How the User Experience Can Transform Your Candidate Experience #thecandidate

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Sometimes I feel like we get caught up in the moment, a buzz word or a movement that is a thing. It becomes a gimmick instead of a truth that can help move your business forward or their efforts fundamentally. This is how I feel about the candidate experience. It’s become more of a buzz word. Something we give awards out for, shop for paid sponsors when more importantly it is in fact a real life or death and important thing.

How the User Experience Can Transform Your Candidate Experience

Gerry Crispin defines the candidate experience as, “the attitudes and behaviors of individuals who aspire to work for a firm about the recruiting process, the stakeholders in the process, the work and the company itself as a place to work.”

This attitude and behavior of individuals as Crispin calls it, is what I call the User Experience. Also referred to as UX in the technology and development circles, User Experience involves a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about using a particular product, system or service. User experience includes the practical, experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership.

Own a cell phone or a mobile device? The key to the successful growth of companies like iPhone was through their user experience by focusing on their end user who would be experiencing the product or service except that the candidate application process with your ATS is a lot like going to the dentist and pulling teeth.

In short, it’s not a fun process no mater how many free tooth brushes, floss samples or how minty fresh they make the mouthwash, going to the dentist isn’t enjoyable because they don’t really grasp the importance of the end user of the product and the UX.

More importantly, how long has it been since you as a recruiting, HR or hiring manager actually completed an online application, sat through interview process as a job seeker or applied for your competition’s online job posting?

This is what makes the candidate experience unique. Nearly all of us have been job seekers so we can relate and pull from past experiences, thoughts and feelings in what is were like as the prospective employee. I propose we worry less about the “candidate experience” as a noun and more about the actual user experience of recent hires and current candidates who are interviewing or are considering our companies.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.


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