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Candidate Experience – The Game changer!

December 26, 2016
Candidate Experience – The Game changer!

“No Man ever steps in the same river twice, for its not the same river and he is not the same man”- Heraclitus

Throughout my experience in Recruitment Business, I have been a part of different aspects of hiring round the clock. And as most of us in the business would agree, finding the right person, at the right time and right cost is no less than a Herculean task. With so many processes and transactions left to be completed and that too through manual intervention, often important aspects of the processes get dropped. When the recruiters are in the throes of filling an open position, they often don’t think about communication and relationships. They only think about “closures” and “resumes,” “job requirements” and “CTQ parameters”.

And that’s the catch here.

Do you know, 70% of your employer brand is because of the talent pool which is not your employee base. And a larger percentage of this population experiences you first hand when they appear for your recruitment process. But unfortunately, this opportunity remains untapped. Recruiters and line managers sucked up under the pressure of hiring targets, often forget the experience to be given to the candidates, right from the point he/she reads the name of your organization to the moment the appointment letter is signed. And most of them wouldn’t even ask the relevance of putting this effort.

But this is where the difference between the star recruiter and average recruiter lies.

Why bother about experience – And that too of a candidate?

Typically, on an average 250 resumes are received for each corporate job opening, out of which only 1 candidate gets selected. This often makes a recruiter think why should he/she bother about the experience of this talent pool which anyways won’t be part of the organization. Such recruiters often forget that in the long term this talent pool is what they would be reaching out again. Further, it is predicted that by 2022 more than 48 million formal workforce will contribute to the Indian economy and the major chunk will come from Millennial generation- who, unlike Gen X and Baby boomers look out for “experience” and that too unforgettable one instead of job perks. So, it becomes all the more important to focus on the experience you give to the candidates and make a difference in the market of Job providers.

Okay, now you know that managing candidate experience is important, so how to go about it? Here’s a guide that can help with this.

What to do?

Regardless of the process of recruitment, one theme unites all of the activities – The first connect & The right communication- Either the employee or the employer connecting with each other and knowing each other. The CandE report found that 94% candidates are likely to apply if the employer actively manages the communication and employer brand. And many of these communications are driven by virtual as well as real channels such as your career site, job postings, Referrals, social media presence and while other interactions, such as interviews, assessments and job fairs, campus hiring’s etc. The best recruiters who will succeed – both today and in future – have to provide candidates with consistent communication – whether the news is good, bad or ugly.

What to avoid?

Many a times, knowingly or unknowingly the employer leave the candidates in the grey area, without giving a clear picture of the recruitment process. Ultimately, causing bad candidate experience. Few other reasons could be:

ps-Candidate experience

Case study: How candidate experience helped globally recognized IT & consulting firm

Wipro is a global information technology, consulting and outsourcing company with 160,000+ workforce serving clients in 175+ cities across 6 continents. It is globally recognized for its innovative approach towards delivering business value and its commitment to sustainability.

Wipro’s major challenge:

  • Enrich business and the candidate hiring experience
  • Increase quality of hire with cost in control.

Focus Area:

Speed Quality Cost

  • Enable stakeholder satisfaction at every level.
  • In the complex scenario of hiring 0.3 million hires annually, a magnified view of each and every step of hiring process is needed


Categorized the entire journey under four buckets:

  • Defining: Emphasis on end to end process communication
  • Standardizing: Creating an impression center to manage end to end candidate queries and remove the manual processes.
  • Candidate impression center, accessed through 1800 number and the candidate can get anytime anywhere access to the status of their application.
  • As high as 70% of the basic queries related to applicant tracking are managed through impression center resulting in release of hiring manager’s bandwidth.
  • Improving: Blending Virtual & Real Channels though ATS (Applicant tracking system) and going mobile.
  • Measuring: Candidate experience survey for different job cadre is conducted.

The survey gets triggered automatically from ATS once the candidate is through with the hiring process.

With Wipro we were able to get a rating of 98% by improving the processes as per candidate needs.

Candidate experience has always been a two-way street. It is important to ensure that it is exceptional and true to an organisation’s brand, or you are setting the brand up for damage both upfront in the recruiting process and to your internal employees and stakeholders. A good, early, and “human” connect can definitely improve the candidate experience to build a consistent talent pool, stronger employer brand, and happy brand ambassadors.

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