It seems nearly everyday we’re hearing about the latest National – “fill in the blank” Day. For example, for those that were not aware, just the other day it was National Cheese Lovers Day. There are practically national days of recognition every day of the year. (For the historians in the crowd – In the USA, we can track the tradition of creating national days of recognition all the way back to July 4, 1777 – to the first organized celebration of Independence Day.) While not all days of recognition have equal significance or are tied to such an historic event, the fact remains that these days of recognition give us a chance to pause and reflect. And – in many cases, these days create the opportunity for us to both elevate the purpose for the day as well as to make further commitments to support the ideals and objectives that the day represents.
Back in 2020, The Talent Board initiated the first Candidate Experience Day. It was a brilliant idea to tie the kick-off of the 2020 CandE Benchmark Research program to this special day. Each year since, The Talent Board has been “hosting” the Candidate Experience Day as a cornerstone event that both announces the findings from the previous year’s research as well as serving as the opening of the present year’s research program. While the exact day for this has slightly varied over the years, the intent of the day has remained consistent – i.e. for Recruiting Teams to come together to honor the candidates that take the time to opt-in to participate in their recruitment cycles and to recommit to doing everything they can to create a positive experience for those candidates.
More often than not, discussions about the “Candidate Experience” center around the negative – i.e. all the reasons for rising Candidate Resentment. Candidate Experience Day 2023, however, is an opportunity to celebrate – Celebrate the candidates, and celebrate all the techniques being deployed that are having a positive impact,
3 Reasons Why You Should Plan to Celebrate Candidate Experience Day
While there are a myriad number of reasons why celebrating Candidate Experience Day should be high priority, those reasons really all boil down to 3 core topics.
1 – Mindset Matters!
Would anyone argue that we should NOT think about the candidate experience? Do you know that purposely plans and designs a poor candidate experience into their process? Of course, the answer to these questions is, “No.” And yet, despite all the long standing evidence and the clear convergence that an improved candidate experience is important, creating a meaningful, consistent, and lasting candidate experience continues to be aspirational.
As with anything worth achieving, the journey always begins with deciding that the pursuit is worth dedicating yourself to. Mindset is critical. There will definitely be times during the journey when you will question whether the commitment is worth the continuous effort. Candidate Experience Day 2023 is an opportunity to surround yourself with others who are traveling a similar trail as you. It will be a day of positive storytelling from others who have found success. What better way is there to stay motivated and committed that to surround yourself with others who have a similar mindset. Their stories and specific suggestions will serve as great inspiration to stay motivated to keep to the plan.
2 – Recruiting Outcomes Matter!
Improving Candidate Experience is not a fluffy, nice to think about business issue. Not being able to achieve hiring goals and overspend on recruitment marketing are just two examples of what happens when your employer brand has a poor candidate experience reputation.
As noted above, though, no one means to purposely create a poor candidate experience. The primary root cause of this is that too often recruiting teams are overwhelmed and overburdened. They are expected to be experts on a large number of skills – i.e. Employer Branding, Recruitment Marketing, Copywriting, Sourcing, Labor Market Intelligence, Sales and Negotiation just to name a few. They are expected to navigate and use a large number of systems and tools – many of which are not integrated. And, of course, the biggest challenge of all – is that recruiters are expected to carry an inordinate number of requisitions. As Josh Bersin famously said, “Recruiting is much harder than it looks” – which is why the vast majority of recruiting teams under-perform.
I’m not saying that participating in the Candidate Experience events will cure all your issues. What I am saying though, is that collaborating with other employers who have the same mindset as you and learning from them as to what has been successful should be a strong element to your strategy. This is a great way to learn the skill sets and toolsets that others are leveraging to get to the ROI from investing in improving the Candidate Experience
3 – Your Job Satisfaction Matters!
In all my years of working in the talent acquisition industry, I’ve never met a single recruiter who stayed in the business who wasn’t passionate about the work they were doing. The satisfaction that a person can get from being knowing they are the engine that enabled individuals to get jobs that fulfill their career aspirations is indescribable. Couple that with knowing that your efforts play a role in the productivity and profitability of the business, and you have a killer combination of reasons to want to improve the Candidate Experience.
As noted above – no one purposely works to design a poor candidate experience into the process. At a minimum, it is frustrating to every day feel like it is all you can do to keep up with the candidates that are moving forward. At worst, it is demoralizing and contributes to job burnout. The largest population in any recruiting cycle are the candidates that do not get hired. All too often, this is the group of candidates that do not hear back – which is one of the key reasons for the growing levels of candidate resentment.
Participating in Candidate Experience Day – and for that matter, Candidate Experience improvement activities and events throughout the year, is truly a way that you can take control of your own work experience. Not only will your efforts make life better for the candidates and improve the business results of your organization, but you will also be improving your job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is the feeling of fulfillment you receive from the work that you perform. Zeroing in on the meaningful aspects of your work is critical to job satisfaction. Identifying areas of the process that you can improve upon to produce better and more valuable outcomes for your candidates and hiring managers will not only add to your job satisfaction – but will also ultimately improve your work-life balance and reduce your work-related stress levels.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2023 is Candidate Experience Day. While it is a specific day being set aside to share stories, posts, quotes, pictures, memes, videos, etc. It is important to remember though that, Every Day Should Be Candidate Experience Day! And, while the title of the day only refers to the Candidate, the reality is that making improvements in the experience will actually create amazing outcomes for both the business your recruit for and for yourself. Improving the Candidate Experience is a journey – not a destination. Embarking on this journey means that you are adopting this as a mindset and that you are continually striving to learn new skills and tools to further this pursuit. Surround yourself with others who have also adopted this mindset plays an important role in that continuous learning. Just remember – your candidates will appreciate it, your business will gain value from it, and your job satisfaction will increase.
Wishing you a productive Candidate Experience Day and a full year of related activities to come!