Discover more from Your mileage may vary
Show me the money
Commercialising candidate experience
On the face of it, it’s a simple and logical argument:
the employee life-cycle consists of attraction, recruitment, onboarding, development, retention and separation. Some say advocacy too
employee experience (onboarding, development and retention) necessarily flows from candidate experience (attraction and recruitment)
better candidate experience leads to better employee experience (here)
candidate experience can lead to a better bottom line.
And surely that means a better experience for the employer too.
At scale, the evidence is pretty good.
Individually how can you link the experience of one candidate to their impact?
Harder to measure for SMEs where one role may have no equivalent.
I don’t think the quantitative proof is easy to find, but the benefit of time in recruitment is to look back on long-term outcomes.
And from that to look at replicable processes.
The Sales Director who doubled turnover organically from £7m to £14m, in 4 years, through new strategy and a fit for purpose structure.
The CTO who transformed a shop-focused apparel company into an e-commerce business just prior to the pandemic, securing the business’ future.
The SIOP Manager who saved 20% on international logistics and supply chain over 2 years.
It’s quite possible these outcomes may have happened without a focus on experience, but experience is the common theme in these placements.
In my work, they are the consequence of an approach that puts experience front and centre.
And like Ouroboros it’s led me to look for evidence that this works systemically so that I can establish common repeatable principles for recruitment.
Logically it makes sense.
What does the experience look like that optimises an employee in a role?
Yes, they are accountable for their performance, but can they really do their best job without being enabled by the employer?
How are they enabled? What resources are they given access to? How does the team support them? What is their journey to success?
What does that look like through their candidate and employee journey?
Like any good book, start with the ending to find the narrative.
If the outcome is success, what was the story that led to it?
Was it just the unicorn employee arrogant employers hope for?
Or was it a reflection of a good employer with a good employee?
If we assume experience has a part to play, what are the steps involved?
Before awareness, there is preparation – the work you do before you think about engaging candidates.
The ‘you’ message – might be an advert, a phone call, a LinkedIn post.
Market access (turning them all over)
Market channels (where the stones are)
What good looks like
The hiring manager
These touchpoints before the candidate stage lead to their experience
It might even be a careless LinkedIn post, where a potentially ideal candidate decides you aren’t someone they’d want to engage with.
So, not just the story, but everything around it. And not always linear, given any plan falls apart in contact with the enemy. Meaning iteration is important too.
And it’s not just ‘successful’ candidates that benefit, everyone does from a systematic process.
But you can look at candidate experience a different way.
If experience is the outcome of the process – focus on the process.
The process is within our control, outcomes are not. Yet process inevitably leads to the outcome.
Focus on better recruitment and what may help the candidate also serves to better fill the vacancy.
And if the consequence isn’t just filling the vacancy but the potential for better performance, that’s a worthy endeavour.
For example, a clearly articulated, true and fair job description gives a better experience to the candidate while giving you a clearer mandate to recruit from.
Whether you get it right or not, everything flows from the top of the process.
‘Recruitment’ threads through these stages, while the employment process surrounds them.
If recruitment and employment aren’t integrated, efficiency and accuracy will suffer.
At worst a transactional relationship that doesn’t join the dots can lead to failed hires, if hires happen at all, and fingers pointed like a Mexican standoff.
How often does arms-length contingent recruitment lead to transformative outcomes?
A 25% fill rate wouldn’t fill me with confidence. You?
If a candidate has ever had a complaint about part of your process, surely that’s an opportunity to do better.
If we are accountable and responsible for everything that happens in our process, what potential does that give us?
That’s why partnership is important for me – common goal, mutual obligation. An integrated approach with clarity, timeliness and confidence in a better result.
Get it right from the outset – before we even think about candidates.
Provide a process whose consequence is good candidate experience, and surely that’s the best way for that one successful candidate to start in the right way and have their best shot of success.
A success you want too.
It might even improve your bottom line.
So why wouldn’t you enable it?
If you’re an employer reading these and want to understand how candidate experience can unlock your recruitment – we can talk.
The next possibly-a-post is called ‘Everybody Lies’, but does it really matter?
P.s. While you are here, if you like the idea of improving how you recruit, lack capacity or need better candidates, and are curious how I can help, these are my services:
- Go-to-Market, operational and technical leadership recruitment
- manage part or all of your recruitment on an individually designed basis for one client
- NEW recruitment writing as a service: ask me about it
- recruitment coaching and mentoring
- recruitment strategy setting
- outplacement support
Just hit reply to check if my approach is right for you.