin Media did a study and found that poor candidate experience cost them over $5m a year, because out of 123,000 candidate rejections they made in one year, 6 percent canceled their membership. Finally, Glassdoor provides alarming statistics that further highlight the alignment between candidate experience and employer brand. In one candidate survey, 69 percent said they would not take a job with a company that had a bad reputation, even if they were unemployed.

The truth is: organizations that haven’t improved their candidate experience channels are missing out on massive opportunities. Whilst many target an uplift in their careers page, there is still greater work to be done if organizations truly want to improve their candidate experience.

One key change companies can make to better connect with candidates is to invest in an ATS. Today, there are more ATS players in the market today than ever before. With each new ATS, there is a greater focus on automating the candidate experience. Companies such as Lever have developed a streamlined recruitment workflow, which includes candidate nurturing. This allows recruiters to easily personalize their reach-outs and automate consistent follow ups to amazing talent. These regular, more human touch points enhance the candidate’s experience and affinity for the company, even if they’re not actively looking for work.

If you don’t have the luxury of a nifty ATS, there are other means to improve experience for candidates. Listen and understand more about who your candidates actually are. I recommend utilizing a Design Thinking approach to uncover hidden methods to attract and engage the candidates that your organization demands. Design Thinking starts with applying empathy and understanding what the problems are. I recommend hosting sample groups and workshopping ways to develop more meaningful relationships with candidates.

Today, you can find more ways to connect with candidates and increase your employer branding opportunities than ever before. Depending upon your budget, you may not be able to improve all facets of your interview process, but you can be more strategic about how you spend your recruiting money and become confident about what does and does not work.

Candidates can be current and future customers of your business. Seeing the process through their lens can help provide a broader branding opportunity for any organization and can have a positive impact on the bottom line.

Ken is the Founder of Career Prophets. He specializes in designing better experiences for organisations and optimizes the end-to-end recruitment process.