Picking up the Phone Impacts the Business for the Better

“You know, we’ve looked at the how we’re communicating with interview candidates when we disposition them, and we’re still emailing way too much.”

We reviewed their latest key candidate experience data points and they said:

“You know, we’ve looked at the how we’re communicating with interview candidates when we disposition them, and we’re still emailing way too much.”

Employer Brand Academy

I asked them to elaborate further.

“We really want our recruiters to call all their interviewed candidates who are no longer being considered to let them know.

“Right on,” I said. “And not only to give the candidates definitive closure, but also to give them some valuable feedback and/or recommendations, including applying for other jobs in the organization.”

They agreed and we went on to cover other ground. This conversation was with a large consumer-based employer that not only participated in our 2018 North American Talent Board Candidate Experience Awards benchmark research program, they also won one of our awards based having higher than average positive candidate ratings throughout the recruiting process, from pre-application to onboarding.

And so I dug a little deeper into this year’s North America data to uncover the following: taking the time to call the rejected interview-stage candidates results in higher positive candidate ratings and ultimately a more positive impact on an employer’s business and brand.

The types of communications candidates say they received when they were no longer being considered after the screening and interview process include automated email replies (58 percent), personal emails from recruiters and hiring managers (22 percent), and personal phone calls from recruiters and hiring managers (10 percent).

The difference in the average 1-5 Likert Scale ratings we receive from candidates definitely reflect the type of communication they receive (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Type of Communication Received When No Longer Being Considered After the Screening/Interview Process and Corresponding Overall and Interview Ratings


When it’s just the automated rejection email, the average ratings are 2.6 for overall rating (asked in the beginning of the survey) and 2.5 for the interview-specific rating. And when you look at how much the ratings jump when candidates receive a personal phone call from recruiters and hiring managers – 31 percent and 32 percent higher respectively – it makes a compelling case.

Of course it’s not always easy for recruiters to make this time per the level of job requisitions they carry and all the other related screening and assessing responsibilities, but making the time can make the difference between silver medalists applying again, referring others and making and/or influencing purchases if and when applicable – i.e., the business impact of candidate experience.

Talent Board is the first non-profit research organization focused on the promotion and elevation of a quality candidate experience. For eight years we’ve worked with hundreds of employers around the world and we’ve heard from over 750,000 candidates. And a recurring trend we see is that more personable real-time communication and feedback from pre-application to onboarding continues to be a competitive differentiator year after year, leading to higher overall positive candidate ratings.

This year an unprecedented 65 organizations received the highest positive candidate experience ratings in North America. We continue to see an increased focus on Candidate Experience and the value it brings to an organization.

Along with the 65 CandE Winners, all employers participating in this year’s Candidate Experience Awards will be celebrated at the 2018 North American Candidate Experience (CandE) Symposium and Awards Gala, taking place on Monday, October 15, 2018 at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL. Talent Board will also be releasing the full list of CandE winners by their final ranking order at this year’s event.

Join us for some fantastic speakers and sessions, complete with transformative recruiting and candidate experience insights, as well as the ERE Recruiting Conference following our event. Save $50 with code CE18VIP when you register for this year’s CandE Awards.

We’ve still got the 2018 EMEA and APAC CandE benchmark programs open, so we’ll see if these trends continue around the world. And who knows where we’ll be next year. However, one thing is for sure – picking up the phone impacts the business for the better.

–Kevin W. Grossman, President, Talent Board

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