I was approached by two people at the recent ERE conference who said, "You're the guy that's always talking about candidate experience..." and then each proceeded to ask me a host of questions on how to improve the experience for candidates.
While I have been talking about this for awhile it's surprising how little traction organizations seem to have against this important facet of recruiting. In fact, I was recently having a conversation with the head of HR at one of the world's leading technology companies, and in discussing recruiting strategy (and the need for all organizations to have one - a strategy that is...that's a topic for another post), he asked, "In your opinion, why is the candidate experience so important?" My answer was different then he obviously expected, so I thought I'd mention it here.
Aside from the normal reasons (candidates are often customers, employment and consumer brand implications, The Golden Rule), one of the most important reasons is purely economic: When one considers recruiting as a supply chain operation, the candidate experience is the final section of the conveyor belt. This is particularly true when you have a slate of final candidates in for final interviews. If you consider lean manufacturing principles, providing a less than acceptable candidate experience at this late stage of the 'production' cycle is particularly wasteful, because all the work sourcing candidates, selling candidates, managing the adminstration, and other 'work efforts' is being completely wasted by inefficient candidate engagement and candidate control. That's why it's so surprising to me that so many companies spend millions of dollars on branding/technology/recruiting infrastructure and other recruiting widgets and then proceed to blow it with an impersonal or otherwise inauthentic human connection during the interview step.
In fact, there's no more costly mistake in the recruiting cycle, save for hiring the wrong person, otherwise known as a 'false start' or a PURE (Previously Undetected Recruiting Error) or really derailing the onboarding process so that a qualified hire doesn't stick (oh the pain).
Of the sources of waste ("Muda") in a supply chain, this inefficiency would fall under a host of buckets, primarily motion (wasted motions), but also could be linked to overproduction, transportation and some of the other seven...
So why do you suppose companies have such a hard time getting it right?
Speaking of experiences, I had the opportunity to see a guy by the name of Matt Nathanson play his acoustic guitar at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, and I thought he was an oustanding musician and one of the best entertainers I've seen in years. He's simply a great live musician. You can download the whole show I saw by clicking here and check it out for yourself. I'm now a bona-fide fan.