It’s 2017 – So why isn’t Candidate Experience BAU?

Written by Ben Gledhill

Agency, RPO and Talent Acquisition since 2005. Straight talking Yorkshireman. Passion for experience and technology whilst nailing the basics and influencing on the strategic importance of hiring and retention. Rum drinker occasionally.

So I am bored, believe it or not. I am bored of a phrase in my current job title (sorry Jules). I am bored because it’s 2017 and it’s still a thing. Candidate Experience. Why haven’t we nailed it? Why isn’t it BAU? What is stopping us?

I have a few theories. Might be right might be wrong. Might be talking rubbish.

I think the first one is that we are still miles away from a truly lean recruitment cycle. I can name about half a dozen organisations that I know that I think have nailed it.

The rest, somewhere along the road, can’t forecast who needs what – which causes massive decision-making headaches at offer stage, advertise when they don’t need to because they have no pipelining ability – which means applications are disappearing into a black hole, and probably worst of all? Overly complicated assessment processes that haven’t been reviewed in years? Why aren’t we breaking down each segment and getting rid of the rubbish that we don’t need?

Secondly, I think we’ve all been blinded by Tech. Yes; some of the solutions out there are unreal in terms of the output, but if we have the above problems – many that need an internal solution rather than an external tech supplier – then what is the point?

Stop relying on the Holy Grail solution to fix something that is inherently your fault. Why spend £50,000 on a VR app that gives your candidates a feeling of what a working day is like when most of your Hiring Managers assess with umpteen unconscious biases and bad habits? Doesn’t make sense, does it?

Finally, and I think the one that will hopefully hit home with everyone. I honestly believe that we’ve become lazy and forgotten the basics of Recruitment, which is simple human to human communications and remembering that to us its vacancy UKIT781 but to them, it’s their career.

We’ve all become too wrapped up in EMEA Global RACI Frameworks that say we need to follow this process, that process etc. Do we still make the 7.00 pm call to a candidate to check in after an assessment? Do we follow up that email to see where feedback is? Are we forging the right relationships with Hiring Managers? Let’s get back to basics and actually follow that Job Description that we all signed up for.

Now, none of the above is rocket science. Having a lean, common sense and human orientated recruitment cycle is not something new. So if it’s not something new why are we still making mistakes related to Candidate Experience? Why is it still a thing and not BAU?

Yeah, I don’t know either.

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