In the realm of recruitment, the candidate experience is often overshadowed by the tangible metrics: the number of applicants, the quality of CVs, or the time-to-hire. Yet, beneath these figures lies a factor that has profound implications for an employee's future performance, engagement, and tenure: their initial experience during the recruitment process.
The Direct Link: Candidate Experience to Performance
When candidates undergo a positive experience, they enter the organisation on a high note, buoyed by optimism and a sense of belonging. This initial morale boost can have direct implications for their immediate performance.
1. Engagement: A good experience can make candidates feel valued and respected, even before they start their official roles. Engaged employees are known to be more productive, collaborative, and show a higher degree of initiative.
2. Performance: Candidates with a positive recruiting experience are likely to be better oriented, aligned with the company's values, and eager to contribute. Their motivation levels are often higher, leading to improved performance metrics compared to those who had a less favourable candidate experience.
3. Tenure: One of the most significant revelations from recent research is the long-term impact of the initial candidate experience. Candidates who had a poor experience tend to have shorter tenures. Interestingly, this gap doesn't close over time. Their initial dissatisfaction can linger, casting a shadow over their entire stint with the company.
The Never-Closing Gap
A fascinating aspect of the candidate experience is its enduring impact. One might assume that a negative initial experience would fade, overridden by subsequent positive workplace experiences. However, research suggests that the gap induced by a poor candidate experience remains consistent. This persistent memory affects not only their tenure but also their engagement and performance levels throughout their association with the company.
This is costing organisations financially through lower performance of employees, the huge cost of turnover of staff, the cost of "empty seats" and replacing and training - which will be an never ending cycle unless candidate experience is addressed.
Benchmarking Candidate Experience: A Must, Not an Option
But simply measuring candidate experience is not enough. Employers need to define what good looks like first. This can only be achieved by understanding the levels of candidate experience are being delivered by competitors for talent.
Self-defining what good looks like is a slippery slope however. Your 7/10 score, which you may decide is "good", is actually going to be "poor" if other employers are scoring 8.5/10 for example. Why is this important? Because candidates apply to multiple organisations at the same time (even your internal applicants - 62% look externally when they have applied internally).
So given the long-lasting implications of the candidate experience, organisations must be proactive, ensuring they're not just meeting but exceeding expectations. This is where benchmarking comes into play.
1. Gain Perspective: By benchmarking against industry peers, organisations can understand where they stand and identify areas of improvement.
2. Define Excellence: Understanding what constitutes a stellar candidate experience within the industry helps organisations to set clear, aspirational targets.
3. Continuous Improvement: With real-time benchmarks, organisations can continuously assess and iterate their processes, ensuring they're aligned with best practices and consistently delivering top-tier experiences.
The candidate experience is not a transient phase; it casts a long shadow on an employee's journey, impacting their performance, engagement, and tenure. Organisations cannot afford to let this slide, given its lasting effects. By measuring the experience and benchmarking against industry leaders, they can ensure they're not only attracting top talent but also setting them up for sustained success and tenure.
Benchmarcx is the number one real-time candidate experience benchmarking platform allowing employers to benchmark their CX scores by industry, role/skills, gender and location - all in realtime and automated and across 100+ data points. Set up is super simple and we don't touch any of your candidate personal data!
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