In Talent Acquisition, we’ve known for years that the candidate experience has a significant impact on our hiring efforts and employer brand. Many of us have used surveys and Google Analytics to try to gain insight into this experience. But it’s been tough piecing the picture together. The good news is that there are new approaches that can paint a more complete picture of your candidate experience.
And the timing is ripe to improve how we measure, given that new research from the Talent Board shows how the impact of the candidate experience is clearly connected to the business success of an organization.
According to Talent Board findings, 46% of job seekers who have a poor candidate experience say they’ll take their business elsewhere, and won’t recommend applying to your company to others. In comparison, 74% of candidates who have a positive experience will purchase from your company in the future (if relevant), apply again and refer others to apply or buy.
Since candidate experience has such a significant impact on our business overall, it’s become more important than ever to track and measure the full experience so that we can learn what adjustments need to be made to make a better impression and not lose out on candidates or customers.
So, here’s what you need to start to track, or improve how you measure, your company’s candidate experience:
Before you begin, make sure everyone’s on board
Your TA leadership (and perhaps HR leadership and C-suite) need to buy in to why measuring candidate experience is a worthwhile investment of time and money. Measuring the candidate experience properly does take resources, so you’ll need to make the case and gain support for how this will help achieve your company’s goals. If looking for supporting material to use in these conversations, you can join us on May 1 for RallyFwd™, a virtual conference we’re hosting on Humanizing the Candidate Experience. Need the information sooner? A good spot to visit is the Talent Board site, which contains research papers and executive briefs you can leverage.
Consider how much time or money you’re willing to invest
Measuring candidate experience can be a full-time job ‒ or two! The reason is because it’s a complex area to measure and most of the do-it-yourself tools are going to be separate from each other. You’ll need to piece a picture together from sources like Google Analytics and other online tools that record sessions and journey analytics (more on this coming up!) to be able to get the information needed for a full analysis. Tools that systematically measure the candidate experience end to end are just now becoming available. A new solution to consider if you want to go this route is Talentegy.
Get familiar with journey analytics
Since candidates can touch many of your channels and sources before deciding to apply, it’s important to have a complete view. Journey analytics allow you to track the path and touchpoints that a candidate takes across the various systems and channels involved in your organization’s hiring process. This approach lets you observe where people are dropping off unintentionally in your hiring process. You can then invest time into analyzing what can be improved at that stage to avoid unwanted drop-offs. Google Analytics offers basic journey analytics for free that you can use if you’re taking a do-it-yourself approach to candidate experience measurement.
Leverage session recording software
Session recording software visually records a user’s interaction on your site ‒ showing you how they navigate, what they click on and what grabs their attention. These tools can provide insights into where your career site experience is winning or falling short. There are many affordable online tools that you can leverage here. Options include Hotjar, Mouseflow, Inspectlet and, for TA, Talentegy, which can integrate with your career site, recruitment marketing software and ATS.
Collect feedback the right way, at the right time
Collecting feedback and surveying candidates is an important aspect of measuring your candidate experience. Many organizations use tools like Survale or Survey Monkey to administer surveys and collect feedback on a candidate’s experience after they’ve interviewed ‒ which is great. However, only administering a survey at this time is a bit of a missed opportunity. This approach in isolation does not provide feedback from candidates who never made it to the interview stage.
To improve qualitative and quantitative measurements here, it’s worth building surveys into each stage of a candidate’s interaction with your company. One idea is to email candidates after they apply to ask how the application process was. You can also collect early stage candidate feedback on your career site using a ‘leave feedback’ button. Looking for an example of how this works? Six Flags does a great job here.
Turn your insight into action!
The last step is to review all of the great data points that your team collects through journey analytics, session recordings and feedback surveys to identify areas for improvement. Using this data, you can set goals to improve areas of your candidate experience and achieve other key performance indicators, like improving conversions (site visitor to applicant ratio), bounce rates (candidates who land on your site and then leave) and overall brand perception (which you can measure through a Net Promoter Score survey question).
All in all, measuring candidate experience is tricky as there are a lot of touchpoints and factors to consider. However, making an effort to track different components doesn’t have to be daunting. Start by picking one methodology of tracking, like candidate surveys, and add more on later as you can validate the time or financial investment by showcasing the positive outcomes associated with the effort you put in here.
If this article was helpful, you can find out more about best practices in candidate experience at the free RallyFwd™ Virtual Conference we’re hosting May 1. Register and find out more.