SHL’s Six Shifts that will Influence Innovations In Candidate Experience 607

The business benefits of an enriching candidate experience are obvious, but businesses often struggle to provide a transformational candidate experience. The article explains what changes you can make and what benefits you can experience as a result.

Sushant Dwivedy on Candidate Experience
Sushant Dwivedy, Managing Director (India and Philippines), SHL

The first real experience that a new employee has of their future employer is as a candidate, this first touchpoint is extremely important. Although candidates research the brand through various offline sources and online reviews, it is their initial, direct experience as a candidate that shapes perception. Most of them decide on joining an organisation based on the application and interview process. Candidates are also vocal about their experience; a negative candidate experience can potentially damage an organisation’s brand equity and deter others from applying. Data from Glassdoor shows that 72 percent will share details of a bad candidate experience online and that 55 percent will avoid applying to companies with negative online reviews. Businesses often struggle to provide an enriching candidate experience, and this becomes even more difficult now when everything is online.

While most organisations know the benefits of a great candidate experience — from attracting the best talent to building a reputation for being a great place to work, and the potential upside that consumer-facing brands can get from positive candidate advocacy — it is often identifying the starting point for developing a positive experience that companies find most difficult. According to an extensive study done by SHL, an effective candidate experience, inspired by consumer brands, can create transformational business outcomes. The study identifies six shifts that will influence further innovations in candidate experience.

Candidate Experience: Six Shifts
Six Shifts Of Candidate Experience (Source: SHL)

Learnings from consumer experience: Major shifts that will drive candidate experience in the future

Although the consumer experience is now hyper-targeted, many candidate experiences are still driven through generic and mass communications. The candidate who is exposed to personalised experience elsewhere has increased demands and evolved expectations from the recruitment process.

Also read: Can a Good Candidate Experience Motivate Techies To Look Beyond Salary? (allthingstalent.org)

Job applications are highly personal to candidates, each applicant has their own hopes and expects an experience that acknowledges their specific application and strengths. Recruitment now is not just ‘a task with a deadline’ but is a ‘transfer of information’ about the organisation. An experience where the candidate can learn about themselves, career options, and feedback about their suitability for a specific role are important to all applicants. Recent innovations in technology and automation have made it easy to address critical touchpoints by automating the feedback process, adding a human connection, and changing the approach from being passive to interactive and offering value whether they are offered a job or not.

“Recruitment now is not just ‘a task with a deadline’ but is a ‘transfer of information’ about the organisation. An experience where the candidate can learn about themselves, career options, and feedback about their suitability for a specific role is important to all applicants.”

Candidates trust user-generated content more than traditional advertising. Authenticity is crucial and genuine content from hiring managers and existing employees is more impactful. In the recruitment process, often minimal consideration is given to the candidate’s schedule and needs. However, technology is now shifting the recruitment experience to asynchronous tasks (assessments, self-scheduling, video interviews, or realistic job previews), a reality that improves the overall experience. 

A diverse workforce is an important factor to most jobseekers when evaluating companies and offers. Emphasising the rigour of the application process to treat all candidates fairly and involving more candidates in that process is critical to being proactive. 

Improving the candidate experience has traditionally been a single time-limited project. However, these experiences involve dozens of different touchpoints or micro-experiences, so we see a more immediate opportunity to experiment, innovate, and improve.

Using technology to incorporate the shifts

The technology and capabilities needed to execute and adopt these shifts are available within reach and can be incorporated into the standard recruitment process by the Talent Acquisition managers. Technology and AI can be leveraged to make the assessment and interview process asynchronous which keeps the candidate engaged with the brand while the recruiter is away and provides a personalised experience by calling them by name and essentially talking to them as they progress through the recruitment process. Organisations can understand which shift is the best starting point for them and then build towards developing a great candidate experience. 

Also read: Why Candidate Experience is Key to Recruitment Marketing (allthingstalent.org)

“Candidates trust user-generated content more than traditional advertising. Authenticity is crucial and genuine content from hiring managers and existing employees is more impactful. In the recruitment process, often minimal consideration is given to the candidate’s schedule and needs. However, technology is now shifting the recruitment experience to asynchronous tasks (assessments, self-scheduling, video interviews, or realistic job previews), a reality that improves the overall experience.”

The detailed white paper can be found here: Innovation Rising: The Six Shifts Creating Exceptional Candidate Experiences – SHL

Year of Incorporation: 1977
Market Presence: 150 countries
Employee Count: 1475 employees
Workforce Pie (in percent): India (44), EMEA (35), AMS (10), Asia (8), ANZ (3)

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Sushant is a seasoned leader with nearly 3 decades of rich experience in the industry. He has worked with some of the best global companies throughout his career and transformed businesses for exponential growth.

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