Candidate Experience: The more we’re interested the better we treat you. Until we don’t.

Great Hires was a proud sponsor of the 2016 Talent Board North American Candidate Experience Awards Research Report.  In the report there are some excellent insights into the end-to-end candidate experience.

One of the areas that intrigued us here at Great Hires was the relative candidate experience of the selection/interview process compared to the other stages of the recruiting process.  Candidates were asked to rate their overall candidate experience from one to five stars and the same question for each individual phase of the process.

You can see from the chart below that candidates get treated better the further they move down each stage of the recruiting process with the negative ratings (1-star and 2-star ratings) going down each phase.

It shouldn’t be surprising that candidates get treated better as they progress down the recruiting funnel and the company gets more serious about wanting the candidate to join their organization.  What is a surprise is how much the negative ratings spike after either the company or the candidate decided they aren’t right for each other.   The report suggests candidates are looking for better ways to be told they aren’t moving forward when they are rejected.  In addition, candidates who are withdrawing cite their time being wasted for appointments/interviews and the process taking too long as their primary reasons for taking themselves out of consideration.

What is even more surprising is the self-perception gap between how companies think candidates rate their recruiting process vs. how candidates actually see the process. Across each stage of the recruiting process there is about a 10 point difference between the companies self-evaluation compares to the actual candidate feedback. By far the biggest disconnect is in how candidates rate their experience in being told they are no longer in consideration for the job: 23% negative via company self-assessed vs. 50% negative from actual candidate ratings.  The data suggests that most companies need a little reality check.


In our next posting, we will consider where talent acquisition teams are currently investing their resources/dollars in the candidate experience and why.  We’ll also propose how they might want to shift these allocations based on a holistic view on the impact of a bad candidate experience.