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Linda Consideine on Improving the Candidate Experience

by Joseph Murphy

Linda Considine of Taleo spoke with me about the candidate experience at Taleo World in Chicago.  As the head of Global Alliances, she spends a good deal of time thinking about and speaking with others about how the recruiting experience impacts candidate reactions and perceptions.  When I asked her what we can do to improve the candidate experience, she had a few concise suggestions.  Click Play to hear what she has to say. Then scroll down to read more.

First, Linda suggests a shift of focus from the recruiter’s decision to the candidate’s decision. So much of the recruiting infrastructure is recruiter-centric, implying the recruiter is the primary decision maker in a career opportunity.  In fact the quality of the candidate’s decision is crucial. The candidate experience can be improved by providing clear, candid and balanced information about the job and the company. 

Realistic Job Preview (RJP) is an excellent process for education, engagement, and expectation setting. Candidates want help, not hype, when it comes to learning about a job. They have a lot at stake in a career choice as well. Thoughtfully scripted messages and images can go a long way to prepare candidates for the job-fit decision they must make. In an attempt to sell the benefits and value of a career, many companies have gone beyond RJP with their on-line messages, converting what should be objective disclosure to hyperbole. Marketing took precedence over objective disclosure.  This can mislead a job seeker and create the distaste from a bait and switch reaction in new hires as they confront elements of a job that were under-represented or not covered in the recruiting process.

A measure of the effectiveness of sound candidate education can be a simple post-application question to candidates - "As a result of applying, are you in a better position to decide if the job is right for you?"  When your candidate education and engagement provides as much, if not more information than it seeks, candidates feel their need for decision support is honored as well.  In fact, the principle of reciprocity might make it easier to get better candidate data.  Their willingness to give is improved when they feel they are getting sound information about the job, the company and the culture.  Read candidate testimonials from individuals who felt their application process was valuable and worthwhile.

Help the candidate choose you, eyes wide open and well informed.  Another useful suggestion for staffing process improvement.