Why You Must Take the Candidate Experience Seriously

Ashutosh Garg
Ashutosh Garg
CEO & Co-Founder

In today’s job market, qualified candidates are a wholly invaluable resource. While the balance of power is always shifting, right now employers generally need qualified candidates more than candidates need job openings. This kind of job market can be thought of as a “candidate’s market” because on the whole, candidates have more leverage than employers when interviewing and negotiating positions. In this kind of job market, the reality is that the burden is on companies to figure out how to effectively attract and retain high-quality employees. In spite of these job market economics, companies across industries continue to rely on decades-old hiring practices, not because they’re necessarily effective, but because they’re so ingrained in the corporate culture that it would take a major leap of thought to go beyond them.

Many firms, particularly in industries including high tech that struggle to attract technically-skilled talent, have fallen back on what are in essence gimmicks to make themselves appealing. Perks like the now almost stereotypical beer taps in the office and foosball table in the basement might be attractive, but they don’t really affect or reflect company culture, attract the right talent, or ensure retention. These tactics may be effective in filling seats in the office, but they don’t logically work to build effective teams. Given the choice between building an ineffective team with beer and foosball, or an effective team without them, which would most companies choose? With new tools built on AI and automation, including those Eightfold will discuss at the virtual summit “Innovating the Candidate Experience.” July 10th through 12th, companies can now differentiate in the ways that really matter.

How to differentiate the right way

Gimmicky hiring tactics are rampant in industries with tough-to fill positions, but they are a desperate move that won’t attract top talent. To attract top talent in a candidate’s job market, companies must figure out how to turn the tables and drive candidate interest in their companies. By building a pool of candidates that are crazy about a company and make that company their first choice regardless of the economic forces of the job market, firms can create a hiring strategy that can weather any change in the market. Even Google, Facebook, and Amazon, who are capable of doing so, will need to develop better ways of managing them.

The key is to give every candidate a great experience, because even if they’re not right for open positions today, they might well be at some point down the road. However, this is often easier said than done. While candidates understand that they hold much of the power in today’s job market, they also understand that their job search will probably involve sending dozens or more copies of their resume to companies and never hear anything back again. If companies can figure out how to engage these valuable and interested applicants, whether they’re right for the company today or not, they’ll find themselves miles ahead of their peers who are adding to the lamentable job market-wide resume black hole.

The specific tasks necessary to carry out this engagement are simple, but tough to pull off. They include:

  • Keeping track of every candidate a company has contact with
  • Establishing an ongoing relationship with every candidate, communicating that they are valuable to the company, regardless of whether they’re a current fit or not
  • Communicating to every candidate that it’s the company’s mission to help them progress in their career, whether they’re hired for a current position or not
  • Recalling the specifics of interaction with each past candidates and determining, possibly years later, when and how to reconnect

This high level of candidate nurturing is no doubt an ideal. Recruiters in particular are often under enormous pressure to tackle the most pressing personnel issues and doing the kind of work necessary to maintain a quality pool of candidates with positive views of the company can be extraordinarily time consuming. No HR department or recruiting team could be expected to pull this off over the long term without specialized tools. Fortunately, those specialized tools are now available. By leveraging automation and artificial intelligence, companies now have access to the computing power to makes these ideals of candidate nurturing a reality.

Learn what ideals you can realize with AI

On July 10th through 12th, Eightfold will present three sessions at the virtual summit “Innovating the Candidate Experience.” In the sessions, we’ll discuss how new technologies leveraging AI are making what was in the past an idealistic pipe dream a reality. For example, in the ideal world, we’d be able to determine the characteristics that make for an ideal candidate before the interview process even starts. With AI tools, this is possible, ensuring interviews return to their rightful status as a final check of an already-vetted candidate, rather than a costly segment of the screening process itself.

In fact, with automation and AI, ideal candidates can be identified from within the entire candidate pool, including that highly receptive but often overlooked pool of candidates who have applied or interviewed with the company before, but were never placed in a position.

At the summit, we’ll also discuss how AI and automation tools are capable of breaking down some of the most persistent challenges in hiring, particularly unconscious bias on the part of interviewers and the ongoing challenge with building a diverse workforce. Join us via BrightTALK July 10th through 12th to discuss these and more critical challenges in hiring.


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