Candidate Experience – A Choice or Business Imperative 0

Karuna Vempala_New
Karuna Vempala is the Head of Talent Acquisition at Cigniti Technologies and leads the worldwide hiring mandates of the organisation. He implements organisational level hiring strategies and frameworks to recruit high-wired quality engineering professionals. Karuna is on a mission of building billion-dollar Independent testing unicorn in making. He is an industry-recognized Talent Leader with 18 years of experience in hiring only in India but also international deployments including US, UK, and other emerging countries. He is a social media enthusiast, Recruitment blogger, and truly believes that social, digital, and outbound hiring is a crux to decode the talent war in this break-neck speed of transformation.

In the digital age, what candidates think, experience, and say about your brand constitutes a huge part of employer branding. How you treat candidates right from day zero, when the interview process begins, defines your relationship with them over time. Thus, improvising candidate experience to meet changing needs is no more a choice for organisations; it has become a business imperative.

In this age of digital transformation, where cutting-edge technologies such as Automation, Cognitive(AI, ML, and Robotics), Big Data, and Angular are taking centre stage in the talent landscapes, the war for talent is brewing with the high demand for such niche skills. However, on the contrary, the supply is fast depleting. Large to mid-level organisations are undergoing talent challenges, their bottom line can get impacted due to poor talent acquisition strategies and high opportunity cost for the employer. In this fast-paced environment, organisations do not have a dearth of ideas and business strategies and other resources such as finances, infrastructure, and client acquisition but the recruitment and retention of quality human capital seem to be the biggest challenges. In this unprecedented talent war, recruiters must experiment with and implement unique and unconventional strategies to stay ahead of the curve and competition. In this dawn, the prominence of candidate experience clearly emerges as a non-negotiable differentiator.

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A study by Harvard Business Review and ICM found that companies with 10,000 employees could be spending up to $7.6 million annually in additional salaries to compensate for poor employer branding as the acquiring becomes costlier. Great experience must begin in the nascent of stages of the candidate journey, right from tapping, engaging, acquiring, interviewing, hiring to on-boarding. Treating candidates the way you treat your customers would enrich experience throughout the journey. Recruitment is now going outbound and the passive talent may not apply on their own, unless your brand stories on the review sites (Glassdoor, Indeed, and Yelp), social media, and career sites woo them. The game of talent is changing; now the employers are no more finding the talent but the talent is discovering their dream employers. These inventions are driving organisations to re-craft their talent branding strategies aligning to the modern recruiting.

In this unprecedented talent war, recruiters must experiment with and implement unique and unconventional strategies to stay ahead of the curve and competition. And candidate experience clearly emerges as a non-negotiable differentiator

Experience at every stage of the candidate journey can enthral him/her to not only to join the organisation but also helps in reducing offer declines, cost-per-hire, and time-to-fill metrics, which directly impacts revenue. During the interview, how seamlessly the process is driven at various stages, including setting the right expectations to giving constructive feedback to the unfortunate candidates, culminates to the good experience. This is possibly one of the most unconventional ways of building and harnessing talent pipeline for future needs by the way of references garnered in the process. Also adopting techniques such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to showcase employer workspace, culture, and brand stories can stimulate the experience to woo prospects.

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Poor candidate experience reflects on the employer brand, resulting in potential employees accepting other offers, which further results in revenue loss for the organisation. In the age of digital transformation, dissatisfied candidates are no more voiceless. They have innumerable ways to express their unhappiness. Therefore, it is a business imperative to improvise the experience by constantly assessing Net Promoter Scores(NPS).

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