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The truFiles - Candidate Experience

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Let’s be real here. Most companies really don’t give a shrug about candidate experience. Yes, it’s a topic that’s been making the rounds of HR and recruiting conferences for five-plus years, but only the most sophisticated consumer brands (e.g. Starbucks, Kraft) and companies with persistent talent shortages (e.g. companies in tech, accounting, engineering) manage to do it well. And even many of those fail.

From candidates’ perspective, the most critical problem is the application black hole. This phenomenon—asking job candidates to apply for jobs and then failing to respond to any but a tiny few of the total—is in most cases an intentional strategy. Yes, intentional. After all, applicant tracking systems have an auto-response feature that must be turned off.

Aside from the application black hole and tiresome online forms, a myriad of other problems plague candidates. Poor communication about the application process and timeline is a huge source of frustration. For example, to save time a recruiter may schedule an in-person panel interview for a candidate, but the candidate may be surprised (and put off) to learn they’ll be speaking to five people at once. The situation is particularly regrettable because anyone scheduled for a site visit is most likely a strong candidate, and therefore someone you should be trying to impress.

The biggest challenge recruiters face is volume. If a single recruiter is responsible for 35 open positions at any given time, and for each role on average the company receives 75 applications… that adds up to an untenable position for recruiters.

And yet, companies can take specific steps to improve candidate experience with a mix of process updates, automation, and common sense.

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