The recent decision by the RAD Awards not to shortlist, or appoint a winner due to the quality of the entrants for their candidate experience category raises some interesting questions regarding the candidate experience and its perceived place within recruitment marketing. The fact that the category was introduced due to feedback from the previous year implies that the recruitment industry understands the important role candidate experience has within the attraction stage. However, the lack of awardable strategies suggests this understanding has not been implemented into workable and influential actions.
Recruitment marketing has transformed since the day when newspaper ads were the height of sophistication. The diverse range of ways now available to communicate with potential candidates has revolutionised recruitment interaction, to an extent personalising it but also opening up each company’s culture and environment for outside inspection. These developments have allowed for recruiters to become more creative in their search for talent. But has this increased assortment of tools taken the focus away from the candidate’s experience? Has attraction strategy become more of an innovation of creativity than an innovation of experience? Is there too much focus on the tools that are being used for it instead of the interaction that these offer? And finally, if the candidate experience is being considered during these early stages, how are recruiters assessing the impact of their creative endeavours on the applicant’s perception of the company and interest in the role?
According to one recruiter during a recent discussion held on RecruitingBlogs ‘the candidate experience is almost more important than hiring someone.’ This is an interesting viewpoint but it in no way implies that the successful candidate should not be the best possible talent out there. It just means that the influence of each candidate’s experience upon a company is so significant it should always be one of the primary considerations behind the development of current and future recruitment strategies.
In the current recruiting climate, companies are being tasked with the creation of ever more enticing ways to encourage applications. This approach is essential but the candidate’s experience of these concepts should always be at the forefront of their thinking. The RAD awards latest decision suggests this is not currently the case, or is it just that companies don’t have the evidence, or measures, to show how their strategies are impacting the candidate experience?