Candidate and employee experience are crucial drivers of business success both in terms of brand perception and your bottom line. Traditionally, human resource professionals used to view candidate experience as the first step in the talent management process. With employee experience then coming into play once a candidate is hired (and thus becomes and employee).
Definition of candidate experience: The candidate’s perception of your organisation through the recruiting process. Many factors influence this impression including speed and consistency of communication, ease of application, and enjoyment of the interview process.
Definition of employee experience: The employee experience builds on the candidate experience and is the perception an employee has of your organisation during and after employment with your company. Once again, many factors may influence this impression, but some major ones include what the onboarding process is like, the employer brand and the culture of the business, internal communication, management, compensation, work-life balance, impact, and mission.
Nowadays, however, even employees could be considered as candidates (as is often the case when it comes to internal mobility projects).
Why create a holistic approach to candidate and employee experience?
It’s often the case that organisations attempt to tackle candidate and employee experience separately. They see it as two different challenges: candidate experience is about sourcing and the employee experience is about retention. On this point, we have to disagree.
When we look at the big picture: a positive experience for both candidates and employees is a matter of strategic communications and a holistic approach (rather than ad-hoc reactionary fixes) allows you to create an on-brand, proactive approach that can be applied across all departments.
Holistic doesn’t mean ‘one-size-fits-all’
That doesn’t mean everyone is the same! It’s crucial to recognise the individual needs of departments, employee types, and regions. Segment your audience where you can to create meaningful communications and outreach. Remember to automate wherever possible so you have the time to make personal touches where it counts. Automating things like updates about the hiring process, background checks and onboarding are no-brainers. It makes your work more impactful and has a significant impact on the experience of the person involved in the process.
The candidate-to-employee journey
The candidate-to-employee lifecycle can be broken down into three stages:
- Attraction: The candidate becomes aware of your business, applies to an opening and goes through the recruiting funnel.
- Onboarding: The candidate accepts an offer, completing background checks like reference checks, ID verification and employment checks, and becomes an employee whom is then introduced to the company.
- Exit: The employee leaves your company (remember, they continue to be a brand ambassador even after they leave your employment).
You’ll want to gather data from each stage, usually in the form of surveys or interviews to understand your baseline and pinpoint areas for improvement.
Tips for getting started
Many organisations choose to tackle onboarding first as it is where the candidate and employee experience overlap and therefore company buy-in is usually greater. Your hiring managers,Talent Acquisition team and Human Resource pros will all want to make this process as successful as possible.
Here are our tips for a successful onboarding:
- Plan ahead: Make sure to design the onboarding process in advance so you can be efficient and strategic.
- Get input: Ask for input from people who have had the same role or who were recently onboarded to understand what info should be communicated and how.
- Give feedback: Make sure to set aside time to give the new employee feedback so they understand their performance and your expectations.
To dive more into these topics including how to give feedback, check out our blog ‘3 Tips for Creating an Amazing Employee Experience.’
When the candidate and employee experience are two separate entities it can lead to low productivity, high-turnover, and general confusion. A Jobvite survey found that “almost 30% of job seekers have left a job within the first 90 days of starting. “ Why? “43% cite[d] that their day-to-day role wasn’t what they expected.” This kind of early attrition happens when the candidate and employee experiences are out of sync.
Change comes when we view the employee experience as a continuation of the candidate experience. Perhaps it’s better to call it ‘the talent experience’ just to remind ourselves, that it is truly one lifecycle. You don’t just hire roles, you hire people, so make sure that each stage of your talent experience is as human as possible, with empathetic communication and smart processes.