Blog Post

4 Ways to Prevent a Poor Candidate Experience

Ira S. Wolfe

President, Success Performance Solutions

Despite all the talk about HR technology and artificial intelligence improving candidate experience, the numbers say otherwise. In fact, candidate resentment has increased by 40% since 2016. But what, exactly, is the cause? A few of the top reasons cited in the just-released 2019 North American Candidate Experience Research Report include: poor communication, discrepancies between the job description and interview experience and disrespect for candidates’ time.

It’s clear that the impact a bad candidate experience can have on one’s business is more than a little troubling. Imagine receiving 100 applications for a single job posting, for which only 1 person is going to be hired. Quick math: Ninety-nine candidates are at risk for disappointment!

And what will these not-hired candidates do if they had a less than positive experience? Seventy-one percent will share it with their inner circle of friends, relatives and co-workers. Fortunately, only 35 percent share it publicly online—probably because they don’t want to announce they didn’t get the job. But that’s still an incredibly large number of people speaking ill of your company. (And trash talk is the last thing you want going around when trying to entice top talent to cut ties with current employers and join your ranks.)

But it’s not just hard feelings companies need to worry about. The impact can extend well into the future. Sixty-eight percent of candidates who’ve had a negative experience won’t reapply to that company. Worse, 54 percent said it would impact their decision to buy from said company.

The Talent Board created an online candidate resentment calculator to help translate these results into real dollars. It’s based on the assumption that 100% of job applicants are potential customers or influencers. (Some might argue with this idea, but even a fraction of the whole results in pretty significant damage.) Here’s just one example: With 1,000 annual hires, the lost revenue due to candidate resentment exceeds $2.7 million, and the number of lost customers is more than 27,700. Numbers like these are nightmarish—and more common than you might think.

So what can you do to prevent a bad candidate experience?

1) Be Proactive

Applying for jobs at your own company to understand an applicant’s journey is likely the simplest low-cost solution you’ll ever find. Do it on several different devices—desktops, tablets and smartphones—and assess the experience using different operating systems: Apple, Google, Samsung, Windows. Remember that the candidate experience starts long before someone clicks to apply. "Google" your company career site on each device. How does it look? Is it easy to find? How long does it take the page to load? Is it easy to read, navigate and complete an application? If not, invest in fixing it!

Remember to also be proactive when it comes to communicating why someone may not be the right fit for a position or company. Resentment rates decrease by 29% when employers give rejected candidates general and specific feedback on qualifications and job fit. A bit of honesty and clarity goes a long way.

2) Be Predictive

No business function collects more data and takes less advantage of it than human resources. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to customers these days, and candidates are no different. It’s time to become comfortable with data. Google Analytics and most applicant tracking software, for that matter, provide deep insights into candidate behavior and the corresponding behavior of your systems and processes—data you can use to make much-needed adjustments and inform hiring decisions.

In addition, ask for feedback from every candidate (whether they’re ultimately hired or not) and use that data to improve your process. Talentegy reports that 68.5% of candidates are very likely or likely to provide it, but 75% of companies never or rarely ask for it.

3) Be Pragmatic

It’s just not practical for any recruiter, HR professional or hiring manager to keep up with today’s job demands without technology. Automate every task that requires manual entry and/or is routine. But remember that tech solutions can’t solve all of your problems. Chatbots won’t negate bad reviews on Glassdoor or Kununu. Automated emails won’t make up for delays in scheduling interviews and making decisions. A new video on your career website can’t hide a toxic culture. Identify each candidate touchpoint, assess its efficiency, then prioritize the risk of it creating a negative experience—regardless of whether it’s an automated or human-driven interaction.

4) Be a Problem-Solver

Be vigilant. Be curious. Creating an awesome candidate experience is a journey. It has no finish line. The rules keep changing. The ecosystems keep evolving. The only true inevitability is that as soon as you improve the experience in one area, another issue is likely to pop up. It might be a new glitch in the software or the need to hire a new recruiter or hiring manager. In every case, delivering the most optimal candidate experience today requires a team of troubleshooters to fix the unexpected and problem-solvers to prevent recurrences.

Related Resources

Want to keep learning? Explore our products, customer stories, and the latest industry insights.

Citadele: Investing in a culture of learning and individual performance management

Customer Story

Citadele: Investing in a culture of learning and individual performance management

Citadele Group is an innovative, full-service financial group for both private individuals and companies. The Group offers a complete portfolio of banking, financial and private capital management services in the Baltic states. Citadele’s mission is to provide more opportunities to its clients by redefining modern banking – it aims to change the meaning of current financial business with innovations and an outstanding client experience beyond the formal frame. With the goal of becoming the Baltic banking champion, Citadele offers multiple career paths and a variety of professional development opportunities for all its employees. Our new path towards ambitious and modern goals also demands a change within our employees’ learning and performance tracking model. Improved tools and solutions are needed to streamline Citadele’s employee progression processes across 37 offices. Why Cornerstone? Recognising that employees are its most valuable asset, Citadele made sure that employees are the top priority in the process of change. Bearing this in mind, Citadele had three key requirements during the search for its talent management solution: the system needed to be easy-to-use; it needed to have the option to involve employees in individual goal-setting; and it needed to track feedback on an ongoing basis and provide tracking for necessary compliance training. The system also needed to feature engaging and motivating content to help Citadele boost talent retention rates. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. After considering 20 other vendors, Citadele chose Cornerstone OnDemand as it ticked all the required boxes in terms of being both an established SaaS platform and a well-developed system that adhered to all of Citadele’s needs. The Results Increased productivity. Since implementing Cornerstone Performance, Citadele has seen an improvement in its employees’ performance. The simplified goal-setting, monitoring and continuous feedback system means that employees feel more confident and more motivated at work. That in turn has led to increased productivity levels. According to Citadele’s recent feedback survey, more than 95% of employees expressed satisfaction with the system. Streamlined performance processes. Before Cornerstone, all records regarding employees’ career, training, obligatory certifications and performance appraisals had to be integrated manually. With Cornerstone Performance, managers now receive detailed analytics at the click of a button, meaning that employee goals, training activities and tracking have become optimised and tailored to employees’ needs. Enhanced employer reputation. Citadele strives for the status of best employer in the Baltic region. Partnering with Cornerstone has helped Citadele to attract and retain even more talent in the industry Full compliance visibility. Compliance training was one of the key requirements for Citadele. Since implementing the Cornerstone e-learning module, the company is now confident that all its employees have the necessary training to meet the industry’s compliance requirements. Citadele is also able to successfully track completions in order to meet deadlines. Motivation and passion for learning. Implementing Cornerstone Performance has helped Citadele to significantly raise the ambition and motivation of its employees. Necessary changes in individual performance management have pushed Citadele forward regarding its learning culture. Since then, the company has selected Cornerstone’s e-learning as its next module, in addition to the already launched Cornerstone’s Performance Appraisal System. This will allow each employee to choose their most convenient way to learn, integrating learning into their everyday work.

Announcing the Convergence 2021 featured speakers: Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai

Blog Post

Announcing the Convergence 2021 featured speakers: Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai

We’re counting down the days to Cornerstone Convergence 2021. Get ready to join over 20,000 talent professionals on November 16-17 from the comfort of your laptop at this 100% virtual and completely free event. There’s so much to look forward to at this year’s event, but we’re especially excited to announce this year's special guest speakers, Dan Levy and Malala Yousafzai! Levy is an Emmy® Award-winning writer, actor, director and producer best known for his work on Schitt’s Creek. And Malala is the Co-Founder of Malala Fund, a recent Oxford graduate and a Nobel Prize laureate. To get you even more excited, here are two previews of their can't-miss Convergence sessions. Meeting the Moment with Dan Levy We give rise to our greatest work when we embrace the strengths that lie in our individuality and build a shared vision for something better. Join this session to hear Dan Levy share his personal journey of using creativity to overcome obstacles and Meet the Moment. Register to see Dan Levy A Moment with Malala What does it take to move forward in the face of adversity? To pursue a higher purpose, in spite of targeted violent backlash? When Pakistani education activist, Malala Yousafzai was just 15 she learned the answers to these questions as she recovered from an assassination attempt by the Taliban. Join this session to hear Malala share her story of personal resilience and collective purpose in driving global education for girls everywhere. Register to see Malala Even more excitement at Convergence 2021 The next year of work will be all about turning change into opportunities for everyone. Check out a sneak preview of just a few Convergence speakers and informative breakout sessions. Bold Thinkers Dealing with Microaggressions and Healing from Workplace Trauma – Featuring Minda Harts, CEO of The Memo LLC More Bold Thinker sessions led by Jason Lauritsen, Laurie Ruettimann, David Wilson, Josh Bersin and others. Customer Spotlights Delivering skills-first careers powered by AI – From Deutsche Post DHL and Alstom More strategies, tips and advice from the Cornerstone and Saba community in our Customer Spotlight track, featuring Dell Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, Nespresso, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and more. The Content Channel The World Premiere of Seat at the Table – A Cornerstone Original Series Other sessions focused on leading innovations in learning content from top providers such as Cornerstone Studios, TED, ITProTV and Mind Tools. Daily Keynotes Conversations with industry luminaries and Cornerstone executives about reimagining work and Cornerstone’s vision for leading the way. Join us at Convergence and Meet the Moment Convergence 2021 is your opportunity to get inspired, find “ah-ha” moments, connect with your peers and explore the future of work (and your role in it). As a talent leader, you're connecting what your people need to your organization's evolving goals so everyone thrives in this moment. We’ll see you there!

CGL: Improving learning and performance capability through advanced digital solutions

Customer Story

CGL: Improving learning and performance capability through advanced digital solutions

Communities often need help when their quality of life is affected by crime. Homelessness, drugs, alcohol and domestic abuse all have an impact on the local area and this is where the CGL (Change, Grow, Live – formerly known as CRI) steps in. Every year, more than 120,000 people across England and Wales receive assistance to get back on their feet. At CGL, full-time staff and volunteers work to encourage and motivate people to take control of their lives. CGL now has more than 3,000 staff and 1,000 volunteers in more than 160 regional centers. With so many employees across a wide region, keeping track of their progress was proving to be difficult. Previously, there were instances where notes were lost, handwriting was illegible, copies were not being shared, and many of the action points from the meetings were missed. CGL knew they had to address this by empowering its employees and volunteers by implementing a unified talent management solution. Why Cornerstone To overcome its reliance on paper-based records, CGL decided it had to go digital. It chose the talent management tools from Cornerstone OnDemand, selecting Cornerstone Learning and Cornerstone Performance solutions. The solutions enabled CGL to standardise its recordkeeping across the organisation. What happened in one office needed to be replicated in another, even if it is hundreds of miles away. So, for the first time, the performance management process was exactly the same across the country. Through Cornerstone, CGL now has the ability to deliver, track, view and report on all learning and development progress across the organisation. In turn, it brings unity and consistency to all its training modules. Furthermore, through Cornerstone’s cloud-based talent management software, CGL was able to empower its employees and volunteers through learning and development, as well as foster a more aligned performance management process throughout the organisation. The sharing of best practices developed a powerful team of employees and volunteers that could provide the best possible service to those that CGL works with. Results Created central access to learning. Cornerstone has provided CGL with central access to learning and development from any device. It has revolutionised the way that CGL is able to quality assure and monitor both individual and overall service performance. Improved Customer satisfaction. Sandra Eden, Development Manager at CGL in the Midlands, said “Quality performance reviews contribute to positive outcomes and achievements, improved staff engagement and customer and stakeholder satisfaction. The quantitative and qualitative detail driving everything that we do is now easily accessible at the click of a button.” Standardised performance reviews. CGL constructed a thorough marketing plan to prepare for the roll out of the new system across its workforce. With tailored emails outlining clear benefits – both from a line manager’s perspective and frontline perspective, uptake in the first week was 15 percent. So far, just a few months after rolling out the service, 1,791 performance reviews have been created across CGL. Increased employee and volunteer engagement. The newly introduced Welcome Page on the training site has had an immediate impact. An internal Stonewall diversity survey generated only 17 respondents prior to using Cornerstone; three days after a message and link were posted on the new hosting site, the number of respondents rose to 82 – a 482 percent increase. Kevin Crowley, Executive Director – Quality, Governance and Innovation at CGL values the visibility he has over the organisation. He said, “Using Cornerstone to bring performance development online has really given us a powerful tool to more closely align learning with performance and ensure our staff has the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the best possible service to those we work with. We have been able to build up a national picture of our strengths, and can identify and share good practice to ensure continuous improvement across the organisation.”

Schedule a personalised 1:1

Talk to a Cornerstone expert about how we can help with your organisation’s unique people management needs.

© Cornerstone 2022
Legal