Better Candidate Experience = Sustainability For Us All

Recently I observed a candidate experience that went something like this; the recruiting team was pushing for a self imposed deadline for an interview day.  A couple days before the ‘big day’ a few of the candidates that had been through the normal and fairly rigorous screening process needed to reschedule.  To meet the SLA’s for the business unit, like any good recruiting team that try to circumvent the process to make sure the hiring managers have a full slate of candidates.  The sourcing team then pulls a hand full of candidates that meet top line criteria but have yet to be vetted by the hiring manager and at one of the recruiting consultants request, the sourcers see if these early stage candidates could travel with about a 72 hour notice to the interview day.  The sourcing team pulls off the request and upon submitting the candidates the same recruiting consultant starts getting cold feet about the very same candidates whose resumes they reviewed hours earlier before requesting the escalation from the sourcing team.  The recruiting consultant agrees to contact them to arrange.

The day of the onsite interview rolls around (48 hours later) and the candidate that the sourcing team had surfaced calls the sourcer to ask what was going on.  Frantically, the sourcer calls the recruiting consultant to get a response of “yeah…his resume was too jumpy we are going to pass.”

Although this company would need to start executing candidates at random just to catch up to some of the other bad candidate experiences that i’ve witnessed. From what would be considered by many leading brands, this type of scenario, while unique, happens in variations way too often.  Candidate experience, or lack of, is hurting sourcing initiatives everywhere.  Agencies that churn and burn resumes, internal recruiting teams that consistently leave candidates hanging, and candidate developers that still think that they can just shotgun a billion in mails on LinkedIn to fill reqs.

The Industry Shift

The industry is already trending away from recruiters for this very reason. announced last year they created a “recruiter free” job board.  This is not about eliminating recruiting related fee’s its about the same engineers and producers that we are treating similarly to the above story remember how they are treated and would rather not repeat the same process for their own potential candidates.

So how do we fix this?  Do not misunderstand me on this, recruiters who know me know that I am all business and I am not some zen recruiter that wants us to coddle every applicant and drown them with swag.  However, if we do not recognize that candidate experience does matter then I think our industry, our clients, and eventually our own livelihoods will suffer from it.

This post is not about what I think we should or a numbered list of know-it-all ways but hopefully a conversation starter we can have as an industry on some easy things we can universally adopt to make the candidate experience a little less rant worthy.

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Jonah Manning

Founder @PeopleOps. Connect with Jonah.


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