Research Shows the Current Candidate Experience Landscape Needs Improvement

Features Recruiter.com

For years, candidates have been complaining about the same things – the cumbersome job application process, the redundant entering of data after uploading a resume, and even the lack of communication once an application has been submitted.

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Here we are in 2017, and these issues still exist. Candidates are still unhappy with their experiences with employers. Unfortunately, many companies are taking their sweet time in improving and enhancing their candidate experiences.

In case you were wondering what the current candidate experience landscape looks like, Phenom People did the legwork and extensively audited 600 of the world's largest companies. Here's a look at the key findings, which will help you understand where companies are hitting and missing the mark when it comes to providing phenomenal candidate experiences:

77 Percent of Companies Lack a Robust Social Media Recruiting Strategy

It's no surprise that a good majority of candidates live in social media land right now, and reaching these people can be tricky without a robust social media recruiting strategy in place. Although companies know social media is where a majority of candidates live, they are still failing to engage across multiple social media platforms, thereby missing crucial opportunities to engage with candidates.

When It Comes to Employer Reviews, 97 Percent of Companies Lack Transparency

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When a prospective candidate visits a company's career site, they want to see information on opportunities, what it's like to work there, benefits, and what employees (current and past) think about both working at the company and its leadership team. Instead of embedding employer reviews on their career sites, companies force candidates to look elsewhere to find this information, like on Glassdoor.

86 Percent of Companies Aren't Tracking the Sources Driving Candidates to Them

In order to properly allocate recruiting dollars, it's important for companies to understand where their candidates – more importantly, their quality candidates – are coming from in the first place. After all, talent leaders have a responsibility to tie ROI to their talent acquisition functions. Without source information, it can be difficult to do that with confidence.

Candidates Need to Reenter Information and Abandon Applications at 85 Percent of Companies

It used to be easy to express interest in an opportunity. All you had to do was fax or email your resume. However, the online career panel has added an annoying extra step to the process: After uploading a resume, most candidates are then forced to reenter their work and education histories into separate online forms.

Because all this information can be found on the resume they just uploaded, many candidates will abandon these annoying applications rather than waste time repeating themselves.

76 Percent of Career Sites Lack an Intuitive Search Function

Companies are potentially losing out on talent by limiting their job search functionality to exact matches. If I'm a potential candidate looking for a "director of talent acquisition" role with a company, I could be missing out on opportunities like "recruiting manager," "talent acquisition manager," or even "director of recruiting."

Candidates Want Feedback, but 75 Percent of Companies Aren't Communicating Well

Candidates hate playing the waiting game after submitting an application for an opportunity. The automated system-generated reply that the application was submitted successfully is not enough. Many candidates want to hear genuine, personalized feedback. Unfortunately, a good majority hear crickets instead.

96 Percent of Career Sites Offer One-Size-Fits-All Content or No Content at All

Although candidates crave personalized experiences, companies are falling short when it comes to providing curated and dynamic content on their career sites. Some employers are catching on and investing lots of dollars into employer branding initiatives, including branded career sites with lots of content. The problem? Too often, the career site is completely bypassed when a candidate lands on a job description page on the company's separate ATS job portal instead.

Surveys Could Capture Candidate Feedback, but 96 Percent of Companies Aren't Conducting Them

We often hear about companies asking newly hired employees for their feedback on the hiring process, but what about hose applicants who didn't get hired? Many companies aren't capturing data about their experiences through applicant surveys, missing out on opportunities to assess the candidate experience.

There is no doubt that in the last five years there have been definitive efforts to improve the candidate experience. However, there is still a way to go. It can take an average of six months to a year to implement a solid employer branding and content strategy, so waiting will only put you that much further behind. Fortunately, there's a lot of helpful technology out there that wasn't around five years ago. It's time for companies to understand their candidate experiences and find ways to personalize, enhance, and improve them. It's the only way to attract top talent.

Ed Newman, chief evangelist at Phenom People, is a well-known thought leader in the HR field.