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Wroe on Improving the Candidate Experience

by Joseph Murphy

Nels Wroe of SHL and I had a chance to catch up and talk at the SIOP Conference in Atlanta earlier this year.  Nels offered some thoughtful considerations for companies to think about when creating the candidate experience.  He suggests we adapt our world to theirs, consider the life-cycle of the candidate and remember that your candidates may be your customers, or even your clients.  Click PLAY to hear what he has to say, but remember to scroll down for more of this article.

Adapting the employee selection process to the candidate raises a variety of questions.  The first being – In what ways do you acknowledge the candidate as a decision maker?   To facilitate that end, interactive design elements such as a realistic job preview (RJP) educate the candidate with information about job demands, satisfiers, challenges and rewards.  Insights into the culture and values can also be provided.  The candidate needs to walk away from the employee selection process in a better position to decide if the job is right for them.

A second question to consider is – In what ways have we helped the candidate demonstrate their capabilities?  Candidates want an opportunity to show their skills and abilities.  Resumes and basic ATS driven questionnaires leave candidate with an impersonal, shallow feeling.  They would much prefer an opportunity to provide a work sample through a live interview, interact by completing a simulation, or even better getting a chance to do a job tryout.  The practice of temp-to-perm provides this last option, but it is one of the most expensive forms of pre-employment testing. Letting someone provide a work sample through an agency for four to six weeks also sends a message of low trust.  Candidates often interpret this approach to staffing in two ways:  The company does not trust their ability to make good hiring decisions, they don’t trust me enough to offer me a real job. 

The Virtual Job Tryout combines realistic job preview and pre-employment testing into an on-line work sample.  This integrated approach provides candidates better information to support their needs as a decision maker and provides the recruiter with evidence of a candidate's competencies which relate to success on the job.

Candidate life-cycle is an interesting point of view to ponder.  How many times might a candidate consider a career with your firm? As applicant tracking systems are still relatively new, you may only have five or maybe just over 10 years of data to examine.  However, a quick look inside your candidate database might provide insight into the number and frequency of individuals exploring multiple jobs over time with your firm.  Every interaction with the candidate creates a share of mind, either favorable or unfavorable.  Do you know how they rate the experience they have with your company?  I will be writing about evaluating the candidate experience in a up coming blog.  To see how candidates react to the Virtual Job Tryout, read some testimonials.

Candidate as customer, client, or even supplier adds another degree of consideration for the design intention of the candidate evaluation process.  The law of reciprocity suggests if you treat them well as candidates, they will treat you well as customer, client or supplier.  What have you learned from asking candidates about their experience applying at your firm?  Maybe it is time to start asking?