81% of Candidates Want Continuous Communication Throughout Hiring Process

May 29th, 2017 Comments off

They say when you get someone’s number you should play it cool and wait a few days to call them. Whether that’s true in dating or not, it’s definitely bad advice for employers looking to hire. According to CareerBuilder’s recent Candidate Experience Study, seeming over-eager is the last thing employers need to worry about: 81 percent of job seekers say employers communicating continuous status updates would greatly improve their overall experience.


What Does This Mean For You?

The biggest frustration for job seekers is a lack of response from employers (cited by 52 percent of all job seekers). Even if you can’t provide constant updates, 83 percent of candidates say having a clear timeline of the hiring process would greatly improve their experience.


Job seekers want to know where they stand. Improving how you communicate with them throughout the hiring process can have a huge impact on the candidate experience – which, in turn, will help you attract even better candidates to your company.


Read the full Candidate Experience Study to learn more.

7 Candidate Problems and How to Get Ahead of Them

December 20th, 2016 Comments off
Candidate problems

If you’re like most recruiters, you have more on your plate than you did a few years ago. So, while you know there are certain candidate-related issues that should receive your attention, you’re just not able to focus on them as much as you’d like. But if you ignore them, they could end up blindsiding you – and causing you to lose out on top talent.

Here are seven common candidate problems and how you can get ahead of them – before they get ahead of you.

Problem No. 1: Candidate ego is out of control

In today’s candidate-driven market, candidates believe it’s all about their needs, not yours. How do you respond in an environment like this?

Solution: Candidates may come to interviews with outlandish requests related to benefits, comp, paid time off, career pathing – you name it. How do you respond to these requests? By adapting to the ego and expectations of the candidate. Ask yourself if you can afford to be picky in this market – because if you ignore the candidate, you may lose out on great talent. If you don’t have a strategy to tackle this, find a way to answer their questions without giving them what they want. That way, you’ll give yourself time to come up with an answer that’s beneficial to both parties.

Problem No. 2: Candidates value transparency

There’s no doubt about it – we live in an era of transparency. Candidates want to know the good, the bad and the ugly about a company. They use social media sites to get real, honest reviews. They don’t just want to hear all of the positives of working at your company – they want to know what some of the challenges are, too.

Solution: As a recruiter, you must be prepared to have robust and honest conversations with candidates. They will Google this information anyway, so you might as well be transparent. It’s also important to remember that your employer brand is made up of both employees and ex-employees. Your brand is a reflection of how you treat those currently working at your company and those who leave – willingly or not. Ex-employees are the ones sharing their fond memories – or horror stories – so don’t forget about managing alumni relationships, too.

Problem No. 3: Candidates want actionable feedback

We often try to get through as many candidates as possible, but favoring quantity over quality prevents us from having valuable candidate conversations.

Solution: We must talk to fewer people and have better conversations. Get down to a number that’s manageable so you can actually communicate with every candidate who applies – whether or not they are right for the job. If they have a bad experience, it will leave a bad impression. You want to build up a solid talent network, which includes people who may have been rejected for one job but may end up being a fit for another. Don’t sour candidate experience by slacking on communication.

Problem No. 4: Candidates want brutal feedback

Candidates aren’t made out of porcelain. If they suck, they want to be told they suck. They want to know what else they need to do to help them get the job.

Solution: Be honest with your candidates. It goes back to transparency – candidates will appreciate constructive criticism. That’s how you’ll build loyalty and help your employer brand.

Problem No. 5: Candidates have a ‘What’s next?’ mentality

This is one of the relatively new candidate problems. Twenty years ago, you wouldn’t see this. But we are now in the business of career development.

Solution: You must be able to explain internal mobility – however that is defined within your organization. The most talented candidates will have many options, so they will expect to know what’s next for them. You’ll lose top talent if you aren’t good at promoting them from within. It’s a new way of looking at HR and recruitment – it’s not just about getting them in the door, it’s getting them to stay.

Problem No. 6: Candidates demand career development

If you don’t have a compelling career development story, how can they grow their skills? And why would they want to work for you?

Solution: CEOs often think if their candidates are trained, they’ll leave the company. Yet, don’t we want the best version of our employees while they’re at our company? That’s why investing in training and development is so important. During the hiring process, you must be able to delve into the specifics of a training and development plan so candidates know they’ll have a chance to broaden their skillset once they’re employed.

Problem No. 7: Candidates expect text messages

In this candidate-centric market, candidates expect you to meet them where they’re at. This means they want you to communicate with them in their preferred way – not yours.

Solution: Voicemails may be your preferred mode of communication with candidates, but if they aren’t voicemail-oriented, you’re going to lose them – just on medium alone. If you don’t care about their communication style, they’ll think you just don’t get it. Don’t force the communications pathway that you’re comfortable with, because it’s not necessarily what the candidate prefers. Show them that you’ll do what it takes to get them to take the job by focusing on what’s important to them – even if that means sending them a Facebook message or connecting via Skype.

Is it time to rethink candidate experience? Learn how to make better hires.

Ask This, Not That to Avoid Inappropriate Interview Questions

November 8th, 2016 Comments off
Candidate's interview experience

Almost everyone has experienced that mind-blowing moment when something you always thought to be true turned out to be false – like learning that all Froot Loops taste the same or that the Bearenstein Bears were actually the Bearenstain Bears. For some hiring managers, that “aha!” moment could come with major consequences.

A 2015 CareerBuilder survey found that 1 in 5 hiring managers has asked a question in a job interview only to find out later that it was illegal to ask. While it’s understandable how these mistakes are made – for one thing, very few hiring managers receive formal interview training, and the lines between what is OK to ask and what isn’t aren’t always clear – it only takes one error to land an employer in some very hot water.

While you may already know that asking candidates about their national origin, citizenship, age, marital status, disabilities, arrest record, military discharges or personal information is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sometimes a seemingly harmless interview question could be construed as inappropriate, or even illegal.

Below is a guideline to avoiding 10 potentially dangerous interview questions – while still getting the information you’re looking for.

  1. Ask this: Are you legally authorized to work in the United States? Not that: Are you a U.S. citizen? Or Where were your parents born? Questions about national origin or ancestry are prohibited as they have no relevance to the job at hand or work status. The exception to this rule, of course, is if the position specifically requires one to be a U.S. citizen (and it should state so in the job posting).
  2. Ask this: Are you willing to relocate? Not that: Where do you live? Asking candidates where they live could be interpreted as a way to discriminate based on their location and is therefore illegal. Asking them if they are willing to relocate, however, is OK.
  3. Ask this: Are you able to perform the specific duties of this position? Not that: Do you have any disabilities? or Have you had any recent or past illnesses and operations? You may want to know about a candidate’s ability to handle certain responsibilities or perform certain jobs, but asking about disabilities or illnesses of any sort is not the way to find out (legally, at least).
  4. Ask this: Are you a member of any professional or trade groups that are relevant to our industry? Not that: Do you belong to any clubs or social organizations? You might simply be trying to learn about a candidate’s interests and activities outside of work, but a general question about organizational membership could tap into a candidate’s political and religious affiliations or other personal matters.
  5. Ask this: Have you ever been convicted of “x” [something that is substantially related to the job]? Not that: Have you ever been arrested? Questions about arrests or pending charges for jobs that are NOT substantially related to the particular job are off-limits.
  6. Ask this: What are your long-term career goals? Not that: When do you plan to retire? While you may have concerns about hiring an older worker who will retire in a few years, you can’t dismiss an applicant for this reason.
  7. Ask this: Are you available to work overtime on occasion? Can you travel? Not that: Do you have children? or Can you get a babysitter on short notice for overtime or travel? You might be concerned that family obligations will get in the way of work, but you can’t ask or make assumptions about family situations.
  8. Ask this: Are you available to work within our required schedule? Not that: What is your religious affiliation? or What religious holidays do you observe? Again, you might simply be trying to discern a candidate’s availability, but leave religion out of it.
  9. Ask this: Are you over the age of 18? Not that: How old are you? or When did you graduate from college? If you know a candidate’s age, you could find yourself facing discrimination charges at some point. Your only concern should be as to whether the candidate is legally old enough to work for your organization.
  10. Ask this: Is additional information, such as a different name or nickname necessary in order to check job references? Not that: Is this your maiden name? or Do you prefer to be called “Ms.,” “Miss,” or “Mrs.?” Avoid any question that alludes to a woman’s marital status – as well as anything that could be construed as a question referring to national origin or ancestry (e.g. “Your name is interesting. What nationality is it?”). 

When in doubt, keep it work-related. The best way to ensure you are staying compliant is to phrase questions so they directly relate to specific occupational qualifications.


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What Job Seekers WISH You Knew About the Candidate Experience

November 2nd, 2016 Comments off
What Job Seekers WISH You Knew About the Candidate Experience

It’s no secret that attracting the right talent is hard, and the hiring landscape has grown increasingly competitive. You can stand out by providing a great candidate experience – but in order to do so, you need to understand and circumvent some of their biggest frustrations with the application process.

We wanted to take you inside the minds of today’s job seekers to give you an idea of what they expect of your company and the candidate experience you (knowingly or unknowingly) provide. So we asked real-life job seekers via our social channels: What part of the job search process do you wish you could change most?

Here’s what they said…and how you can do your part to bridge the divide:

They want you to keep an open mind instead of setting unrealistic expectations.

Joe Duhamel: Right out of college, I actually had a placement agency in Manhattan tell me to “come back when you have some experience.” I said, “When I get experience, I won’t need you.” And I never did.

Mary SaelensThe “relevant experience” is something that should be used in moderation though; people need jobs and if it’s [an] entry-level [position], let them get their feet wet.

Kristina RoepkeThey require years of experience when fresh graduates haven’t been alive long enough to fulfill the requirement. Also, no one hires you unless you have experience…[but] how do you get it? It is a logic loop.

Milap (@m3jstile): HR managers [must] be more willing to interview more people.

Adam Patrick: Wasting candidates’ time (and theirs) by posting a job when they already know whom they are hiring.

They want you to be more responsive.

Eddie Quinn: [I] hate spending so much time applying to a company (research company, customize resume, cover letter, create log in and re-enter entire resume into web form) and then never hearing back, even after attempts to follow up. Some decency would be nice. [I] once applied to [a company], and didn’t get a ‘We regret to inform you…’ email until six months after I applied and followed up three times.

Patrick BarnesI would push for an immediate decision. No waiting for a week [and] doing a follow-up call, only to find out the position has been filled…right before they hang up [on you].

They want you to NOT waste their time.

Career Break Site (@CareerBreakSite): Pretending to be enthusiastic when a recruitment agent has sent you to interview for some crappy job.

Adam Patrick: Asking for information on the online application that is the exact same information a resume contains (or should contain instead of extraction of keywords, info, reading it).

They want you to be fair — when it comes to pay, etc.

Adam Patrick: Requiring WAY TOO much education, TOO specific experience and they pay you in beans.

Chris PapaliaYou forgot to mention the start pay… $9.50 an hour.

They want you to be prepared and know what you’re looking for.

Kristy HughesNot nailing down the job description or team’s needs before starting the interview process, so interviews are a waste of time. Or interviewing for one position, hiring a candidate and then telling the candidate they are needed to do something else.

They want you to offer training because they’re willing to learn.

Misty TaylorAll the experience that is needed for the position [is there], yet no one seems to want to train. Think of the people that could learn what needs to be done.

9 GIFs That Perfectly Sum Up What Happens When a Candidate Rejects Your Offer

October 18th, 2016 Comments off
9 GIFs That Perfectly Sum Up What Happens When a Candidate Rejects Your Offer

If there’s anything that the cast-offs contestants on The Bachelor franchise have proven time and again, it’s that rejection can not only blindside you…but also straight-up feel like a punch in the face.

And recruiters and employers like you are no different when rejected. When your strongest candidate rejects your offer, you experience a flood of emotions, and then you go through the following phases…

First, you test them to see if they’re truly serious about saying “no”…

Then you go into a brief state of denial…

Once you realize you have to face reality, you experience a healthy amount of anger…

And a dose of grief that you weren’t expecting, so you throw yourself a little pity party…

But you try to play it cool…

You may even inadvertently take out your frustration on some innocent co-workers…

You tell the candidate to keep in touch, but you know that won’t happen…

Nevertheless, you mourn the end of an era and realize you have to stay strong and move on…

And just like that, you are ready to start searching again…

How do you react? Tweet your response GIFs and tag @CBforEmployers.

The Art of Rejecting Candidates

September 15th, 2016 Comments off
The Art of Rejecting Candidates

When you’re in the market for a new job, every trip to the mailbox or peek into your inbox can be an emotional event. Will I get any news today? Will the news be positive? The sheer number of “what-ifs” seem endless.

Early on in my career, I found my own stomach filled with butterflies as I progressed along in the hiring process for a job. I was informed that I’d made it to the final three candidates. I had several different interviews — each one better than the last. Then, on a rather uneventful day, I reached into my mailbox to pull out a letter from the organization of interest.

I carefully opened the envelope and pulled out the tri-folded piece of letterhead. It began with, “Dear Michelle, Thank you for applying…” and my hopes of obtaining the new role were immediately quashed. More painful, however, was the brevity of the letter. I’d met with countless people in the organization over the course of several months and formed some good relationships, yet they sent me a denial letter containing three quick lines.

Obviously that wound healed and I moved on with my life, but the experience led me to a vantage point that I believe all of us in the recruitment/hiring world should consider.

The recruiter did their job and let me know I was not getting the offer, but because of how they did it, my view of that particular organization was forever tainted. Only one person will be hired for any given position, but the way we let candidates down really does matter.

Here are four tips you can use to notify candidates that they didn’t make the cut — without negatively impacting the relationship:

Set the bar.

As you pull together your list of potential candidates and begin to line up interviews, it’s important to set expectations. Let the candidate know the general process flow and when they may expect the various stages of the hiring process to occur. Additionally, as the process progresses, make sure to update accordingly — has there been an event that is pushing things out several extra weeks? If so, letting candidates know will keep them engaged and not have them running for the hills. Most importantly, lay out a candidacy communication plan. This will probably look different depending on when in the process a person is excluded. If you don’t plan to contact all the initial candidates with a rejection letter, set this date for “sunsetting” early — something as simple as, “if you are not contacted within two weeks, we were not able to move forward with your application.”

Be swift.

Don’t leave your candidates hanging in the shadows of uncertainty. Once the decision has been made to not move forward, you should let them know right away. Closure is an important part of the hiring process, and leaving someone in the dark not only creates unnecessary stress, but will also create negative feelings about the organization as a whole.


If you’re reaching out to late-round candidates, any rejection should be personalized. Receiving a form letter after hours, days and weeks of an interview process is a sure way to guarantee that a high-potential candidate will avoid applying in the future… thus costing your organization a great hire down the road.

Help them grow.

While you should maintain honesty, providing feedback to a candidate is a great way to help them grow in their career pursuit. Maybe it’s as simple as suggesting some additional training, or a certificate. Whatever the area of improvement is, make sure that your feedback is constructive. Try to include tips and, again, remember to keep things positive. There’s a reason they made it this far in the interview process, and when the next opportunity is available, your honesty and feedback could be the difference-maker for the candidate next time.


Communicating rejection is never a fun part of our jobs — many times there’s just as much stress on the person communicating the news as there is on the person receiving it. That said, taking the opportunity to put closure on a lost opportunity is beneficial to both the candidate and the perception the candidate will have of your organization.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: As the editor and content manager at ResumeEdgeMichelle Kruse has helped countless job seekers find success. With more than 10 years of experience recruiting for companies like Novartis and IBM, she has firsthand experience of what recruiters are looking for, and she shares that insight with those who need it most. She writes regularly to provide advice on resume writing and interviewing not only because it’s her job, but because it’s her passion.

The Lies That Will Ruin Your Candidate Experience

September 7th, 2016 Comments off
The Lies that Will Ruin Your Candidate Experience

There’s no denying the struggle is real when it comes to finding great talent. Companies are putting more and more effort into how they find, attract, and hire the employees they need. They do the best they can to create the perfect employer brand that job seekers just can’t resist. There’s just one problem: Job seekers now do copious amounts of research before they even consider working for a company.

The 2016 CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior study found that only 36 percent of job seekers apply for a job without looking into the organization first. While that means they’re more likely to learn about all the great things your company has to offer, it also makes it inevitable they’ll find any skeletons you have hidden in your closet.

Poor management, a less-than-stellar company culture, outdated benefits package, and more are all things they’ll sniff out before the interview. And the more you try to downplay the negative parts of your organization, the worse it’ll be when they discover the truth.

It’s better to be open and honest from the beginning instead of trying to hide the information. Because, if there’s one thing for certain, it’s that job seekers will always figure out these dirty little company secrets:

  1. High turnover.

A 2015 CareerArc survey found that 62 percent of job seekers turn to social media to learn about a company’s culture. Unfortunately, for organizations with high turnover, unhappy employees often vent their frustrations on social media, making it easy for candidates to find out how many people have left — or want to leave — the company.

Having poor employee retention is a red flag for job seekers. If they see employees running from your company, it tells them there are issues in the workplace. Instead of letting their minds imagine the absolute worst about your company, get ahead of the situation.

Be honest about why so many employees have left recently. For example, maybe you’ve had a string of hires that turned out to be bad cultural fits. Let them know you’re aware of the issue, and more importantly, let them know what you’re doing to fix it. Tell them the plan that is place and how you’re progressing so they are assured that the situation is improving, not getting worse.

  1. Less-than-competitive salaries.

It’d be wonderful if we could pay every great candidate who comes our way exactly what they want. But, that’s not always possible. To hide the fact that their salaries are less than average, many organizations just avoid the subject altogether during the hiring process. They give vague ranges of what the salary might be, and candidates quickly begin to suspect the offer they’ll receive might not be anything to write home about.

Yet, here’s what’s interesting. CareerBuilder’s Candidate Behavior study found that 77 percent of candidates will accept a lower salary after a positive hiring experience, and a 2016 Payscale report found that 82 percent of employees would actually be happy with a lower-than-average salary as long as they were given the reasons why. That’s how much employees value salary transparency.

Have clear criteria for how pay is determined and be open and honest about that with candidates. Explain why certain skills are given higher salaries than others so they know you’re not just low-balling them because you don’t see what they’re worth. You might be surprised how much they thank you for your honesty.

  1. Lack of career advancement.

Understandably, candidates’ professional future is important to them. In fact, a 2016 LinkedIn survey found that 43 percent of people have left their job because it lacked career advancement opportunities. So they want to know to know that a new company would be able to provide them that growth.

And don’t think you can hide your lack of career development until after candidates are hired. The same survey found that 26 percent of job seekers talk to current employees before deciding to take a job. With one question they can find out the truth about how much you focus on employees’ futures.

If the employees in your company feel like there’s no room for them to move up, that’s a topic for a different time. When it comes to job seekers, however, the best thing to do is to begin a discussion about their future options during the hiring process. Talk with them about their professional goals and let them know if and how they can accomplish them with the company.

  1. Bad leadership.

Nothing impacts a company more negatively than terrible management. A 2015 Gallup report found that 1 out of every 2 employees had left a job because of a bad boss. And thanks to employer review sites like Glassdoor, it’s now easier than ever for job seekers to find out the truth about a company’s leadership.

If you’ve been plagued by bad employer reviews online, don’t act like they don’t exist during the hiring process. In fact, give job seekers the chance to meet and spend time with prospective managers so they can form their own opinions on whether or not the management style will be right for them.

Candidate experience is incredibly important when it comes to attracting talent. And if you’re anything less than honest with your job seekers, they’ll figure it out. So you have to ask yourself if it’s really worth it to lie.

What are some other lies that can spoil the candidate experience? Share in the comments below!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video interview solution used by more than 2,000 companies across the globe. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.


Why Employers Are Approaching the Salary Issue All Wrong

July 15th, 2016 Comments off

These days, the majority of the job search process is transparent. Companies go out of their way to make job postings attractive so that they will be considered over others. However, there is one topic that both employers and candidates avoid: salaries.

A friend of mine described these unmentionable topics as “the dead moose on the table,” which is a bit more uncomfortable than the traditional phrases people use. Talking about money makes people clam up because employers don’t want to show their hand, and neither do candidates. There’s this innate fear that a number which is unattainable will be shared and the two parties won’t be able to reach any middle ground. People treat the subject as a make-or-break issue when it doesn’t have to be.

We need to come to terms with the reality that salary information is a key consideration in someone accepting a job, but it doesn’t have to be the lead or the close. In fact, learning how to incorporate salary information into the fabric of the entire process takes away the awkwardness of any discussions about money.

Here are three ways to do this that will keep money in the mix and no longer make it an obstacle.

Be realistic about the value of the role.

Employers need to define the value of the role they are filling before assigning a dollar figure to it. Value is made up of items like scope and reach of the role, where the role is positioned within the company and how it affects others. When you communicate the value of a role, candidates can start working with you to see where the money will land. More often than not, you’ll both be very close in the end.

Offer the best salary you can upfront.

When candidates and employers negotiate back and forth on salaries, each side ends up being on the defensive at least once through the process. After being on both sides of this process as a hiring manager and as someone looking for a job, I’ve found that you need to give your best offer first. It seems a bit terse, but it’s better to have expectations established up front. People like clarity versus ambiguity.

Focus on the whole.

The job posting, as well as the discussion throughout the hiring process, needs to have a broad focus on the company, department, role and how they’re all tied together. With an all-encompassing approach to openings, salaries are easily discussed because they aren’t treated as something separate; they’re included in the mix. The art of framing is needed by talent acquisition professionals, because each role, salary and opening is unique — just as is each candidate. Develop a more holistic approach, and salaries become more natural.

Money doesn’t need to be a stumbling block in the hiring process. This is an opportunity for you to rethink how you talk about salaries and understand that being direct about a facet that is a substantial reality is a much healthier approach to being a talent acquisition professional. Candidates will appreciate the candor, and it will reflect your high regard for people in your company culture.

Don’t let salary be a barrier to hiring great people. Prepare yourself for crucial salary conversations with our guide on the latest salary trends. Get the guide.

3 Ways to Turn Your Candidate Experience Around

June 22nd, 2016 Comments off
3 Reasons the Candidate Experience is So Critical

Have you ever looked for a job? It’s quite daunting, and often feels more like you’re swimming through molasses than finding a great new opportunity. Candidates have anxiety, and they are eager to be considered. We often forget that every candidate expects to get the job every time they interview. No one comes to a company thinking they won’t be chosen.

Candidates are so focused on doing well in front of you, the hiring manager or recruiter, that they rarely understand their surroundings. Yet, they are embarking on a new stage in their career, and they should have knowledge of the role they’re considering and the company they may be potentially joining. Though they can find some of this on their own, you have a huge opportunity to differentiate yourself from other companies when it comes to how candidates feel about their experience with you as a potential employer.

The candidate experience has to matter as a key component in your recruiting strategy. Work to make it your starting point, instead of something you may remember in the midst of trying to bring someone onto your team. The choices you make now will determine whether or not you’re successful in landing that great talent.

All employers face three realities that impact the candidate experience:

Candidates have a choice, too.

Have you driven around lately? There is a “now hiring” sign on nearly every single building you pass. Hiring is rampant across many industries, and it presents a significant obstacle. If everyone is hiring, the candidate experience becomes even more paramount. You have to take steps to show you’re the company they should choose. This goes well past attracting them through recruiting efforts. This means that candidates need to have more positive interactions with you throughout the entire process.

Every candidate matters.

Candidates aren’t just people who fill jobs. They’re people. We tend to focus on the processes we use – interviews, time to hire, schedules of those involved. The majority of hiring efforts are about the company, and not about the individual who wants to join you. When we are so narrowly focused and are looking for the “one” person who fits, we overlook everyone who has applied. Companies who look at people as a whole will make sure that they are consistent in communication, follow-up and follow-through. It’s true that one person will be chosen, but make sure to remember everyone who is interested.

It’s a chance to highlight your culture.

There are countless blogs about employer brand. The foundation of all that this encompasses is your culture. The experience a candidate has with your company will be their one look inside. Will they see things that are appealing and attractive? Or will they see that they aren’t being included in your culture yet because they are “only a candidate”? This is a chance for you to shine. Be realistic and show them who you really are. Don’t just do the recruiting dance like everyone else. Showing candidates the culture will make their decision easier. Use all that you are to your advantage.

The candidate experience starts with your decision to shift your focus off processes and on to people. Do it — and be the differentiator you’ve wanted to become.

Learn more about how to give candidates the kind of experience that will make them want to work for you with in-depth insights from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

The Job Search Costs 1 in 5 Workers Money

June 20th, 2016 Comments off
Job Search Costs 1 in 5 Workers Money — Provide a Good Candidate Experience

In many cases, it costs money to make money. Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. workers (19 percent) say that they have to pay up before they get paid, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Of them, more than 1 in 4 (27 percent) said it cost them $200 or more.

So, what are they spending the most money on during their job search? Not surprisingly, purchasing a professional wardrobe topped the list, followed by transportation and travel:

  • Clothing: 39 percent
  • Transportation: 22 percent
  • Travel: 21 percent
  • Printing (resumes, cover letters, etc.): 7 percent
  • Recruiters: 1 percent
  • Computer hardware/software: 1 percent
  • Networking events: Less than 1 percent

What Does This Mean For You?

Many job seekers are putting their best foot forward — and, in some cases, opening up the purse strings to land a job, so understand that they are making a financial investment in you. Treating them with respect throughout the job search process and providing them with an optimal candidate experience is key to winning them over.

Wondering what exactly candidates are expecting from you during their job search? We surveyed 4,505 U.S. job seekers and 505 Canadian job seekers, as well as 1,505 hiring managers and recruiters, about virtually every aspect of the recruitment process. So stop guessing and get insider answers from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

Download CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study here. And join the conversation on Twitter: #TalentFactor.

76% of Candidates Want to Know About Day-to-Day Responsibilities

June 13th, 2016 Comments off
wage growth

Recruitment and hiring can be a complicated business, so CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study took a look at it in simple terms: What do candidates want to know?

According to the study, the question on 76% of job seekers’ minds is “What would my day-to-day job be?” Fifty-seven percent are wondering what skill sets employers consider negotiable versus non-negotiable skills.

These may sound like pretty basic queries, but employers who fail to address these questions in job postings or in the interview process are going to have a hard time finding interested candidates.

What does this mean for you?

Even if you’re a relatively young company or the open position is still brand new, it’s important to have a clear definition of what responsibilities the role will entail. Great job candidates may not want to just be another cog in the machine, but they also don’t want to be given no direction whatsoever. So whether you’re filling a recently vacated position or creating an entirely new role from scratch, make sure you understand what the role will start out as – and look for a candidate who will be able to help it grow from there.

What Does a Recruiter Owe a Candidate?

June 10th, 2016 Comments off
What Does a Recruiter Owe a Candidate?

Empathy. Honesty. Respect.

Many candidates think they are a recruiter’s client — but they are incorrect.  A client, by definition, is someone who pays for a good or service. Candidates do not do this. Corporations and nonprofits that hire a recruiter pay fees. They are the client. The job of a recruiter is to find the right individual(s) to fill the position for which the organization is hiring.

If you hire a contractor to do an addition to your home, you are the client. The lumberyard from where they buy the wood is not their client. The contractor may go to four different lumberyards to find the right kind of wood at the right price. The lumberyard does not pay the contractor. They are not his/her client; you are the client. While not a perfect analogy, I hope it helps explain the relationship between recruiters and candidates. The house cannot be built without lumber (the job cannot be filled without a candidate). However, there are many different kinds of wood and places to buy the wood for the construction (and maky different candidates who can fill the job). If the contractor is rude to the lumberyard, or doesn’t communicate what they need, that business may not be so receptive to help the next time the contractor needs something. The same goes for recruiter interactions with candidates.

A recruiter should treat every candidate with respect. And really, shouldn’t every human treat every other person with respect? Is this a unique obligation? I think not. However, it is one of the three things a recruiter owes a candidate:  Empathy. Honesty. Respect.


I’ve been in recruiting for over 20 years and I don’t think there is a recruiter on the planet who hasn’t looked for a job. It’s disheartening to get rejected. It’s frustrating to not hear back when you apply. It’s maddening to not know why you aren’t getting interviews or offers. It’s depressing to stand in the unemployment line. It’s atrocious to have to work for a terrible company or manager. As recruiters, we can never forget these feelings. We must show our candidates empathy.


Recruiters need to give feedback to candidates. Even when it’s not fun. If a candidate comes off like an arrogant jerk, they need to hear it. Otherwise, they never know to change it. I’ve asked candidates if they consider themselves arrogant, and you would be amazed how many times they agree and say that’s their personality. Many times candidates already know. What they don’t realize is that it’s the reason they didn’t get the job. When they interview poorly, call them and tell them. Offer to help coach them. However, you must be honest with them.


Lastly, let’s talk about the one I touched on already: respect. It’s how you should treat everyone, but particularly someone you need. Candidates are your product. They represent your brand: Both the brand of your company and your personal brand. If you can’t show them the respect they deserve, you should consider a job where you don’t work with people. Return calls. Document with emails. Send them articles to help them help themselves. Show them respect, and if you can’t help them, or if you don’t want to work with them, tell them that too. It may hurt their feelings, but it’s a form of respect to be truthful. And bear in mind, your candidate may one day become your client.

Recruiters are crucial to the hiring process, just as salespeople are to revenue. The good ones stand out because they do things the right way. The bad ones make us look better.

Remember: Respect. Honesty. Empathy.

Learn how to give candidates the kind of experience that will make them want to work for you with in-depth insights from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Gimbel is the Founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm headquartered in Chicago. Gimbel is an expert on organizational development, securing a job and hiring successfully. He’s been featured on CNBC, The Today Show, Fox Business Network, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Fortune Small Business and Crain’s Chicago Business.

How Do Puzzle Interview Questions Affect Your Candidate Experience?

June 8th, 2016 Comments off
How do Puzzle Interview Questions Affect Your Candidate Experience?

With the unemployment rate continuing to go down, it continues to get harder to recruit — making candidate experience more vital than ever in 2016.

Are your screening processes turning applicants off? Puzzle questions like “Why are manhole covers round?” have been popularized by Microsoft — and adopted broadly in many industries. The goal of such questions is to test how well candidates can think creatively in unusual and high-stakes situations. But research shows these puzzle questions have a negative impact on candidate experience.

Puzzle questions are perceived as unfair

In a Journal of Applied Social Psychology study, researchers compared puzzle questions with behavioral questions such as, “Talk about a time where you missed a deadline. How did you handle the situation?” People perceive behavioral questions to be fairer than puzzle questions. That is, people are more satisfied with the use of behavioral questions by potential employers, whether they end up getting hired or not.

Puzzle questions are perceived as irrelevant to the job

A big reason why people perceive puzzle questions as unfair is that they see them as less relevant to the job than behavioral questions. Puzzle questions were popularized by Microsoft, a technology company. Therefore, one may think these puzzle questions are more relevant and acceptable for tech job interviews. Yet, the study showed that whether the position was in tech or customer service, people perceived puzzle questions as less relevant for the job than behavioral questions.

Interestingly, Google has largely given up on puzzle questions because it found that these types of questions do not do a good job of predicting who the best performers on the job will be.

The lesson here? If you want to improve candidate experience and screening efficiency, steer away from puzzle questions.


Learn how to give candidates the kind of experience that will make them want to work for you with in-depth insights from CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study.

Leave a Lasting Impression On Candidates

June 7th, 2016 Comments off
Leave a lasting impression with candidates

The old mentality of creating a long and alienating application process to weed out unqualified candidates is just that – old. It’s stopping candidates who could be a great fit for your company from giving you the time of day, and it’s showing in your time-to-hire: On average, companies say it takes anywhere from 26-34 days to fill an open position, according to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study. A third of employers believe that’s too long.

Register now for our “How to Rethink the Candidate Experience and Make Better Hires” webinar on June 16.

How to Leave a Lasting Impression On Candidates

We’ve already talked about how important it is to be approachable before candidates apply to your positions, as well as accessible and transparent throughout the application process. This final step to creating a great application experience for candidates while shortening your time to hire involves improving your actual application – and adopting a more proactive hiring mentality. Currently, 80 percent of candidates say they actively searched and found a job themselves. What would happen if you got in front of some of these candidates first?

A short application process that contains more meaningful questions, along with proactively reaching out to candidates who fit your qualifications, will actually yield a much better result. Don’t be shy – make the first move.

Join CareerBuilder for our webinar, “How to Rethink the Candidate Experience and Make Better Hires,”  on June 16 at 12:00 Central to hear more about how to do this, as well as glean more insights from our Candidate Behavior study:



Proactively source candidates with the skills you need quickly and easily with Recruitment Edge. Search online professional hubs, social networks and CareerBuilder’s own Resume Database to uncover new candidates, all from one place.

3 Essential Elements of a Standout Recruitment Strategy

April 27th, 2016 Comments off
A young business manager walking ahead of his colleagues - Leadership

Want to know how to really get in front of candidates, attract them to your company and entice them to apply? Put yourself in their shoes.

In other words, if you want to understand your candidates, consider what they go through when applying to jobs with your company. Is the application process lengthy and complex? Is your career site easy to navigate? Do candidates hear back when they put in an application – or does it go into that infamous “black hole”?

Believe it or not, the way job candidates interact with your company during the application and recruitment process can impact their view of you as a desirable place to work. After all, how you treat them as job candidates is, in their view, a peek into how you will treat them as employees.

So how do you create a candidate experience that sets you apart and makes candidates want to apply? Start with these elements:

  • Your career site: Use your career site to educate job seekers about your company and the work environment, advertise your jobs and link to your application process. Make sure it is easy to navigate, functioning and optimized for multiple devices – from laptops to tablets to smart phones – as more and more candidates are searching for jobs from their mobile devices.
  • Your application process: Research shows that many candidates abandon the application process if it’s too complex, too long or not functioning properly (e.g. links are broken). Test your application process yourself to see how candidates experience and if there is room for improvement.
  • Your engagement: Are you responding to every applicant? Do you keep candidates up to date on where they are in the application process? Do you have a talent network applicants can join to keep abreast of future openings? Communicating is key to keeping quality candidates engaged and interested in your opportunities. The more you build and nurture your talent pipeline now, the less work you will have to do recruiting candidates in the future, because you will already have a pool of interested, qualified candidates from which to source.


Want more information on how you can speed up your recruitment process – without sacrificing quality?
Sign up to get CareerBuilder’s free Small Business Recruitment-in-a-Box toolkit delivered right to you.

How Stryker Created a Candidate-First Career Site

February 19th, 2016 Comments off
Why Stryker Created a Candidate-First Experience

It’s no secret that Stryker is passionate about the candidate experience. And when it comes to people — both their own employees and their candidates alike, Stryker takes that responsibility very seriously.

In the words of Stryker’s CEO, Kevin Lobo, “We believe talent is essential to our success, and are proud to have some of the most talented business leaders in the industry.”

Candidates were top of mind for Stryker when they decided to redesign their site. As Brittany Thompson, senior manager of talent acquisition at Stryker, said, “At Stryker, we really pride ourselves on candidate experience and taking care of the candidate from the very beginning of the application process all the way through the interview process.”

Why a New Site – And Why Now?

The team at Stryker knew they needed to provide a better candidate experience, and their current site just couldn’t effectively support that objective any longer. It was affecting everything from their employment brand, to their relationship with candidates to the quality of their applications. They needed a completely fresh site, and the time was now.

Stryker really wanted the new site to exceed candidate expectations: They not only had a fresh, updated look as one of their goals, but also wanted improved search capability, better-managed content and mobile responsiveness. Above all, Stryker knew their new site needed to be centered on an experience candidates would love.

For their recruiting strategy to be successful moving forward, Stryker also needed a career site that would make it easier to search, find and apply for jobs, be responsive on mobile devices, drive more applications through the site, focus on diversity and inclusion to a greater extent, and enable the team to continuously engage with talent who were interested – but not quite ready to apply. The site also needed to look and feel like Stryker from start to finish – down to the last detail.

Did you know? 3 in 5 candidates will not finish a tedious application process, and the majority of candidates who have a negative experience with a company will no longer do business with them as a consumer.

The Redesign Dream Team

Partnering with CareerBuilder was a natural next step for Stryker. As Brittany Thompson, senior manager of talent acquisition at Stryker, said, “It really was a partnership between the businesses to make the website what it is today. There was a lot of work and effort on both ends.”

Stryker and CareerBuilder worked together to bring the vision into reality. Stryker relied on CareerBuilder’s candidate experience expertise and job seeker insight to achieve the search goals of the new site. CareerBuilder’s algorithms for custom search were critical in delivering the right talent, and products like Talentstream Engage gave Stryker a way of communicating and engaging with candidates and keeping them warm.

Where Are They Now?

After seven months, Stryker’s new site is a strong success. A few highlights:

  • The new site uses CareerBuilder’s search technology to make it easy for job seekers to see all the company’s available jobs. The result? They’re getting more exposure and, more importantly, more applications to their jobs.
  • Applications are up almost 200% monthly, year over year.
  • With Talentstream Engage, Stryker is re-engaging with candidates who are interested in the company but not ready to apply; so much so that the member count has exploded to over 70,000 people in just 7 months!
  • The response from both senior leaders and employees across the company has been extremely positive.


How and Why to Replicate Stryker’s Success

In today’s job market, the “why” of replicating Stryker’s decision to create a career site centered around the candidate’s experience is obvious: The unemployment rate is down, 3 in 4 full-time workers are open to or actively looking to leave their jobs this year, and hiring is more competitive than ever.

Job seekers are busy, and they have a lot of options when it comes to finding the right job.

The average application process has a startling 90 percent drop-off rate, according to Career Site Market Research’s 2012 study. The last thing you want to do is put additional barriers between you and your ideal candidates with a website that’s turning them off and making it difficult or even impossible for them to apply.

Make it a priority to modernize your own application process in 2016, and increase the quality of applicants with an experience candidates will love.

See Stryker’s redesign in action: Visit their careers site now.

Feel like Stryker’s experience hits a little too close to home? Don’t be stuck as the “before” of a site and brand makeover: Check out Talentstream Engage here to see the possibilities for your own site and to contact our CareerBuilder recruitment experts about how you can drive more applications and improve your candidate experience in 2016 and beyond.

Stop Doing These 4 Things If You Want Great Talent

February 16th, 2016 Comments off
Stop doing these four things to attract great candidates

You’re not the only one burned out by the war for talent. Across the world, talent acquisition leaders are fed up with arrogant applicants, dilapidated recruiting technology and hesitant hiring managers with unrealistic candidate expectations.

Something’s got to give, and for many of us, it’s our sanity.

Make your life easier: To attract and hire great candidates, stop doing these four things right now.

  1. Stop launching insincere employer branding efforts.

We get it. We see you on Twitter and Facebook trying to tell us that your culture is nothing but craft beer and laser tag. That ’90s-themed quarterly sales party looked fantastic, but every dollar you sink into forced fun and team building is a dollar that isn’t being spent on your company’s infrastructure, product or people agenda. So if you’re going to create an amazing employer brand, start with the basics. Treat people right. Invest in a total rewards strategy that rivals your competitors. Don’t double-down on the fun at the expense of fundamentals.

  1. Stop dawdling and commit to speed.

When there are bumps and delays during the hiring process, great candidates are sympathetic. However, it’s not that hard to provide a flexible timetable and stay in contact with candidates along the way. Candidate expectations are low. As long as you don’t ghost, they are happy. Make a singular commitment to speed, and candidates will be patient when there are delays.

  1. Stop abusing social media as a means of communication.

I work in the HR industry, but I no longer recruit and hire people for a living. That doesn’t stop newbie recruiters from contacting me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to pitch me on jobs or ask me for referrals. There are days when I feel like I can’t go on Instagram and stalk my old high school boyfriends without someone sending me a photo about how fun it might be to work at a company. If you want someone’s attention, be an adult and use email and the phone. If you wish to use a social networking site to connect with someone, pick one channel. Trust me, those candidates see you.

  1. Stop creating interview roadblocks.

Back in the day when I was a recruiter, I walked uphill both ways to school and screened applicants by phone. It was a quick process, my questions were efficient and nobody had to make eye contact. Now, recruiters first do a phone screen, then there’s a preliminary interview. Because schedules might be crazy, candidates are sometimes asked to take two or even three days off work to interview for a job. That’s insane, and honestly, downright disrespectful toward exceptional candidates. The word on the street about your interview process is that it sucks. Tighten it up, leverage panel interviews, and schedule meetings with your candidates in thoughtful chunks of time.

Finally, I have one more piece of advice.

Nobody has time for your company’s drama. Unless you’re hiring an executive, just make your best and final offer first. Give people a few weeks to wrap up their lives at their old job before they start a new job with you. And be respectful about the amount of courage it takes to quit a job and invest in a new company.

Yes, we’re in a stupid and over-hyped war for talent. Great candidates are out there, though. If you don’t make it easy for someone to say yes to you, they will almost always say no.


84% of CEOs Say Their Online Application Process Needs Improvement

January 18th, 2016 Comments off

With unemployment hovering around 5 percent and the continued growth, companies across the country are already experiencing a lower number of candidate applications per open position than any other time this decade. This trend will only continue for the near future.

Now, more than ever, organizations are forced to look at their own recruitment processes to ensure they are making it as easy as possible for candidates to find and apply to their open positions – but is it working?

In a recent survey by CareerBuilder, we found that 19 percent of CEOs viewed the candidate experience of their application process as “bad” or only “OK.” The majority of those that responded (65 percent) claimed their application process was “good, but needs improvement.”

That means a whopping 84 percent of CEOs think their application process could use some work.

What does this mean to you?

Building a better experience for your candidates only leads to positive results: You get a higher number of quality applications and more positions filled in a shorter amount of time; staffed positions provide valuable services to the business; and the company makes more money as a result. Everybody wins.

However, the consequences of failing to offer an accessible and quick application process can be dire. A poor candidate experience leaves a negative perception of your brand in the mind of the candidate, and results in more than two-thirds of candidates saying they are less likely to buy anything from your company in the future. Imagine only having one-third of your customers to sustain the business. Is that acceptable – or sustainable?

CareerBuilder can help

We don’t share these numbers to scare you. Instead, we like you to know that you’re not alone. Visit our site to learn more about our software solutions like Talentstream Recruit and Talentstream Engage, designed to enhance the candidate experience of job seekers who are already interested in your company.

Want to receive Talent Factor by email? Subscribe here and get a brand new recruiting industry statistic delivered to your inbox every Monday. Join the conversation on Twitter: #TalentFactor.

27% of Job Seekers Have Gotten an Explanation for Why They Weren’t Hired

September 7th, 2015 Comments off
CareerBuilder's Talent Factor

We’re often told learning from our failures is an integral part of succeeding, but what if you don’t know why you failed? That’s the position many job seekers find themselves in after the job they were interviewing for goes to another candidate. According to CareerBuilder’s 2015 Candidate Behavior study, only 27 percent of job seekers say an employer gave them an explanation for why they didn’t get the job after interviewing.

This lack of communication occurs earlier in the hiring process as well. Fifty-two percent of companies respond to less than half of the candidates that apply. Some of the most commonly cited reasons include:

  • 32% say they don’t think they need to respond to everyone
  • 29% say there are too many candidates to respond to
  • 18% say they don’t have enough time
  • 10% say it’s company policy not to respond


What This Means for You

The experience candidates have when applying to work for your company can have a much larger impact than many employers may realize. The study found that 65 percent of job seekers are less likely to buy from a company they didn’t hear back from after an interview, and 58 percent say they are less likely to buy from a company they didn’t hear back from after submitting an application.

On the flip side, 67 percent say they are more likely to buy from a company that provided consistent updates throughout the application process. Job seekers have to deal with a lot of uncertainty, and if you can be more communicative with them, they’ll appreciate it — even if you don’t end up hiring them.

When Should Recruiters Stop Stalking Job Seekers?

May 29th, 2015 Comments off
When recruiters should pursue a candidate -- and when they should stop contacting them.

Job seekers are so curious. They love to complain about recruiters, but they never return our calls. In the war for talent, talent advisors are relentlessly pursuing candidates. When does it makes sense to chase someone? When do you let it go? Here are some thoughts from our resident talent advisors.


Most recruiters fail by believing that two to three messages without a reply — email, text and phone calls –means no. Here’s a fun fact that is entirely made up but feels right: It can take up to eight or more messages to get a job seeker to respond.

You’ve only gone too far when your number is blocked. How do you know you’ve been blocked? If you call and it immediately goes to voicemail after one ring, you’ve been blocked or the phone is off. You can measure the capability of a recruiter on how many times they’ve been blocked by a candidate. If you’ve never been blocked, you’re probably not that good at recruiting.”


To Tim’s slightly scary point about stalking, no very rarely means no in talent acquisition. Unless it involves a threat of violence or a court order. But sometimes you need to be willing to put things on the back burner and allow someone to progress in their company or their career. If they are truly talented and you’ve assessed it well, your paths are probably going to cross again. You don’t want to have ruined your chances when that moment comes. And now I’ve got to go and block some numbers. Mainly from American HR people.”


My rule of thumb relates to time. If I don’t get a firm answer from you after three weeks of not hearing from you, I move on. I hate missing you, but you need to take some ownership as a candidate as well.”


Are candidates going dark once you’ve started the interview process? Your recruiting process should be investigated to see what went wrong. Was it salary? A misunderstanding about the job posting? An inappropriate question during an interview? If a candidate no longer wants to be considered — and isn’t returning your phone calls — something must be be awry. Figure it out.”


As a recruiter, my philosophy is to slow down if a job seeker doesn’t show up or consistently reschedules. I wouldn’t just stop the pursuit, though. I’d reach out and let them know that it seems like our opportunity doesn’t seem to be generating interest from them. I would ask what has been missing and what would it take to get them to reconsider. Let’s see if they respond. If not, then it’s time to cut bait.

Another flag is when salary requirements keep going up. I’ve had more than one candidate pre-closed, and then as we get closer to the end of the process, their salary requirement magically starts changing. Only in the rarest of instances, for the purplest of squirrels, would I put up with that. That’s almost always a sign of shopping offers. They’re not interested in the role or your company. It’s all about the money.”

a recruiter must have a code

The world of human resources is evolving. Recruiting is ruthless. But you can play the game at an elevated level and win. Our talent advisors have great advice about how and when to push harder for job seeker contact and when to apply the breaks during the recruiting process.

Want more? Check out Steve Browne’s recent post on why unresponsive HR has got to go, and get tips to give candidates a better experience. For daily updates and advice on how to manage the tricky and complex worlds of talent acquisition and job seeker expectations, sign up now to start getting Talent Advisor in your inbox.

6 Must-Knows for a Better Candidate Experience

May 21st, 2015 Comments off
Check out these 6 tips to a better candidate experience based on the 2015 Candidate Behavior Study by CareerBuilder and Inavero

We’ve talked before about how devastating ignoring candidates can be to your business — and guess what? The rules haven’t changed. If anything, as technology continues to be more and more intertwined in job seekers’ personal and professional existence and as their expectations of employers get higher, it’s all the more vital that you as an employer learn how to communicate with the people who want to work for you.

Or, you know, don’t — but don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Candidates are your customers

The experiences candidates have throughout the application process can make or break their impression of a company, as a new CareerBuilder study shows. Not only may candidates be so turned off by a bad experience that they’ll opt out of applying — they may also choose to stop being your customer (and may tell others to do the same).

The 2015 Candidate Behavior study, conducted by Inavero on behalf of CareerBuilder, surveyed more than 5,000 workers and 2,000 hiring decision makers about the hiring experience. The study sheds light on the differences between what candidates expect from potential employers during the job application process — and what employers actually deliver.

Did I mention those differences are quite vast?

So what do you need to know right now about the candidate experience to help you better meet their expectations and get more great people applying to — and happy with — your company?

1. Candidate experience can impact your bottom line.

Though 82 percent of employers think there’s little to no negative impact on their company when a candidate has a bad experience, 58 percent of candidates are actually less likely to buy from a company if they don’t get a response to their application.

Conversely, 69 percent of candidates are more likely to buy from a company if they’re treated with respect throughout the application process.

Money talks: Check out these three key ways to get your execs to care about the candidate experience.

2. You need to use data to really connect with candidates.

Even though candidates consult up to 18 resources throughout their job search — including job boards, social networking sites, search engines and online referrals — 58 percent of employers don’t use tracking or coding technology to learn where their candidates are coming from. Consequently, they may be missing opportunities to connect with candidates where they are actually searching.

Can you put a number to it? Find out more about using data to connect with your candidates

3. Candidates prefer bad news over none at all.

For some candidates, the myth of the infamous application “black hole” is all too real. Fifty-two percent of employers say they respond to less than half of the candidates who apply, which is problematic: Not only do most candidates expect an automated reply that acknowledges their application, the majority (84 percent) also expect a personal email response (even if the news is negative).

What does “candidate relationship management” really mean? 

4. Ongoing communication is critical for candidates.

When it comes to candidate communication, many employers are falling way short. Even though 41 percent of candidates expect to be notified post-interview if they weren’t chosen for the job, 73 percent of candidates who interviewed with companies said they were never given an explanation of why they didn’t get the job.

Read more about why unresponsive HR has got to go.  

5. Candidates want you to be personal and simple.

When it comes to keeping candidates engaged and interested in their opportunities, a company’s application process can be its own worst enemy. Forty percent of candidates feel the application process has become more difficult in the last five years. Of those, 57 percent complain the process is too automated and lacks personalization.

Get tips on getting human to personalize the candidate experience. 

6. Candidates may be willing to accept lower salaries.

As noted earlier, treating candidates well is good for the bottom line. More than 3 in 4 candidates (77 percent) are willing to accept a salary that is 5 percent lower than their expected offer if the employer created a great impression through the hiring process; even more (83 percent) would do the same if the company had a reputation as a great employer.

Want to improve your company’s rep? Make sure you’re avoiding these three pitfalls.

These findings underscore the importance of having a strong employment brand. Even so, 52 percent of employers do not have one, giving the other 48 percent a distinct edge when it comes to capturing in-demand candidates at competitive prices.


Get the rest of the story on how to improve your relationship with candidates: Join the Candidate Behavior webinar or download the full report.


Unresponsive HR Has Got To Go

May 11th, 2015 Comments off
Call Waiting

I have a magnificent job as the Executive Director of Human Resources for LaRosa’s Pizza, but I haven’t always had this job.

Very early in my career, I left my first job at a Fortune 100 Company. I left on my own because I just didn’t fit into that culture. I met with a recruiter who specialized in placing human resources professionals. I thought I would have a leg up because my first job out of college was at a well known, global company that is a leader in HR practices.

I didn’t know how wrong I was.

My interview with the recruiter felt like an interrogation. He peppered me with questions and asked, “Now, why did you leave this great company? What were you thinking?”

He was obsessed with my former employer and seemed to wrap his attachment around every question he asked me. I became very frustrated and—because I was young and impetuous–I shot back, “If it’s such a great company, why aren’t you working there?”

Again, I was young and impetuous. The recruiter was caught off guard and told me, “You’ll never work in HR in this town again.”

I thought that was a pretty broad over-generalization, but I probably deserved it. I never did hear back from him, and the sad part is that I rarely heard back from any employer. After several months, I thought that this recruiter might be right.

The reality was that HR departments just didn’t respond. I’m not talking about being untimely. I’m talking about not responding at all.

I remember how awful this felt, and vowed that when I landed a new human resources job, I would not repeat the same mistakes.

Throughout the rest of my career in HR, I have learned that talent advisors must adopt an “others” perspective. Every single candidate you meet may be a flop, or they could be the perfect fit. You don’t know until you meet several folks and find a good match. But those “others” who didn’t get the job have incredible value—as brand advocates, as future applicants—even though they didn’t get the job.

By changing the way in which HR traditionally considers all applicants and candidates, you can break the stereotype and become more responsive. Talent advisors must understand that anyone who applies for a job is excited, anxious and willing—and probably flawed in some way. Embrace the mindset that you can and must be more human and more consistent in communicating with your talent pool throughout the hiring process. If some applicants and candidates don’t make it, let them know. Encourage them to do well as they continue their search. Be a positive influence on them.

Always remember this: you may think that you will never be in the candidate’s shoes, but chances are you will at some point in your career. I would ask you—how would you like to be treated?