Optimizing the candidate experience with an RPO solution
If you are considering partnering with an RPO provider, it is crucial to ensure the solution enables a superior candidate experience. Here’s why;
Put yourself in the shoes of a candidate for a moment. Does any of this sound familiar?
If so, you – like millions of others – have had a poor candidate experience. A poor candidate experience has very real consequences in terms of employer branding, bottom-line impacts, and limiting your ability to attract skilled talent.
While some organizations may believe that the candidate experience doesn’t matter so long as hiring outcomes are achieved, this is a short-sighted attitude.
A poor candidate experience also has a direct impact on two key hiring metrics: offer acceptance and retention. Korn Ferry found that 52% of candidates would be unlikely to accept a job offer after a poor candidate experience.
There’s also a strong correlation between a bad experience and turnover, while your brand reputation will also take a hit as frustrated candidates spread the word.
On the flipside, a positive candidate experience will build goodwill for your brand and organization, particularly if satisfied candidates are inspired to spread the word on social media. This isn’t just a nice-to-have. A great reputation as a preferred employer will help you attract more applicants, leading to a bigger talent pool, better-quality candidates, greater hiring outcomes, and improved performance. A positive experience can also contribute to lowering time to hire and cost per hire while slashing ghosting rates. In short, it can increase your chances of getting the best candidates in the war for talent.
The risks of ignoring candidate experience are significant, which is why it’s essential to choose an RPO provider that focuses on candidate care throughout the hiring process. We spoke with Tanyth Lloyd, VP for Client Success, Innovation and Operational Excellence for Korn Ferry’s Australian and NZ RPO business, to learn more.
“Look for an RPO provider with a candidate- centric model”, advises Lloyd. This means putting the candidate at the heart of the process, which in turn drives high-quality hiring outcomes.
At Korn Ferry, we deliver a meaningful candidate experience from the first moment you engage with a candidate through our “CARE” hiring model. This involves four steps:
Step one involves making sure you have the right people, processes, and technology on your talent acquisition team to provide superior candidate care. The goal is to define what the ideal candidate journey would look like, what the key processes will be, and then configuring the RPO solution to support that journey. This not only includes the technology involved, but also defining how the people within and outside the organization will interact with and use the solution.
One size does not fit all in candidate experience. Executives have different expectations to entry- level candidates, while candidates applying for a tech role will have different expectations to someone applying for a marketing position. Candidate-centric hiring is tailored not only to each role, but to each and every candidate through the creation of candidate personas.
This step involves optimizing the RPO hiring technology and ensuring the right balance is found between technological efficiency and the human touch. For example, RPO technology can help ease the burden of high-volume or specialized hiring through automated communication and chatbots with 24/7 support. But it can also help hiring managers collate feedback, guide candidates, personalize communication and maintain the human touch at every point of the process.
Finally, every candidate should be treated as an “employee-elect”. This means giving every candidate the same attention and treatment as you would for your employees. Successful candidates will feel they are already a part of your organization, while unsuccessful candidates will come away from the process with a positive impression of your company.
“The ultimate sign of success is when even unsuccessful candidates come away feeling they’ve had a positive experience.”
The human touch can be achieved even in a fully automated candidate relationship management (CRM) environment by composing thoughtful, engaging, and warm automated responses, coupled with the use of hyper personalization to impress the candidate. Be sure to apply for a role yourself to identify and address any parts of the process that feel impersonal or robotic.
“We create a positive candidate experience through simplifying the application process, communicating frequently, creating a positive interview experience, and balancing the human touch with the power of scalable automation”, says Lloyd.
One of the key goals of a positive candidate experience is to attract and encourage more candidates to hit the “apply now” button. Keep in mind that candidates will perform an online search to gain an impression of your organization’s employer brand.
“Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth”, warns Lloyd. “Happy or disgruntled candidates share their experiences on social media or employee review sites such as Glassdoor.”
Consider the following online reviews and the impact they have on a company’s employer branding.
One of the keys to a positive candidate experience is to ensure the hiring process is aligned with your overall brand. This can involve details such as using the right tone of voice when communicating with candidates, along with marketing collateral including fonts, colors, and more. Think about how your organization presents itself to the market and reflect this in the end-to-end hiring process.
For example, if you work for a high-tech company known for its app development, a candidate would be surprised to find an old-school, paper-based process.
Again, using an RPO doesn’t mean settling for a one-size-fits-all approach. The hiring process should be tailored to reflect organizational values. “Korn Ferry’s RPO incorporates and demonstrates client organizations’ culture and values such as authenticity, fairness, and honesty”, says Lloyd.
Hiring organizations cannot claim to offer a great candidate experience if they fail to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I).
“Prioritizing DE&I isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do”, says Lloyd.
Korn Ferry’s research has revealed that DE&I can lead to 70% higher growth, 36% better profitability, 75% faster time-to-market, and a 19% boost in innovation. The business case is clear, but organizations are often at a loss as to how to address this challenge when hiring.
Organizations leveraging Korn Ferry’s RPO solutions also benefit from working with one of the world’s leading DE&I consultancy firms.
Korn Ferry works with organizations around the world using DE&I diagnostic tools like the DE&I Compass to help find out where – and how – to meet their diversity, equity and inclusion goals.
“DE&I hotspots in the hiring process often include using the wrong sourcing channels, job ad content such as masculine language or a long laundry- list of requirements that might turn off female applicants”, notes Lloyd. “Using incorrectly constructed candidate assessments can promote bias instead of removing it, and a data-driven interview process will help minimize bias.”
Top RPO solution providers will proactively focus on building diversity in your talent pipeline to help mitigate some of these risks.
Here are six questions to guide the conversation:
52% of candidates would be unlikely to accept a job offer after a poor candidate experience.
A positive candidate experience can involve:
If you need to improve your hiring outcomes, prioritize the candidate experience, extend your talent pool, and find a scalable solution that will adapt to your changing needs, Korn Ferry delivers. Learn more about Recruitment Process Outsourcing here or get in touch to speak with an expert today.