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Lessons from the 2018 North American Candidate Experience Symposium

Employers have become highly focused on building their brands and cultivating meaningful company cultures. Candidate experience is an integral part of the equation. This year’s North American Candidate Experience Symposium offered valuable insight into the discipline’s direction and what employers and staffing agencies can do to ensure they’re not missing out on top talent.

Jobseekers today are dismissing employers that still rely on outdated processes and systems. According to recent industry surveys, 60% of candidates abandon complex online applications, 72% share bad experiences via social media and personal networks, and a whopping 85% will write an employer off completely if the candidate experience is lacking.

With the days of paper applications behind us, new technologies are paving the way for candidate experiences that are more personal, intuitive, intelligent, and engaging—experiences that mirror the ease, accessibility, and responsiveness we’ve grown accustomed to in other parts of our lives.

But improving candidate experience isn’t just about catering to jobseekers; it benefits the entire organization by reducing time-to-fill, lowering the cost per applicant, and giving back much-needed time to recruiting and human resources teams.

A better candidate experience also paints a clearer, more detailed picture of the candidates themselves. Innovative assessment and screening tools are growing in sophistication, offering employers and recruitment agencies a better understanding of candidates’ motivations, values, and work styles throughout the interview process. At a time when both jobseekers and companies are placing greater emphasis on cultural fit, these types of insights carry significant value.

In looking more closely at candidate experience, employers and staffing agencies also have a unique opportunity to affect social change. During his keynote address, noted disability rights advocate Dr. Richard Pimentel highlighted the importance of delivering a candidate experience that doesn’t overlook or neglect certain candidates. If companies truly want to attract the best, most qualified talent, they must offer a candidate experience that’s inclusive and accessible to all jobseekers.

Candidate experience has become a reflection of a company itself, and this trend is poised to continue as the discipline attracts more attention and investment. After all, when organizations invest in a better candidate experience, they’re investing in their greatest asset: people!