TalentBoards’ Candidate Experience Report: The Evidence & Insights Year Over Year

The Annual Talent Board Candidate Experience Report continues to set standards for the quality of data it provides to anyone willing to consume it but it is especially curated for the employers willing to collaborate in what is our profession’s largest collegial effort ever. Where else have 300 firms encouraged 200,000 of their candidates (80% of whom were not hired) to complete a detailed (as many as 60 questions) survey on how they were treated?

The latest Report by TalentBoard detailing this past year’s Candidate Experience benchmarking campaign results is free and available for download now.

The 2018 Talent Board Candidate Experience Report campaign goals are to have more than 500 participating employers worldwide. Registration will open in March but if you download the report now you’ll be informed about registration, workshops around the country and more.

In 2018 TalentBoard is shooting to have a symposium in each region to tell the stories, case studies, share data and celebrate the firms whose candidates rate them the highest (as well as all those participating and committed to year over year improvement).

The TalentBoard is a non-profit that is beginning its 8th year (full disclosure, I am a co-founder and member of it’s Board. Chris Hoyt is a former TalentBoard council member when he was with PepsiCo and was active as the voice of the employer.) TalentBoard strives to create annual events like this one from last October in Nashville: CandEs Evening Celebration. (A smaller celebration for EMEA participants is scheduled in London this March.)

The 2017 report published earlier this month is 110 pages. Data collected with a rigor that meets academic standards. Insights you can do something about and configure for each company that participated. It’s a lot to absorb. We recommend using it as a means to audit your current process if you are just beginning this journey. The 1-page Forward to the report is repurposed below and hopefully will tease some to take the next step (if only to get the executive summary).

I’ll leave you with Deloitte/Bersin’s note in their recent study of High Performing TA Functions (they identified 6 characteristics): “75% focus on improving their Candidate Experience year-over-year versus 17% of low performing functions.”

Talent Board’s Candidate Experience Report, Feb 2018

Recruiting is more than a neutral process to Find, Engage, Screen, Select, Offer, and ‘Pre-Board’ new hires.

Every stakeholder, and especially every prospect who has ever converted to become a candidate (and who is most likely rejected), sees the recruiting process through their life’s lens. As any person progresses from becoming aware of an employer to becoming interested in a position to become committed to competing for that position, candidate attitudes, behaviors and the attitudes and behaviors of those they influence are subject to change.

Employer decisions to improve their hiring costs, time-to-fill and quality notwithstanding, it is the parallel decision a job seeker makes to compete and accept a position in the context of a career at a specific time in their life that makes our profession, Talent Acquisition, so essential and its impact on the business of the employers they encounter so important to understand.

Business leaders understand Talent Acquisition productivity and efficiency must be measured and aligned with the firm’s goals. These stakeholders cite talent-getting and keeping as their number one or number two priority. More than any other stakeholder, leaders appreciate both short- and long-term calculations that improve cost, time and quality in ways that give their business an edge in the marketplace.

Hiring managers have little use for the distraction of candidates who lack the competencies or willingness to tackle their jobs. What they are learning however is that the best candidates and a growing number who are customers have a newfound disdain for employers who “don’t know what they want until they see it”, fail to set or deliver on expectations, listen without hearing, and do not hold themselves accountable for respecting all those interested in their firm.

Recruiters and recruiting leaders are most often rewarded for filling jobs according to schedule. Building and managing the pipelines of willing prospects and candidates who test their interest against an employer’s interest to hire them by applying, again and again, has been central to 20th-century hiring strategy. The shift to a new paradigm where increased accountability for how candidates are treated is paramount is demonstrating that the fallout is significantly lower, that candidate replacement costs are no longer rising exponentially and that buy versus build decisions that benefit the employer is more likely.

We’ve long noted that candidates have a new power to leverage their ire or their praise for employers while on the “conveyor” that carries them forward to a new job. Increasingly candidates are learning to exercise these newfound communication skills. The cost to a firm’s reputation, its applicant flow, referrals and even sales can now be calculated.

Since 2010, Talent Board has set about defining and measuring candidate experiences. We continue to refine the benchmark process for companies to gain needed insight into their processes and, more specifically, into candidates’ attitudes and subsequent behavior – i.e., re-apply, refer others, champion the employers’ products, or not. This is the single largest academic-quality, TA research collaboration ever attempted.

The CandE Award is not a “People’s Choice” honor. Random candidates are not tricked, tracked down or incented to determine which participating organization gets the most votes. Instead, a representative sample of candidates from each employer, most of whom were not offered employment at the time they completed the survey, respond to detailed questions about each phase of the hiring process.

For North America, the 50 organizations whose candidates rated them the highest form the 2017 Benchmark class. All participating employers, however, are armed with their individual data as well as the aggregate benchmark and able to develop recommendations to create business change and improve the candidate experience going forward. Any organization willing to take a good long look in the mirror and recognize the candidate as a critical stakeholder in the recruiting process deserves high praise and our thanks. If you didn’t join us this past year, please consider joining us in 2018 starting in March.

Talent Board also appreciates the incredible commitment of our Global and Regional Program Sponsors. We could not deliver this annual program without them. These sponsoring organizations have demonstrated their passion, interest, and willingness to improve candidate experience through their products, services and support of the CandE Awards. Our sponsors are identified in the report and deserve our appreciation.

2017  Talent Board Board Members: Ed Newman, Elaine Orler, Gerry Crispin, Joseph Murphy 
2018 Talent Board Members: Ed Newman, Gerry Crispin, Debbie McGrath


Picture of Chris Hoyt

Chris Hoyt

A veteran of recruiting and HR, Hoyt is a sought-after speaker with presentations including national conferences with SHRM, LinkedIn, HR Technology, ERE and others in the USA as well as UNLEASH, iRecruit, Australasian Talent Conference and more abroad. Chris has been promoting and leading full scale and enterprise-wide integrations of social media and mobile marketing within workforce strategies for his entire career. His expertise and passion for interactive/social recruiting, candidate experience, and both national and international recruiting strategies are all areas that Hoyt now leverages as co-owner and President at CareerXroads, a Recruiting/Staffing consulting and think tank organization that works with corporate leaders from around the world to break out of traditional recruitment practices and push the envelope in an effort to win the ongoing war for top talent.

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