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For the past ten years, the Talent Board has benchmarked how well organizations deliver a quality candidate experience. The CandE Awards recognize those companies that outperformed their peers on key measures across the candidate experience—from recruiting to onboarding. CandE Award winners in 2020 included 61 organizations from around the world who were recognized for having superlative candidate experience ratings.

In a year of astonishing challenges, these organizations elevated the candidate experience by reaching deeper to understand candidate expectations, communicating with candidates consistently across every touchpoint, and being fair, transparent, and accountable in their dealings with every candidate. These winning strategies and others are detailed in the Talent Board’s 2020 North American Candidate Experience Research Report

Here at SkillSurvey, we know a bit about what it takes to be a CandE Award winners. Some 20% of the CandE award winners in 2020 are also SkillSurvey clients, including eight-time winners Colorado Springs Utilities and Deluxe (a winning streak that only 5 companies have matched in the history of these awards). Those CandE Award winners include: AdventHealth, Intermountain Healthcare, BlueCross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Fresenius Medical Care, AAA, Hoag, Atlantic Health System, Deluxe, Valvoline, Colorado Springs Utilities, Stantec, and Optum.

What’s their secret? Here’s our take on four stand-out metrics that characterize high-performing organizations:

Job-specific assessments help candidates present the full range of their skills

Assessing potential candidates is an art and a science—which has prompted organizations to experiment with a broad range of assessment tools over the years, from competency tests to personality tests. But the number of employers using job-specific assessments has outranked these other measures consistently since 2015.

SkillSurvey clients use scientifically vetted job-specific surveys to collect feedback from a candidate’s former peers and managers for an unbiased view of past performance—a key predictor of future success. Job-specific questions—whether directed to the candidate or to the candidate’s references–also provide job seekers with another way to present the full range of their knowledge, skills, and abilities, which the Talent Board has found can increase a candidate’s relationship with a potential employer.

Engaging early with new hires deepens relationships

Across the board, more employers are engaging more deeply with new hires before their start dates. That only makes sense: time to hire has always been a factor in a candidate’s overall experience with an employer. The Talent Board found that making an offer within one week of the final interview can increase a candidate’s willingness to increase their relationship with that employer by 67%.

Automating touchpoints across the hiring journey—from recruiting to reference checking to onboarding certainly speeds the hiring process. But candidates also appreciated access to online tools to complete onboarding tasks, as well as opportunities to express their goals, meet team members, hear from their hiring manager, and get answers to questions prior to their start date. Taken together, these tactics can increase satisfaction in the candidate experience by as much as 83%.

“One thing we did long ago was to solicit feedback from applicants about our application form to make sure it’s short, easy to complete, and gives us only the information we really need.”
— Jonathan Liepe, Human Resources Supervisor, Colorado Springs Utilities. Read the case study in the report.

Continuous and frequent feedback is a differentiator

CandE Award winners are closing the feedback loop—asking candidates for feedback throughout the hiring journey and offering feedback as well.  That closed-loop approach overwhelmingly increased the candidate’s positive impression of the organization—by as much as 208%. “We use data to measure hiring volumes and the efficiency of our recruiting efforts. Our descriptive analysis provides us with a view into activity such as hiring volume, talent pool size, time to fill, source of hire and cost of hire. We also use the results to help with our recruitment process improvements, guide our recruiters sourcing tactics and have more productive conversations with hiring managers.” Stantec case study featured in report.

“We want every candidate walking away from their experience feeling like they matter, whether they get the job or not,” said Stacy Van Meter, VP Talent Acquisition, Deluxe

Equitable hiring will be a priority in 2021

Candidate-friendly, transparent, and fair hiring processes contribute significantly to candidate satisfaction. As least 69% of organizations use pre-employment assessments to help hiring managers make better decisions. But a transparent and open selection process also helps businesses build a reputation for fairness, at a time when diversity and inclusion are critically important for future recruiting initiatives. Implementing solutions across the candidate experience that help to eliminate bias and surface talent more equitably will be on every employer’s radar in 2021.

SkillSurvey would like to congratulate every 2020 CandE Award winner for pursuing excellence.

And a special shout-out to our clients, who are using our solutions in creative ways to improve the candidate experience.

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