Candidate Feedback: Is it Worth the Risk?

I am always surprised by the percentage of organizations that do not consistently gather feedback from candidates or new hires about the candidate experience. Based on Brandon Hall Group’s latest Employment Value Proposition research, only 21% of organizations consistently gathers feedback from candidates declining offers and only 29% consistently gathers feedback to assess the quality of the candidate experience. The bulk of our respondents (45%) gather feedback on an occasional basis.

candidate feedbackI can’t imagine a marketer of a consumer product or service company not surveying their customers to understand satisfaction with the product and/or service. In fact, consumer marketers consistently incorporate research practices throughout ideation, research and development, purchase experience, and more. To them, due to the investment in the product/service, the costs of production and marketing, the size of the market, and the brand impact, the risks are too high to make decisions without making a concerted effort to conduct sound market research. That approach is ingrained in their business souls.

Yet, talent acquisition does present a risk to organizations, and research is often not incorporated into the talent acquisition process.  The EVP research showed that roughly one-third of organizations consider attracting talent (34%) and employee engagement (30%) to be a big risk in terms of organizational readiness.

I am not sure why organizations do not obtain candidate feedback on a consistent basis.  It could be related to process, confidentiality, staffing, resources, not understanding the best practices around gathering that feedback, or something else. However, I do know that valuable insight can be gleaned from new hires and candidates not accepting an offer.  Here is a sample of the kinds of topics that can be explored:

  • How candidates researched the employer and learned about the opportunity
  • Reasons candidates want to work for the organization
  • Reasons for accepting/rejecting the position.
  • Online application experience
  • Career site experience
  • Interview experience
  • Suggestions for improving process

Additional in-depth information can be learned from new hires, such as other types of positions and/or employers considered during the job search and reasons why your organization was selected over other opportunities.

This type of research, conducted correctly, can greatly benefit the organization. It provides insights on employer brand strengths, competitive brand positioning and messaging, the effectiveness of recruitment marketing and the interview process, and the impact of technology on candidates, specifically the online application, CRM, and career site.

On the other hand, not conducting this research is risky business. It is better to get a realistic view of the candidate experience and develop strategies to improve the process than to lose quality candidates and possibly impact the corporate and employer brand.  Candidates can be customers, too.

If you are not getting candidate feedback, start the new year out right and start asking your candidates and new hires for feedback about the candidate experience.

Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Talent Acquisition,
Brandon Hall Group

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.

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