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Managing candidate and new-hire experience for business impact

Dramatic macro-economic environmental shifts over the last 10-15 years have fundamentally changed how individuals relate to organizations. For talent acquisition, business leaders face a perfect storm: 

  • The very sophisticated personalized, digital, consumer experiences that candidates regularly have in their private lives (think of Netflix, Amazon, Uber) have greatly raised the bar in terms of the type of experience they expect at work.  
  • Skills that organizations seek are rapidly changing, creating talent scarcity that makes recruiters and hiring managers’ roles more challenging. 
  • Many organizations put a lot of faith into technology as the total solution to these dynamics. High expectations for these new technologies, run up against lower than expected adoption and cumbersome implementation, which means that the human element can get lost. Technology is at best an enabler of candidate and new-hire experience, rather than a miracle cure. 

New approaches don’t solve fundamental problems

To combat these challenges many organizations try to understand candidates better through post-hire candidate experience surveys, attempts at personas and candidate journeys, and restructuring to be more agile and responsive. 

While these strategies are a step in the right direction, a number of challenges remain unresolved: 

  1. Candidate listening certainly opens a window for us to understand the candidate’s perspective.  But measuring that broadly across the totality of the experience often lacks the detailed insights to target specific areas for change. Not all moments in a candidate’s journey are of equal importance; with ever limited resources we need to be able to place our bets in the right places.
  2. Many organizations put a lot of time and resources into making journey maps and personas, which ultimately go unused in a tangible way that drives outcomes. 
  3. More agile recruiting organizations still find it difficult to apportion responsibility for the experience of candidates and new hires. Teams remain process focused. Or even when HR teams adopt a more humancentric approach, they still need to contend with the fact that 95% of the most critical moments that matter most to candidates and new hires don’t fall under the purview of HR at all.  Experience delivery is dispersed across the organization, making it an imperative to drive constructive stakeholder conversations beyond HR and, most often, with hiring managers.  

Three recommendations for success at scale

There is a significant opportunity for organizations to act differently when managing employee experience (or EX as it is otherwise known) for business gain. Whilst we do see the emergence of entities such as Employee Experience COEs and the creation of new roles to own EX, many organizations are early in that journey. 

That said, managing candidate experience within the recruiting function is something that is both necessary and pragmatic to achieve desired business results.   

At TI People we understand that to improve candidate outcomes requires a holistic understanding of the end-to-end candidate experience and the ability to design and deliver iteratively and it’s hard to do.  But our research points to ways that recruiting functions can own and act at the local level for experience improvement that’s scalable and for more constructive stakeholder (i.e. hiring manager) conversations. Practices including: 

1. To overcome a lack of insight in our candidate listening processes, the big picture is not enough – organizations should focus on the touchpoint level with measurement, and specifically measure the most critical touchpoints from the candidate perspective (not necessarily all of them) 

2. Organizations can use these measurements to benchmark experience. This has two purposes: Internally to see gaps, change over time, and prompt action. And externally to stay competitive in attracting and retaining scarce talent.  

3. Lastly, actively managing EX helps drive change locally. Nearly all of the touchpoint moments that make or break experience happen outside of HR (hiring managers, IT, facilities, vendors). Knowing where the problem lies, as well as the severity of the problem, holds the right people accountable at the right moments, and makes for more constructive internal conversations.  

Why does this matter? – A well-managed candidate and new hire-experience means business outcomes hiring and onboarding goals are met within the timeframes required. Contact us to learn more about how TI People can help your organization make meaningful change in your function through experience management. 

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