Is your talent engagement strategy working for you or against you?


Candidate Experience is at the heart of an employer’s reputation and there is a direct correlation between the experience applicants receive and their propensity to advocate for an employer.Positive experiences create brand ambassadors, willing to recommend and refer an employer within their networks, making it easier to access and engage future talent.Poor experiences have the opposite effect, working against the efforts of the employer to market their career proposition. Our studies show that around 70% of candidates, that reported having had a poor experience, have shared their thoughts about the employer with others - often via social media. A similar percentage will share their positive story, so ultimately it’s very much in an employer interest to maximise the positive share of voice.Here are three strong reasons to consider regarding whether the Candidate Experience you offer is delivering maximum benefit to your business.

1. Candidate experience affects customer loyalty

Virgin Media was one of the first employers to publically disclose the link it had established between Candidate Experience and Customer Loyalty. Their study reported over $6m of cancellations could be directly attributed to an applicant’s experience, creating a strong business case to invest in their candidate engagement and management strategies1.Failing to set or manage expectations, a lack of personalisation, perceived bias and poorly handled rejection are the key pain points reported via Mystery Applicant* . Our work with other leading consumer brands suggests that the cost to business of failing to drive a high-quality experience may be far higher than seen at Virgin Media.Other studies, such as that by Korn Ferry, suggested that less than 20% of candidates would remain a customer to an organisation that treated them badly during an application process2.

“Companies risk alienating both strong candidates and loyal customers if they don't make efforts to measure and improve the candidate experience.”

Employers who have addressed these issues have found that they can reverse this situation and positively impact customer loyalty.With the retail sector facing unprecedented change and competition, surely this is a stone that cannot be left unturned?

2. Bad experiences spread like wildfire

Poor customer service is shared online like wildfire - and candidate experience is no different.Similar to our own data, CareerArc reported that 72% of job seekers shared their negative experience on employer review sites, social media sites; or with colleagues and friends3.Over 65% of applicants state that they have researched an employer via a review site, such as GlassDoor, before applying. Around 12% of applicants state this as a top three consideration*. So reputations count.Perhaps more worrying is the suggestion that this reputational information is linked to employee engagement and retention with 60% of employee’s having read some negative feedback about their own organisation online3.It's no surprise that bad word-of-mouth has negative consequences, eroding the ability of an employer to leverage referral networks and reducing the pool of talent available to them.

3. Poorly treated candidates don't re-apply

39% of candidates say that they would not apply for another role within the same company due to a poor experience4.Candidate experience is a top 3 reason for opting out amongst the 60% of applicants that do so*. Not surprisingly companies with lower candidate satisfaction scores have higher levels of opt-out and lower levels Hiring Manager satisfaction. Importantly our data adversely links opt-out rates and quality of hire (the higher the opt-out rate the lower the reported quality of hire).Bad experiences, therefore, result in qualified individuals who previously desired to work for your company taking their talents elsewhere, in many cases to your competitors. Building a bad candidate experience reputation will inevitably result in delays to fill positions, increased cost of hiring and lower quality hires.For organisations striving to compete for top talent, the Candidate Experience has to be front of mind.

As Google recently put it:

“Candidate Experience is your best opportunity to improve hiring performance”






*Mystery Applicant gathers feedback from millions of job applicants and Hiring Managers each year, providing world-class analytics and decision making tools for Talent Engagement professionals. If you would like to know more about the insights in the article or about our service please get in touch.