Although the current recruitment marketplace can best be described as turbulent, there is currently a strong focus on the candidate experience. There are a number of reasons for this.

In some sectors where recruitment is vibrant, there are significant skills shortages. Ensuring that talented individuals join you rather than a competitor means paying attention to all of the candidate touchpoints, not just the offer. In many instances, budgets are tight. There’s a real focus on optimising the performance of the recruitment process to reduce cost and time to hire.

As more and more organisations focus on managing their employer brands, there is a recognition of the need to establish an authentic impression of the internal culture to ensure appropriate fit and avoid costly, early attrition.

The effect of social media on your employer brand

But perhaps one of the most significant drivers of the current focus on candidate experience is the extraordinary growth of social networking and the propensity of those who have had a poor experience to broadcast their feelings to the world.

A survey of 1000 Internet users by Lightspeed Research last year indicates the potential scale of the problem – 77% of  respondents said that they are likely to tell people within either their personal or professional networks  (or both) if they have had a negative interview experience.

Furthermore, in a survey conducted by SHL last year, it was found that not only could a poor recruitment experience damage the employer brand, it could also impact on the bottom line, with 20% withdrawing their custom from the potential employer.

Perhaps the most vivid example of the interaction between poor candidate care and social networking came with the pre-Olympic revelations over G4S recruitment problems. Comments on the BBC website, tweets and a dedicated Facebook page highlighted the all- too-familiar issues of poor communication between appointment and joining.

Want to know your company’s candidate experience?

If you are interested in seeing how your own candidate experience compares with other organisations, a new awards scheme has been launched in the UK, following its success in the US. It is free to participate and you will receive a complimentary benchmark report on how your company compares against other UK participants.

For further information please go to: http://uk.thecandidateexperienceawards.org/.

Written by Nick Holker, co-founder of Peer Group

Nick co-founded Peer Group with Sue Redden and has responsibility for the research side of the business.

As the importance of employer brand management has continued to grow, Nick’s hybrid background has proved invaluable in ensuring that the insight gained at the research stage of a project is accurately reflected in the communications outputs and embedding process.

Nick has designed and managed employer brand-related projects for a wide variety of organisations in the automotive, broadcasting, business services, charity, energy, engineering and construction, financial services, pharmaceutical and telecommunications sectors.

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