One of the top questions recruiters often ask of references is “would you hire that person again?” But another question they should be thinking about, especially in this competitive labor market is directed at potential candidates: “would you apply here?” Faced with online applications that sometimes take 30 minutes or more, candidates are considering whether an employment search, the application or follow-up steps involved will be time-consuming, a waste of time, or a hassle to manage versus staying in their current role.

Many companies are willing to open themselves up to scrutiny from job candidates by participating in the Talent Board’s annual research survey. The Talent Board is a non-profit organization focused on the promotion and benchmark research of a quality candidate experience.

The Talent Board recently released its 50 winners of the 2016 North American CandE Awards. To participate, each company had to commit to allowing responses from both candidates who get hired, and those who did not. Candidates are asked if they are ‘likely to apply again,’ ‘likely to refer a friend’ and for other feedback.

Why candidate experience matters

If an organization becomes known for a lengthy, cumbersome, or unwelcoming hiring process there’s a bigger impact than missing out on all the great candidates who choose not to apply. Candidates who do apply may be turned off during the hiring process as they ask themselves “would I want to work there?” and, “would I want to buy from or shop there?”

Talent Board research finds that on average 41 percent of candidates who believe they have had a “negative” job seeker experience say they will definitely take their alliance, product purchases and relationship somewhere else.

Steps to improving

Many parts of the hiring process can leave the applicant in the dark wondering where things stand. Candidates are often left in the position of “hurry up and wait” as they diligently prepare and respond to requests and requirements only to experience periods of radio silence after they do so.

One area where that can especially occur is reference checking. Candidates often reach out and connect with their references, share that they’re applying for a position, only to learn that their references are not even contacted, or that connections are never made.

SkillSurvey is proud to be part of the hiring experience for a number of this year’s winners. By using online reference checking, these organizations provide an extremely transparent experience for job candidates. Once a candidate enters his or her references, they receive updates on whether the references respond. Plus, the experience is enhanced for the references themselves. They receive a professional, job-specific survey to submit feedback confidentially, can provide additional comments and can even sign up to receive job opportunities from your organization.

Congrats to all the 2016 CandE winners. We look forward to viewing the full research results when it is release next year and learning the ways that organizations are improving their hiring brand with a great candidate experience.

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